Starting Somewhere

All adventures have to start somewhere, and this blog – On Out & About – is the jumping off point to keep me moving forward on my next adventure!

Often a new adventure is kicked off by an impetus. In this case, there are several impetuses (though "impetii" rolls off the tongue so much more comfortably!) Here is Impetus One.


An Open Letter of Thanks to Sixty & Me, Style Crone, Ephemera, What I Wore 2Day and Not Dressed As Lamb:

Awhile ago, maybe a year or so, I discovered Sixty & Me. Not sure how I found Margaret Manning's blog, perhaps Twitter @sixtyandme was my starting point. Sixty & Me led the way to Judith's Stye Crone, which led the way to both Catherine's Not Dressed As Lamb and Sheila's Ephemera, which led the way to Kasmira's What I Wore 2Day.

This past spring I clunked my forehead on the edge of my car's trunk. A rainy day, a raincoat's hood overreaching my field of vision, a car parked on an incline resulting in a trunk not fully open, and a body – mine – in motion, hurrying to place a bin of water samples in the trunk. (Among other things, I teach a 3rd grade Environmental Ed class, hence water samples from the creek behind our house.) Result, a concussion that three weeks later caused my doctor to place me on short-term disability, which meant not finishing the school year.

Instead, I had to take my usually active body and mind and settle into rest, rest, and more rest. How best to spend that time? Well, I found myself not particularly interested in doing much of anything. This felt rather discouraging; I'm not so good with doing "nothing" or with feeling aimless and unable to rouse myself. But I did have my iPad. And as long as the brightness was set to its lowest level, the digital interaction did not bother me. (Bright lights were a major source of irritation, along with loud noise.) So off I went making connections (see first paragraph).

What I found was all of you – a group of women bloggers who share your personal style coupled with bits of your life's stories. I found articles on a range of topics at Sixty & Me, a decade I had recently entered. I found eloquence and grace from Style Crone; humor and honesty from Ephemera. I found how-tos and ideas for activity and adventure from What I Wore 2Day, and encouragement to be yourself from Not Dressed As Lamb.

And from all of you I found a collective support group. You had no idea till now of the role you played in helping me heal from the concussion. I counted on you for being there, for providing me with smiles and sparking my creativity, and for helping me reframe my relationship with clothing (colors! patterns!) and reawakening my dormant (we're talking 40+ years of drowsy dressing) enjoyment of dressing. Mostly, in those many weeks, you gave me fuel to recover and to go forward in fun and health.

Thank you.



(Photos by Fred)

The Errant Raincoat, purchased many years ago on a summer vacation that included a stop in Kennebunkport, ME, where I was tickled to find a yellow slicker and purchased it even though it was sized small but ran too large. About a year ago the zipper broke and I attached strips of velcro to help it stay closed. Seriously, what was I thinking (besides considering myself virtuous for tinkering and salvaging.)

The New Raincoat, purchased last summer in Orleans on Cape Cod, MA. Orleans was home (summer and then year-round) to my in-laws, and where we spent many years enjoying family and the Cape. While I tend to avoid clothing with labels on the outside, this one was purchased from the owner of the shop, with whom we had several wonderful conversations that included learning she opened the store at the request of her friend who owned the hot chocolate shop of the same name (and where we've spent time indulging) across the street. It helped that I first spotted the slicker hanging just outside the store's front door, an advert that obviously did its job! Oh, and unlike the Errant Raincoat, this one is lined and functions equally well as a raincoat or a cool weather jacket.

13 responses
Hi Laurie! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm honored to be a part of your recovery! The new raincoat looks great and will hopefully not obscure your vision! P.S. I used to work in a water quality lab, sampling and analyzing the water from the lake that provided the town's supply.
Hi Kasmira, Wow, thank you for reading & commenting! Among your several influences on me includes Veggie Burgers Every Which Way (, which I reserved at the library. (We have a vegan in residence :-)) As for your P.S., am appreciating the serendipitousness of professions, past and present! Am always interested in ways to enhance the experience for my students…would you ever consider skyping with me and a group of 3rd graders to talk about what you did? Cheers, Laurie
Thank you for your beautiful post! You just brought tears to my eyes.
Laurie I am SO touched by this post - what a way to start a blog! Reading things like this make all the late nights and 7-days-a-week blogging so worth it: To know that you've brightened someone's day or helped them get through something is incredibly rewarding. Thank you so much for the kind words, I wish you well with the rest of your blogging journey, you've made an amazing start! Catherine x
Judith and Catherine, Am grateful that you stopped by, though in many ways you've been "stopping by" since I began reading your blogs! When I began teaching computer classes in the 1980s there was much commentary about how computing and digital technology were solitary and unsociable endeavors. The type of blogging that you two do, and the audience that both reads and participates in your bogging, exemplify just how one-sided that commentary was. I look forward to joining you in the fun you two cook up with your challenges and Hat Attacks. Cheers, Laurie
Laurie, thank you so much for the email and for the honour of being on your first blog post! I'm so happy for you that you've found blogging and some fun bloggers to read (Kasmira is who inspired me to start blogging back in 2008!). Thank you! Keep on rockin'! PS - love your "I can do it" raincoat - that is so me, lol.
Hi Sheila, So glad you received the email, and apologies for my double commenting on your blog. Lesson learned: only write comments from my laptop and not from my iPad! What a hoot that you started blogging thanks to Kasmira. Feels like one of those "six degrees of separation" moments! I am inspired by the regularity of your posts (am aiming for one a week) and will confess that your pose position had a big impact on my first photo (will appear in a What I Wore This Month" post.) Lastly, your willingness to play with colors and patterns is truly exciting and uplifting. And this morning I told my husband that today's outfit was missing two crucial items: a statement necklace and an obi (or other) belt! Will remedy that and then try out the outfit again and see how it feels. Again, thank you for stopping by, commenting and the inspiration. Cheers, Laurie
Hi Laurie. I worked in that water quality lab 20 years ago! I'm not sure I'd even remember anything useful. Mostly, I remember how much it sucked to be on a tiny boat with only my male boss all day collecting water samples from a cold, windy lake near the Canadian border once a month. Bathroom breaks (aka hanging off the side of the boat) were super awkward!
Hi Kasmira, Ah, you have me laughing at imagining you sharing this with 3rd graders. Okay, probably not a good idea! But thanks for sharing with me. I've only ever collected water samples from the tidal creek behind my house and the harbor water in town; just wading into some mud or a sandy beach – nothing quite as intense as your experience! Cheers, Laurie
Hi Laurie. Found you through the link on Catherine's blog. It is nice to see that blogs are so appreciated. Many times a blogger will ask herself "why am I doing this?" Open letters like yours give the answer. Good luck with yours (oh and I am happy you bought a coat which fits LOL). Greetje
Hi Greetje, Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I am excited to jump into a blogging community filled with interesting people for whom fashion is as much an artistic expression as it is a practical necessity. And now at least my new raincoat meshes with both of those, at least a whole lot better than my old one did! Cheers, Laurie
Got your mail. But not a mail with this reply. Greetje
Hey, Laurie, my email is - drop me a line to connect about you being in Vic in June. :)