I had a bulky load when I gathered my supplies for the groups today. But it was easy. I just packed up my ridiculous collection of hats...
There wasn't a person in the morning or afternoon who didn't want to try on a couple hats. We wore hats. Read about hats. Sang about hats and discussed a little hat history.
This book about the "cap-stacking salesman" inspired a little hat stacking. Everyone placed a bet about how many hats I could balance. I cheated, using a lot of berets and flat hats and managed a stack of 24... before they tumbled all over the place!
I thought I could have guessed which hats different people would opt to wear. But I was so wrong. It seems like personalities changed with each hat change. If only I'd brought along mirrors.
A few got caught up in the books about hat fashion and history. We talked about the days of church hats and fedoras... hat pins and hat boxes. We talked about famous people, known for wearing hats, like John Wayne and Abe Lincoln.
As we spoke, I saw a secretive smile appear. Frances spoke softy. "My older brother always wore a hat." I could tell she was picturing her brother as her smile grew bigger. "He was so particular about it. It was a cowboy hat and he treated it with such care." Her expression made me have to ask. "Was he handsome?" Frances almost giggled, "Yes!"
I drove home that day, thinking of all my friends wearing hats in younger days. I could see Ramona in the cotton fields wearing the bonnet her father insisted the daughters wear... to shield from sun, but also to hide them from the boys. I pictured Betty in her church hat, with the little veil. And I pictured Frances, looking up to the handsome, hat-wearing brother that she adored!
I love hats.
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.