Today, I just wanted to tell a little story about the hat in the photo. I wear a hat in the summer when I’m outside riding and at camp, and wear a dress hat when I’m on the job for Blue Sky Sage Horseback Adventures at equine trade shows, events, personal presentations and the like. I used to have a big, black Resistol hat, trimmed in red around the brim and the hatband, with red eyelets. It was beautiful and so Wyoming, perhaps a little bit much, but it was striking. I had shipped it back to my dear friends in Massachusetts last November in preparation for the Equine Affaire event in W. Springfield, where I and several of our wonderful clients/friends were going to work 10-hour days at our company booth, promoting our rides. All went well throughout the week+ that I was back there – at least until it was time to get everything together to ship home. When we got back to my friends’ home, I gently placed the hat inside the protective plastic wrapping and diligently fitted the cardboard shaper into the hat to hold the shape. Underneath the hat, I stuffed in a heavy-duty extension cord that I couldn’t squeeze into the show box. The box was secured with packing tape and was placed on the stair landing, ready to take to the UPS store.

I had one lovely extra day to spend with my friends, so we took a day trip north of their home in Beverly to see some historic Wade family dwellings. The plan was to come back with delicious pastries for dinner that night back at the house. We had a lovely day. We came into the house and noticed that the hat box was gone. Upon interrogation of my friends’ husband, it was confessed that he thought the box was trash and it went to the curb for the recycling truck to haul away. Alas, the “over-the-top” head covering was long gone, and the poor husband (who is also my dear friend) was aghast and dismayed, insisting that he must replace my lid with one of like quality. I was not distressed, it really was quite humorous to me, but I know he felt terrible, so I agreed that upon such time as I found another dress hat, I would let them replace it.

Two months later I happened to be in Jackson, Wyoming for a Chamber of Commerce event and took a stroll into Jackson Hole Hat Company, just to see what the possibilities were. My eyes zeroed in on the new hat, right in the middle of a display wall of about 50 toppers of every shape, style, color and appointment. I tried it on; the fit was exact; the color was a soft silver with the slightest hint of sage green and the ribbons around the brim and crown were a translucent flesh color. It was high quality, beautiful, shapely for my round face and expensive. I was almost too embarrassed to dare consider it was “the one”. I put it back and tried on another hat, but I was unimpressed. The first one begged me to save it from it’s surroundings. I called my friends and they were so relieved that the burden was to be lifted from their guilty hearts and the price on sale was much less than they were expecting. I sent them photos, like a new mother with the first pictures of the baby.