Hunting for a Photo

When I was looking through the media files on my blog a couple of days ago to find the clip art image of three witches I wanted to reuse to illustrate that day’s blog, I came across the photo of the first hat I decorated. It surprised me to see the hat because I hadn’t realized I’d taken a picture of it; I hadn’t realized I’d ever uploaded it to the blog, and I had no idea why I’d done so. In the original article I’d written about the grief upsurge the loss of the ribbon had caused, I’d never actually mentioned the ribbon. I only said that the thing I lost wasn’t important in the grand scheme of life and death, but it was important to me. It made me feel good, but more than that, it was a symbol, in a way, of my struggles to create a new life for myself. And somehow, that symbol had blown away in the wind. It didn’t change the facts of my new life, of course, since it was only a symbol. And as I can attest, although the symbol is gone, my new life is still here. I am still here.

And, apparently, the hat with the ribbon is still here, at least as an image even though the hat itself fell apart several years ago. It was seeing that photo that prompted me to write yesterday’s blog entry about hat heads, but when it came time to publish the article, I couldn’t find the photo again. I knew I’d seen it — I mean, I hadn’t even remembered what the hat looked like until I saw the photo, so it wasn’t a trick of memory that made me think I’d seen the hat. I did begin to wonder, though, because I went through my blog’s media library three times, which is a real pain. I seldom tag my photos because it used to be easy enough to find the year I thought I’d uploaded the photo and just look through that year, but with scrolling, that’s not possible. I have to scroll through all the photos to find the one I want (which should teach me to tag the photos so I can find them again).

When I still couldn’t find the picture of the hat after scrolling through all the photos the third time, I checked the photos on my computer and even the photos that are stored elsewhere online, but still couldn’t find it.

After an hour, I finally gave up and used the photo of the second hat I’d decorated with one of my sister’s gift ribbons.

It bothered me, though, that I couldn’t find the picture. I realize I have fourteen years of blogs and blog photos, but still, it’s a finite number. I should have been able to find it within a reasonable length of time. When I came home from work yesterday evening, I decided to try once more. I vaguely remembered it was near a cartoonish clip art image of two men fighting, so I looked for that photo. And right next to it, at the end of the row of photos, there was my hat.

I’d forgotten about checking the edges of the page of photos. From my stint copyediting, I learned that we tend to look in the middle of the page, so any errors that show up (and obviously, images that don’t show up) in an edited page are generally found close to the margins.

I’ll remember for next time. I’m just glad I found the photo (shown below) so I can stop wondering where I’d seen it and why I couldn’t find it again.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Happy National Hat Day!

Ever since I came to stay in this dusty desert community, I’ve worn hats to ward off the glare and to protect myself from the ravages of the sun. When my old straw hat wore out, all I could find was a hat that looked like a gardener’s hat, so I spruced it up with a fancy ribbon that had once adorned a gift. Realizing how fun it was to wear lavish hats, I’ve become somewhat of a collector — not just of hats, but hat trimmings. For example, my basic black indestructible hat is currently bedecked with the ribbon from the gift basket I received this Christmas.

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Usually I try to match the decoration to my outfit (I hesitated over the choice of the word since what I wear can’t actually be called an “outfit.” If I’m walking to or from dance class, I generally wear black leggings, a black t-shirt and some sort of bright scarf to add color, otherwise I wear whatever is handy.)

Sometimes, if I feel a need for a bit of silliness in my life, I don a quirky hat, such as this crown of crows, though I have to admit, I usually wear a single crow because two is just a tad too zany even for me.

zany hat

This lovely, very expensive chapeau seems to suit me — sedate and whimsical all at once — though I seldom wear it. It seems more fitting for soirees and teas than for cutting through empty lots on the way to dance class. Besides, it’s so light, I’m afraid it would blow away in the frequent winds .

Pat Bertram

I also have a couple of very broad-brimmed hats, a cowboy hat and a wool Irish walking hat that used to belong to Jeff, a cotton hat that used to be my father’s, two cowgirl hats, an assortment of insignia-less ball caps, a red stocking cap so long it wraps around my neck, and various other hats.

So, what hat did I wear on this day set aside to celebrate hats?

None. I drove to the dance studio because I had to run an errand afterward, and since I didn’t need to worry about protecting myself from the sun, I left my hat behind.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, andDaughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.