Almost four years ago, my husband and I moved to a new area where we knew no one. After settling in, we started venturing out to explore the area. We went to the local river park (even though the river is dry most of the year), walked the boardwalk along the coastal bluffs, and sampled syrah at local wineries. We also poked our noses into stores beyond the home improvement stores we haunted initially.
Probably because the town is a tourist destination, it has several antique stores,including one a little outside of town, right next to a vineyard. One day we decided to check it out. It’s a cramped store with items stacked atop display cases and chairs hanging off the walls to save space. I moved from room to room, examining depression glass, rhinestone jewelry, a jar of old marbles.
Then, perched on one of the display cases, I saw this hat. Now, I knew I had a lot of hats. I’d meant to go through them before I moved but had run out of time (lucky for The Hat Project). The boxes had moved from one house’s spare room closet to another house’s.
But the new house’s spare bedroom had a bigger closet.
So, I thought I could break my hat moratorium and buy this black velvet one. Something about the jaunty way the little bow stood up called to me. It seemed a friendly hat.
Though after moving I felt the lack of my old friends and family, I quickly found out that people in this town are very outgoing. Before I learned to relax about it, I’d get impatient when grocery checkers stopped to chat and people waved each other through intersections instead of observing the right-of-way rules.
Almost as soon as we hit town, we joined a chorus and started to make friends. We found a church we liked and became members. After the first Easter, the pastor said that next year we’d be up front singing, and we were. I wore this hat at the service the next Easter. as one of the musicians.
Here I am singing (actually, rehearsing before the service) on the recent Sunday I wore this hat. I think visitors to our church say, “What a friendly little church!” I hope this friendly little hat makes a good addition.
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Ann Hillesland writes fiction and nonfiction and collects hats. In this blog she vows to wear (not just model, but wear out of the house) every one of her hats, blogging about their histories and their meanings for her.