Hats Off to the Helpers!

After all . . . it was just my favorite hat!

Once in a while, I run across something that really suits me. My blue baseball cap is one of those unique treasures—cool green stitching around the bill, a quirky off-centered design that was a bit tricky to figure out, and, of course, it was broken in just right with sure signs of wear—obviously a fave.

On that spring morning in May, we emerged from the car into a fairly dense fog. We gathered our gear and started down the road for our day-long hike. After about 15 minutes, the fog started to lift and the sun popped out just as we had hoped. I reached for my hat. Not there. My hands began checking each possible location, but to no avail. “Wait! I must have dropped my hat   somewhere along the way.” Em volunteered to retrace our steps for a few minutes, just in case. Not there. With miles to go and the day heating up, we opted NOT to go back any farther for it. Simply count it as a loss.

one of many distractions
one of many distractions

Well the day blistered on, and I was sorely in need of some shade. Thank goodness for sunscreen. We walked and walked. Through dense woods and over ridges with fantastic views—plenty of wonderful distractions, and I soon forgot about the unfortunate hat incident. Finally, we dropped into the Pontassieve valley, and headed into a sweet little place for lunch, just as we imagined. After we sat down and relaxed, I began missing my blue baseball cap again. It fit so well—shaded my eyes and even matched my “bug-be-gone” neck scarf perfectly. Oh well! Surely I’d find another . . . someday.

thoughtful placement
thoughtful placement

Later that afternoon, we made it back to the car, and climbed in—exhausted. We made a U-turn on the quiet country road and headed for home. Just as the car swung around the third curve, something caught my eye. There on a reflective street marker was my hat! It had been carefully placed so we’d be sure to see it. “My hat!” I called out, and Em pulled to a dusty road-side stop. “Wow! Can you believe this? 8 hours later and it’s right where I must have dropped it.” I was so excited, yammering on and on, “That was such a nice gesture! Perfect strangers can be so kind. Can you believe they took the time to do that?” Em listened to my bubbling monologue for a while, and then mockingly asked, “Isn’t that exactly what you said when you lost your sunglasses and they magically reappeared on that signpost in the woods?”

another happy ending!
another happy ending!

“I’m beginning to see a pattern here,” Em continued. “Not only are people predictably nice and thoughtful, but, you seem to be getting just a wee bit forgetful these days.” I smugly smiled as I slipped on my sunglasses and pulled down my hat.


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