Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Flip of the Lid

If you go to Switzerland, you're apt to see one of these - a pretty hat with a white feather on it. You may find them in Germany and Austria as well.

This one was purchased at the intersection of three Swiss cog railroads at the base of the Jungfrau - one of the ever-snow and ice-covered mountains in the Alps. I thought it might help me to get motivated enough to yodel. No such luck at that - but it has earned a corner of my closet shelf. However, there remains a problem - a felt hat like this does not moisture. Somewhere in its lifetime it has been rained upon and it shrank. Originally it fit fairly well. When I try to wear it now it sits high on my head and looks a little funny. On second thought, maybe the hat has done well and it has been my head that has grown. Some people end up getting a swollen head over life accomplishments - but I hope that's not the case in my life. Makes me think about the country music song, "It's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way." Sure, and I make chocolate sushi in the summertime.

Anyway, though the hat has shrunk the number of emblems on it has not. Each on of them reflects somewhere we've been. The majority of them reflect places we have been to in Switzerland. Places like Geneva, and Zermatt and Schiedegg (where  the hat was bought, and where I got the first pin.
There are other non-Swiss places represented - places like Heidelberg, Oberammergau, and Berchesgaden in Germany. There are pins from Jamaica, and Alaska, and even West Point.

Some might say, "So what - it's just a bunch of pins" on a hat I can hardly wear anymore. But the collection is more than that - every one of the emblems represented some place we have been. Each of them provides a bright memory of some time in life. Each of the has a back story of life and people we met or traveled with.

So, I keep the under-size hat with all of its pins and emblems on a corner of my computer room closet, not just to gather dust but rather to offer memories of some really good times with good friends in amazing parts of the world. As I sometimes say, along with Bob Hope, 'Thanks for the memories' - and things that bring back good memories from times gone by.

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