Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather

Old Trunks, New Leather.  All from Maine.

February 11, 2009

Happy February from
Brettuns Village – today is the 11th which means we’ve reached the ceremonial
50% mark of Winter.  Only four more

months to go.  We’ve
started a new thing on the site we’re calling our ‘Weekly Deal’ but before
I tell you about it we’re pleased to present

the following public service

Can you walk in cold weather
without letting the skin of your legs touch the inside of your britches? 
This is something you’ll need to

master before you pack up
the truck and move the family to Maine.  The key things to remember
if you want to survive winter up here, all

eight months of it, are
as follows:

1.  Keep the knees straight
yet flexible: Can’t let them bend too much but you still need to be spry
enough to keep from slipping on ice,

greasy snow, or the wonderful
new calcium brine solution that the town truck sprays on the roads to keep
ice from forming.  This is why every

single car in New England
is white right now.  But it’s low sodium, and it works, so what the
heck.  Knees straight, but flexible.

Pretend you’re made from
plywood and you have to twist your hips and shoulders together as one,
left, right, left, right, to make forward

progress.  Posture
– That’s Rule 1.

2.  Choose your britches
intelligently:  If you’re out on the roads at the right time of the
morning you’ll catch the local teen agers

waiting for the school bus. 
There they are, standing in a hollowed out snowbank, looking sullen, frowning
a bit, and shivering from head

to toe.  These are
the ones who choose the skin-tight jeans, which we used to call ‘Mick Jaggers,’
and you can see right there that they

made an unwise choice. Over
at the other end of the snowbank are that group that my Galliwags call
the ‘Skater Dudes.’  Hair in the eyes,,

huge jacket, and pants large
enough to get their own zip code, but these dudes aren’t shivering. 
They know that air space means

insulation.  That’s
got to be the reason they wear those baggy drawers and why they often have
high GPAs.  Air space. That’s what you need.

3.  Footwear: 
In the closet you’ve got those fancy Italian made shoes with leather soles,
the ones my Dad would have called Dancing

Slippers, but leave them
right there in the closet until the snow finally melts, which should be
about the second week of June this

year.  When selecting
appropriate footwear, don’t bother looking at the top of the boot (known
as the upper).  Turn that thing over and

look at the bottom. 
What you want to see are peaks and valleys – tread – along the lines of
something you’d see on the tires at a

monster truck rally. 
Traction is what you’re after.  If you don’t see obvious traction-inducing
tread down there, then you’ve got to get

yourself a pair of what
the ice fisherman (hopeless alcohol abusers who have convinced themselves
that they’re having fun out there when

it’s 14 below and blowing
45) call ‘Creepers.’ These are little strap-on deals that put some ice
picks on the bottom of your dancing

slippers.  Stable footwear. 
Very important.

4.  Vision:  Your
best bet for safe forward progress while keeping warm is to always know
what’s ahead of you.  Just like running a

business.  Only with
flannel.  When it’s cold and blowing it can be tough to keep your
vision clear – tears tend to well up when the

breeze hits the face, or
when ice crystals blow into your eye and act like 40-grit sandpaper against
the cornea.  This, as you might expect,

blurs the vision, and can
cause you to not see that glare ice patch.  You’re thinking about
keeping your knees straight, flopping along like

a cardboard cut-out of Roger
Landry, only with a big puffy air-space-ridden jacket on, but the wind
has your eyes tearing up and

you never see that clear,
glass-like patch of ice that’s right there next to the driver’s side door
on the pickup, and when you reach for

the door handle all you
grab is air, and that strange sense of falling sets in.  That’s because
you ARE falling, Chester, so, as they like to

say along the Hudson, Brace
for Impact.  Keep a paper towel or old t-shirt in one hand as you
flop along, and use it to keep your eyes

clear. Eye on the prize,
eye on the enemy.  That’s number 4.

5.  Padding:  It’s
inevitable. You’ve got a meeting with Mr. Ice, but the time and date aren’t
set yet.  We’re all going to hit the deck a

time or two this winter,
so let’s be ready.  This goes back to the ‘air space in your duds’
rule presented earlier, but is worthy of a

stand-alone rule. 
You know those catalogs you get that have lots of winter coats in them? 
Well, forget the fact that almost all of those

coats were made in some
tropical place where the 11 year old who was running the sewing machine
had slept in a hammock outside the night

before, and works in a building
with no windows because the weather is always so nice and perfect and a
flat line 79 degrees every single day

of the year, gosh darn it,
complete with tropical bird sounds and palm trees and coconut rum for breakfast
and… sort of drifted away there.

 What this kid knows
how to do is make jackets that are perfect for our winters.  I don’t
get it either.  Anyway, the catalog shows some

nice looking lambskin stuff,
sleek numbers with belts that tie in the front, etc.  Turn back to
page 20 or so and there you’ll find the

goose down jackets, which
look like the Michelin Man after he’s been skun out by the taxidermist. 
This is what you need.  It’s warm, and

when your bumpkin hits the
hardpan you’ll almost be happy you fell.  You’ve survived, you’re
warm, and you look like a big marshmallow with

teary eyes and monster truck

Moving to Florida sounds
a little better with each passing day.

Deal of the Week?  What’s
all this about a Deal of the Week?  In an effort to force you against
your will to return to our website now and

again, we’ve instituted
the Deal of the Week program.  Each Wednesday morning, as we did only
minutes ago, just before the literary cramps

set in that told me it was
time to create a newsletter, we update the Deal of the Week section of
our website.  We find something on the

shelf, something that we
have a lot of, and we mark it down for one week.  It may be something
you want, may be something you hate, but

there it is, just the same. 
We started this last week, but I didn’t e-mail you about it, so when you
take a look at the D-O-T-W this week

you’ll see both last week’s
and this week’s deals on there.  Here’s a link:

Or just go to the home page
on our Leather site, or the Site Map.  Updated every Wednesday, subject
to some disclaimers, such as I

probably won’t update it
during the week I’m down in Florida looking for a place to thaw out. 
If that week ever happens.

Stay warm, and stay quiet
about it.