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Posted on July 25, 2018 by Christine Crosby in coming out of the closet

Coming Out of The Closet (It’s Not What You Think)

Coming out of the closet (It’s not what you think). Gran and Katie’s Sweater and Swim Suit Story

By Roberta Allen

More than twenty years ago, I snapped up the sweater at a church thrift sale—Scottish, 100% wool, Fair Isle snowflake design. Perfect for Christmas. Not! Hotter than a roasted chestnut, I banished the sweater to my closet in a case of winter power outages which never came.

Last fall, when I heard my twenty something granddaughter, Katie, was headed for a college winter semester sojourn in the Czech Republic, I offered the garment to her. Just the thing to keep her cozy when the icy winds came howling off the Ukrainian steppes.

Rejected at least once initially, neglected twice that selfsame sweater wound up gallivanting all over Europe and quickly became a darling in on-line posts.

Katie proudly wearing ‘the sweater” in ”old town’ Bratislava, Slovakia

So far, ‘the sweater’ has been to London -England, Prague and Olomouc, Czech Republic, Bratislava, Slovakia, Budapest, Hungary, Forchenstein and Vienna, Austria, Dresden and Berlin, Germany, Zurich, Bern, Zermatt & Lugarno, Switzerland, Krakow, Poland, Brussels, Belgium, Nador, Fez and Chefchaouen, Morocco, Barcelona and Sevilla, Spain, Before spending a fairy tale Christmas in Switzerland.

Before Katie left, I was commiserating with her about my bathing suit dilemma. There, I was off on our fiftieth wedding anniversary cruise to Hawaii with no swim wear. My last had experienced a wardrobe malfunction which could have been excruciatingly embarrassing had anyone else been in the pool. She mentioned she just happened to have a one piece. Miracles of miracles, her suit actually fit me.

Meanwhile, her bathing suit which never left Vancouver Island till going to Hawaii with me is about to go on a California cruise.

The moral: In the darkest days, there is always hope for something better.

Where are they now?:  The sweater is fighting the good fight against the gusts sweeping off the Pacific in Tofino, B. C. Katie is working there in the hospitality industry saving up to travel again.

The bathing suit is waiting patiently like a tea bag, yearning to get dipped into warm water.



Roberta managed various non-profits.  With her husband of fifty plus years, she has three grown granddaughters and two—surprise! — grandsons. She loves whimsy, fresh ideas, writing, beauty and chocolate.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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