……” and the stockings were hung on the chimney with beer ” . With cheer ? Shouldn’t it be ” from the mantel ” .
So , I had to look it up , of course , for accuracy’s sake : ” from the mantel with care ” is how Clement Moore wrote the line in 1822 . St. Nicholas had no reindeer before that . Nor a sleigh until Clement M. gave him one . I had to look up “mantel” , too , by the way . There’s another word ” mantle ” that means a whole different thing . There are people who know the difference and would be upset that I chose the wrong one . If I did . But I didn’t . (I used resources .) When a reader is irked by a mistake at the start of the story , the reading experience can only go badly . The reader might stop reading persistently along , having waited impatiently in frustration for a point to the post . I’d rather readers stay to the end and then be disappointed with the pointlessness of it all .
…..” and visions of sugarplums danced in their heads “. What are sugarplums ? Doesn’t matter . But I never dreamed of sugarplums , never had visions of sugarplums dancing in my head like the children in the 1820s evidently had .
But , none of this is relevant to my story . Sorry . I got carried away [ To the Czech blogger in London who is discovering and blogging about English idioms and attempting to translate Czech idioms into English : When I say ” carried away ” , I don’t mean that literally . ] I am writing today about an old pair of socks . Literally . Not Christmas socks ; not stockings hung from my mantel with care , nor , for that matter , from my mantle with care .
Congratulations if you’re still reading this . You must be some kind of an optimist , hoping for the best , for something worthwhile . Good luck to you . We’ll see .
I have a pair of wool socks I bought in 1982 , in east Hollywood , in a little store on Sunset Boulevard run by an acquaintence of mine . I can’t remember his name , although I can picture him . Terry ? Jerry ? It’ll come to me later . Right after I turn this computer off . Ronny ? No , not Ronny .
But I remember buying the socks . Jerry-Terry Shopkeeper was going out of business and had to sell everything . The landlord was selling the place and planned to tear the old building down . I bought three pairs of heavy woolen socks for seven bucks . I thought it was a good deal .
One of the pairs gave out in the toes after a few years’ [ years’ ? year’s ? — tell me ; tell me ! ] wear . I kept it around for awhile anyhow . I couldn’t make myself toss it out . It had served me well and deserved better . But eventually , finally , I trashed it . And then , years later , same thing happened to another pair . Same reluctance to toss that one . But it had to be done . Nothing lasts forever .
I still have the third pair . Good as new ? Not quite , but almost . Well , almost almost . But it’s still hanging in there [ note to Czech blogger —– did you catch that one ? ] . So I photographed the lone pair , like the Lone Ranger — the last one , the lone survivor .
Ada bought me a nice new , thick , warm , well-made pair of wool socks this week . I’m wearing them now . They’re cozy warm and wonderful . Will I have them thirty years from now , though ? Who can tell ?
I’ll tell you the truth . I don’t wear the thirty year-old pair much these last few years so that they will last another year . Ada doesn’t know that . There’s something dignified about surviving to old age , even if you just kind of take a back seat . It’s cool . Ada would say : ” What are you trying to do , make them last forever ? They’re old , worn out . There are new ones available to wear . Throw those old things out ! ” I’d argue a little and whine a little and sulk if I had to . She’d say : ” If it’s old and it’s vintage , that’s cool . But those old worn out things aren’t cool .”
I’ll just hide them in the back of the drawer for another year . I’ll let the new wool socks be cool and hang in the front of the drawer . I’ll stuff the old ones back behind . With care .
I saw a used car lot in Boulder City , Nevada , advertising ” experienced ” vehicles . My socks are experienced . That’s cool enough , I think , but I won’t tell that to Ada .
Oh ! : Perry .
Perry , thanks again for the socks . They lasted longer than you did . Weird , huh ? I can see you standing in the old shop , laughing . You had a loud joy-filled laugh .