Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Photo in ‘edit’ to come.
If you were a child living in a less than warm climate, how many times would you hear your mother asking, “WHERE IS YOUR HAT?”
With me personally, it was always the  ‘outside’ hat and then it was the SUNDAY hat we females had to wear to Church.
I never understood the ‘old timers’ wearing hats all the time, everywhere. I would spend an hour fixing my hair only to sit a ‘hat’ on top of my nicely styled do?  No Way. I loved the breeze blowing and tossing my curls.  And the Queen of England’s hats?  A constant source of amusement for me.
Vintage movies employed ‘tricks’ showing a perfectly coiffed Grace Kelly removing her hat in the film “Rear Window” when she visited the wheel-chair bound Jimmy Stewart. As kids, we did not know about the ‘cut’ in a film.
Growing up and escaping my mother’s “Where is your Hat” (while my brothers escaped, “Where is your Sweater?”) I simply moved from one coast to another where I would be warm and not have to ever think about a hat again.
About a decade of peace and quiet regarding hats came and went so quickly I was stunned one day to hear, “Where is your Hat?”  My husband took my mother’s place with that demand regularly when we began spending a lot of time in the cold climate of Yosemite National Park every Winter.  I always shrug off the inquiry.  My husband is not my mother.
Married for 32 years now, we have been traveling to National Parks to take photos, adding to our extensive Yosemite National Park photos for our website.  Last year, we made it to Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone and Grand Teton.   We were very happy with the trip and the ‘captures.’  We were so taken with the Grand Tetons, we vowed to return this year to spend a longer period of time there in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
We departed for JH in time to see the Fall peaking of the foliage and hoped to get a dusting of snow on the Tetons as well.  We truly lucked out with both.  Landscape Photography is my husband’s fascination; not exactly my cup of tea, but I will join him from time to time.  This year we met with a group of pros so it was imperative to begin shooting at sunrise when the temperature would be as low as 20 degrees at that hour but warming to 70 degrees later in the day.
Day two was the first ‘cold’ day for me and I was really shocked to feel what I will describe as an “ice cream freeze” to my entire head.  Wow!  I had never felt wind chill nor felt cold to the core of my brain.  No hat.  It was in the car keeping the seat warm.
The next day, I had TWO hats with me.  I was amazed how much a hat helped keep me warm.  I own 3 hats; that is all.   They are acceptable rather than annoying.  And, they’re fairly fashionable.  One is totally utilitarian for taking photos in below freezing temperatures.
After the fourth day, we were done with the group and I no longer had to contend with the cold so the hats were left in our hotel room.  (Or so I thought.)  I knew where I left them last and believed them to be sitting on the bedroom upholstered chair and never gave it another thought for the balance of our two week visit until the night before we were to depart for home.  Mental inventory told me I had not seen the hats of late so I went to the bedroom chair and the hats were not there.  I then tore the 2 bedroom hotel condominium suite apart.  Then I enlisted the aid of my husband who is a great sleuth for all things misplaced by me in my advancing years.  Don’t turn 40; nor 50… that’s as far as I’m going.
Well.  No hats turned up.  I resigned myself to having to purchase one of the two but was horrified at having lost the other; my Black, NIKON D200, baseball style hat given to me as schwag by my camera guru in SB.  I was crushed just thinking about reporting my loss as I KNOW they are difficult to come by.  Not only that, but they are a status symbol in my little world and I was the envy of the ‘men’ who coveted my hat.
Well, I decided to cheer myself up by going down to the bar for our last night of Pizza made incredibly well in JH as it compared favorably to all the New York Pizzas I brag about no matter where I see a ‘pizza’ sign.  I realized I was preoccupied because I ‘ordered up’ a second pizza which I managed to eat in its entirety.  Another ‘new’ thing for me.  Depression eating for the first time.  Over a hat.  Wow.
I stopped at the Concierge desk to ask them about their “Lost and Found.”  They more than encouraged me to be sure to notify the front desk upon check-out of my lost items. Of course I forgot….  But not for long.  One-half hour down the road, I called the Hotel and spoke to Kevin.  I told him my plight and said, “They are not valuable but I love them and described one as a soft, black warm hat with white trim and the words “Yosemite” in white on front.  The second I said, “Black baseball cap with “D200” in gold on front and “Nikon” on back.”  I told Kevin to please check the laundry because I saw the maids pile pillows on the chair when they were cleaning our place, exactly where I had last seen my hats
We arrived home after driving straight for 17.45 hours and went to sleep.  When I finally woke in the afternoon, my husband excitedly came to sit with me while I sipped my morning tea and said, “They Found the Hats!”
I was thrilled and asked, “How, Where?”
He said, “The Bellman saw the Maid walking in the parking lot wearing my warm Yosemite Hat and her boyfriend had the D200 Baseball Cap on backwards!”
When asked where they were going, the Maid said, “I found these hats in one of the suites yesterday and was just going to turn them into the lost and found!”