Thursday, August 15, 2019

Please enjoy a selection of hats

I'm on vacation. Not the sort of vacation for which people buy new clothes or luggage, or reserve a spa day. No. Mine is a very middle-aged person's vacation. The beloved husband, having just survived a small but vital heart surgery, is going back to visit his sister, recently diagnosed with cancer, and to see to his 94 year old father who isn't doing as well as anyone would like. I'm going with dear A., and to see my 87 year old mother. No beaches, no cocktail-umbrellas, no cabana-boys hoping for a generous tip. (Are there still cabana-boys somewhere in the world? Must be.) When we travel nowadays it's to family, but then it's been that way for a long time. Don't remember the last vacation that involved forgetting rather than remembering. Someday. Maybe.

I'm not complaining. It's wonderful to see our people. We don't get back often enough. Wish we could. I'm grateful to be able to still have people to go back home to.

While we're gone, I thought I ought to keep things going as best I could by doing as much as I could in advance of our departure. Continuity can be reassuring. I've got the quotations in place for a "daily dose" each day while we're gone. Easy. I also decided to post some little drawings of hats.

I'm working on a new little book. Manuscript has already been handed over to my editor/friend who takes my digital scraps and arranges them on pages, etc. Already made the book covers too. That's where the hats come from. All these little sketches are part of a larger design. Unlike my previous efforts, this little book will be mostly words, prose. Three small illustrations inside, and about three dozen jumbled together to make the covers for the book. You'll see. It should look nice.

Not being one to let a doodle go to waste, I thought I might as well litter a few across the next week or two. Hats aren't easy to draw. I threw away probably another dozen that did not work. I'm better at faces. All the hats I decided to use are either hats my dad wore, or hats I owned myself. Seems, between us, we've had a lot of hats. Each one here is something of a preview then of the essays forthcoming. Each hat is also, in a way, a piece of my father, and therefor a bit of home.

He's not there anymore, but my mother is, my brother and sister-in-law are, my sister will be up from Texas.  Home will be home again, as best as it can be without Dad, for any of us. That's one of the reasons I decided to gather up essays about him, and home, and make a little book for my mother and my family; it's meant to gather up some small fragments of our past, to preserve them, at least as I remember them. The hats are much the same.

I do see where this exercise may not be quite so full of meaning for anyone else, but I did it anyway, just to keep in touch, as it were, while we are away. Meanwhile I'll just let the hats pile up here. When I get back, I may have made some new memories to add to the pile.

Stay well.

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