The hat is back! Last summer we asked readers to suggest an appropriate song to be included in the funeral for my cowboy hat. Apparently, we failed to offer enough Story Chip Ginger Snaps as a reward to entice suggestions that would allow the funeral to proceed. The hat remained hanging on the horn of a well used saddle (the only adequate storage spot for a true cowboy relic) while we hoped for inspiration and looked for a truly perfect cemetery plot.
Instead, the drought has shifted away from Texas and is now scorching other parts of the country. Here in Austin, we have just under six inches of rain above the seasonal average. There is hope that the lakes might look like lakes again and all manner of flora and fauna have joined the resurgence. The downside of this rain is that there is more outside work to do. So, the hat is back starring in new Story Chips.
Our bias remains stories, oral history and traditions. Clearly the story of this hat parallels the story of my life, no, all of our lives. Just when we plan a funeral, we listen to the stories and recognize the treasure that steeped into the fabric of a person or a hat and we pull it off the saddle horn and send it back out to do its best. The hat and I share lots of creases and scars. Neither of us has the starch we used to present to the world. We shared many experiences that have allowed us to achieve our current form.
The hat and I are ready to start new adventures. I have been wearing that hat pretty regularly of late. I still appreciate the shade it provides and yesterday I was glad to have it catching the rain drops and protecting my glasses. We all face the challenge of knowing when to write the last chapter and close the book. I was ready to sign off on the hat and maybe even on a little bit of my own life.
Now, in the late summer of 2012, my artist and I are getting married. I probably wont wear the hat for the wedding, but there are more stories to write for my artist, for me and for the hat. Check back later for more on Story Chip. Or add your hat story or wedding story or a recipe with a story to the archive.
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