Back at the beginning of the pandemic, I had eight more hats to go and nowhere to wear them. How would I complete the Hat Project? What was the point of wearing all my hats, if I only did so virtually? And with no church, where could I wear a fancy fascinator?
I made do. My husband took pictures of me on our porch or at the beach or in a city park. But it wasn't the same as wearing a hat in a social setting. My church spent the pandemic producing audio church, which I ended up loving to listen to lying in bed on Sunday night.
However, this February, our church started meeting outdoors. Ash Wednesday was our first service on the church lawn, but soon we were having weekly outdoor, masked, socially distanced church, and it was wonderful to see people and feel the community.
As far as hats went, though, I was restricted to wearing my sun hats because shade was limited. I wore all my favorite wide-brimmed hats. I even took a couple out of the Donate box, including the blue sequined hat.
Finally, the pandemic restrictions lifted to let us attend masked, distanced church inside our building. What a wonderful moment to be back in the sanctuary again! On the first week I attended knowing I would sit indoors, I wore this flowery orchid hat.
To me, this flowery hat symbolizes spring and renewal. I feel like the country is waking to new life after a long winter of pandemic hibernation. So I felt it was an appropriate "first hat" for this new phase.
Back when I "ended" the Hat Project, I told myself that I would only buy hats if I felt they were something special, or if they filled a hole in my collection. I received my first orange hat for Christmas. My husband also gave me a gift card to a local antique store. I spent part of it on a couple of hats, including this one, which is my first all-over flowery hat. It's completely covered with purple-and-pink-tinged silk orchids. It's so spring-like, I chose to wear it in my church's virtual video of "Easter Song." I would have worn the flowered lilac pixie that was my Easter hat this year, but for the Christmas video, the top of my Christmas tree fascinator got cut off, so I knew I needed a flatter hat!
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.