Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Surfeit of Umbrellas

The Visible Woman...owns...umbrellas.

These compact little lightweight (they are Tyvek or something) ones from REI got pulled out and used today when we went walking and it started to rain. Lucky I'd stashed them in the backpack. They are drying off in the spare bathroom which doubles as storage.

Near the front door is an umbrella stand we bought when we moved into this little condo apartment.

I spend a lot (too much in fact) of time thinking about things. Mostly things I already own that are impinging on my personal space. Which is easy to do in this relatively small apartment even though we've maximized the storage space.

Even when I lived in a 3000-square-foot house with a double garage and tons of storage I obsessed about these things. In my 2004 journal I randomly listed things I owned with some commentary. I must say that it is interesting to read this list and note things I gave away, things I no longer think I have but can't remember how I got rid of them and things that are still are part of my life. (Two warm throws described are in the living room of this apartment. And one was bought the same year on the same trip as my muffler.)

Today we went for a walk (to the bank, to the Driskill Hotel to look at their Christmas decorations, to the Farmer's Market) and I put my two little umbrellas (see above) in my backpack. Good thing. Rained pretty hard before we got back. I bought those at REI in the last couple of years. Great for travel. I put them in the carryon and they add almost no weight. 

We have a bunch of other umbrellas. In the stand by the door, there are two very nice compact ones given away by the Austonian Condos when they were marketing the place. There are about a half dozen other ones, relatively compact to very compact including a red one that my Aunt Mary gave me as a present. (I don't know when but she died over two decades ago. And she may have given it to me before I moved to Austin. Which was 38 years ago.) And there is a large, Italian-made one with a lovely fish handle. This is the season of gift-giving. I got this one as a gift and I love it! It was a birthday gift, though. It made me realize that, no matter how many umbrellas you have that a really nice one makes a great gift. 

I think both of us have a least one or two cheap, beat-up umbrellas in our cars.

And yet, somehow, I don't feel like I have too many umbrellas. In spite of the title I gave this entry.

We did have a Four Seasons umbrella. A large, nice one like they loan to their guests. We didn't steal it. FFP did them a PR favor and they gave it to him. Really. Anyway one day a friend visited the condo and it started raining. We loaned him the umbrella. He didn't return it, kept using it around town and, he said, 'accidentally' left it...at the Four Seasons. He either thought we stole it or he was just careless. How could he ask for it back!? Anyhow, we have plenty of umbrellas and it's a funny story. A funny story is worth its weight in gold.

So...one of the few (four) non-cash gifts I bought this year was...an umbrella! A very, very nice one for FFP. If he's reading this he knows one of the things in the gift bag for him. The other thing is something we (and he) always have multiples of around here.

2 comments:

Dallas Jerry said...

This may or may not be helpful, but I find a golf umbrella to be very useful for the two of us whenever we are out and get caught in the rain. It stays in the car, though.

LB said...

Yep. The one in FFP's car is an old orange and white golf umbrella. May have been red and white at one time and faded. It's a two person one, more or less. I love when we stay in hotels that give us giant ones to use use while we are there. We take two because it's hard to maneuver two people and one umbrella especially in cities with heavy foot traffic like New York.