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Spending the Day with Red Hatters

Whether you’re a writer or a retailer, there’s always plenty to do, and it’s hard to set aside time for yourself. Ed2go writing instructor and author Eva Shaw knows it’s important to save time for yourself, so one assignment she gives students is to go on a date and write about it. I just came across this account of my date, written about 1 1/2 years ago. It’s probably about time for another date. See photos of this event at http://www.lewisriver.com.It was fun dressing for my date. I wore jeans, a t-shirt with a picture of a big red hat on the front, and a red wool blazer. I dug out the pretty purple shoes with the open toes from my daughter’s wedding…and I didn’t wear socks because I didn’t want to! Next I had to decide which hat to wear. I chose the red wool felt with a wide, floppy brim and long red and purple feathers. I took off the hat and added a purple dickey under the t-shirt. Perfect. Red and purple.For accessories, I stretched a red-hat bracelet over my wrist, swapped my gold hoop earrings for a pair of glittery red hats, and slipped my purple lanyard with the Red Hat Society medal over my head. I added pins to that: the purple cow with the red hat, my magnetic name tag with “Pat” printed carefully in Sharpie pen, the gaudy red pin from Aunt Liz, and the new Washington State pin. I added a red fan pin with purple tassel to my right lapel. On my left lapel, I lovingly place the glitzy frog with the wiggling legs, a pin given to me from the frog collection of my dearly-departed fun-loving best friend Jan.I drove to the lilac gardens where I met my friend and red-hat sister Andy. We were there to meet a group of red hatters from Silverdale, Washington. They were arriving by bus to celebrate the Red Hat Society birthday by visiting our town’s spectacular gardens. One by one, forty-some ladies stepped off the shiny white bus in their red and purple.

When you combine reds and purples with the lavenders and pinks of the lilacs, you have the makings of some great photo ops. Flower lovers strolled the brick paths and sucked in the fragrance of the blossoms.

Noel Johnson of www.lewisriver.com was on hand to photograph the gathering. He and his wife Nancy stayed with our group all day, touring and visiting. Andy and I had a great time visiting with them at lunch, where Noel was delighted to be the only male dining with 44 ladies!

Andy left, and I went on to the next stop, the tulip fields. Rainbow colors spread across acres of fertile ground. By then the day was warm, and I was sorry to be wearing the wool hat and jacket, but happy to be spending the day with my new acquaintances.

The ladies boarded the bus to head for their last stop, a shopping trip to my husband’s discount variety store. They had a great time.

The kazoo is the official musical instrument of red hatters. Our store gave each lady a red and purple kazoo, and they could be heard humming “Yankee Doodle Dandy” into their kazoos outside our store. Inside, we presented Noel with a special gift, a windsock of a guy in red and purple attire with the saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” It was perfect for a guy who had just spent all day with a group of red-hatted ladies.

What a great day. I had walked away from all the things I thought were priorities, including my writing lessons. I had fun, I made some new friends, and I discovered some more things to write about. I waved as the big bus drove away and I went back to my desk, happy I’d made time for my date.

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