Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snow Tires 11/11/08

Snow Tires 

Wind 5-7 mph

This post was finished on 11/17/08. Last week (11/11/08) we tried out our snow tires. The Van Wagenens gave Cindy some of these things you strap on your shoes and I later bought some at REI. The framework is rubber and it is wound with wire, like a spring wound around the rubber that is on the bottom of the shoe. The outside rubber straps go around the edge of the sole.

I really felt more in control with these on. Sister Cindy also said she liked them, but it takes a bit of getting-used-to. On hard surfaces like the stairs in our building, it is awkward and a little slippery, but outside where they can bite into the snow and ice, they are a big help.

Sister Cindy is still wearing some low-cut shoes and is getting snow into the shoes when we walk in unpacked powder. I suspected that we would be buying boots in the near future, and Cindy got hers last Saturday(11/14/08) at a boot specialty store in the Ikea mall. I also will probably be getting some winter shoes, but I want to do a little looking to see what the "other boys" are wearing before making the plunge.

One of the Second Branch members wears black Nike running shoes. At first I thought that was odd, but after walking in the snow and ice a while, I'm not so sure. They have a definite tread and may be better than normal shoes in the snow. However, they do present an unusual picture with his tuxedo coat, white shirt, orange tie, and charcoal slacks.

I have observed that matching, or fashion at all, is not the deciding factor in winter attair. Functionality is the core of any wardrobe and availability/price certainly come into play. The Branch members do not bother changing footwear upon arrival at church. They wear what they came in with and are definitely not critical of one another's ensemble of the day. If it works, it's correct.

There is still the requisite white shirt for the brethren. I've noticed that the style of shirt can vary even in this rather conservative dress shirt. Collar shape, buttons, pleats, pockets, pocket flaps, and even white on white stripes are seen among the brethren. As long as it is white and has a collar, it seems to be within range of acceptable.

Hats are a must, and I am behind the curve on that. I have a fur shopka that will serve me well in the cold, but a leather kepka, or cap, is the thing for fall and I assume spring. Most of them are in the style of 1900 American caps that button to the bill in the front. They can be corduroy or leather, but they all have an ear flap that folds inside the cap when not used. There are also baseball-style caps with ear-flaps that are visible on the sides, but they are seen less than the Kepkas.

I found a kepka in the apartment when we arrived, but it was too small for me so I gave it to Elder Kravchenko (a Ukrainian) and he was thrilled. I now understand why. First, it was a nice hat, made of wool, and in good shape. Second, it fit him. Third, it was free. I tried to buy one the other day at the Ikea mall and they wanted 4,700 roubles for the exact hat in leather. That's $147 American dollars.

Tomorrow, Pres Gushchin is taking us shopping and the first stop is the Renik, the "farmer's market" type place where they sell absolutely everything. I've been told that I can buy a leather kepka for about 2-300 roubles which is about $10-12 American dollars. That's more my speed.

Right now, I am looking forward to the winter experience. Maybe in February I won't think it is so good, but I'm here to have an experience as well as to serve and I look forward to every day. Even the things that I would otherwise think are "bad" or negative I want to experience because they all teach me something about these people and why they are what they are. As the Lord told Joseph in the Liberty Jail, all things are for our experience and I don't want to waste any experience by not living it completely.

What a country

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