The Lost Hat


“I have lost my hat,” says the Bearded One.  He stands by the empty hook on the wall near the front door where his ancient, stained, filthy and beloved Tractor Supply Co. hat usually hangs.  I do not feel sadness or alarm.  This happens roughly once a week.

I’m at the kitchen sink doing the dinner dishes with hot water I heated on the stove.  Our hot water heater finally bit the dust this week, but not before melting something in the breaker box, thus requiring the services of both an electrician and a plumber and stretching out the ordeal for a week.  We’ve learned to help each other take surprisingly satisfying pioneer baths, which has greatly helped me in my efforts to not view this as a real hardship.


But I am keenly aware of cleanlines, and the Bearded One’s hat is easily the dirtiest thing allowed in the house.

This afternoon he wore it to our neighbor’s graduation party.  Granted, it was a backyard picnic, but the Bearded One has a clean new Tractor Supply Co. hat sitting in our closet specifically for shindigs.  Neither of us thought of it.  I should have noticed before I was standing in front of Edeltraut as she fumbled with her camera — “I got your heads anyvey!” she said.  I apologized to her and assured her that he usually doesn’t wear this hat to parties.  And that it certainly was not allowed at our kitchen table.

The Bearded One has now searched the entire house to no avail.  All of the great outdoors awaits.  He stands behind me and says nothing.


I turn around and see how hang-dog he is working to be.  Blatant flirting.  He’s not even interested in the ripe strawberries I’m cleaning in the sink, or the gorgeous pile of just-harvested kale, broccoli, and snap peas piled on the counter.  He only has eyes for his hat.

Strawberries, 1 week old chix 003

“Did you leave it up at the meat birds?” I ask.  Our 60 Cornish meat birds arrived last week —

Chicks arrive! 002

— the same day our hot water heater and breaker box made the melting-down smell.  One or the other of us has been up at the brooder every few hours or so during the days since then, refilling water and chick feed starter.

Chicks arrive! 012

They have already doubled in size.

Strawberries, 1 week old chix 016

Strawberries, 1 week old chix 019

It’s unlikely the Bearded One would even take the hat off up there, but where else could it be?


He doesn’t respond.  He stares into space, pretending to think hard.

“The last time I saw it it was full of eggs,” I say.


“One was decorated with a crust of chicken poop.”

He is bereft.  Lobotomized.  The loss of the hat is a deeper hardship to him than hot water.  I hope he finds it.

And within seconds he does.  “Found it!” he says, ecstatic.

I turn around to see where, but he’s already popped it onto his head.  The color returns to his face. As if he has had a pail of luscious hot water tenderly poured from the bucket of the finest bath wench ever seen.


“Where was it?” I ask.

“Under the kitchen table,” he confesses, “on the fourth chair where I put it during dinner.”

No wonder he couldn’t find it.  The hat is not allowed at the table.

21 responses to “The Lost Hat

  1. A classic. My favorite drawing is the Bearded One standing behind you saying nothing. That posture of loss captured in those impossibly simple lines. He’s a true artist. I’m feeling his love…for that hat!

    • I just read your comment to the B.O., Pierr, and it certainly got him off to a good start. Smiled and everything! lol Nothing like being called a true artist by a true artist. Thanks.

  2. Isn’t it funny how there is The Hat that they have to wear? Hubby has a gazillion hats, I swear — but not just any of them will do. I don’t think he worries as much when he misplaces his Leatherman or pocket knife as when he can’t find The Hat. One of my favorites of his hats is the one that says “PETA – People Eating Tasty Animals.”
    Good luck with your water heater (ugh) and your cute little Cornishes. Tasty!

    • The B.O. eschews even the purchase of other hats! sigh He has just these two, The Hat, and the identical, clean, shindig hat in the closet. He just might shell out for a PETA hat like your husband, though. Thanks for the empathy on the hot water heater….we’re okay, but I’m happy the electrician comes today and the plumber tomorrrow. I’ll be sure to notice their hats. 🙂

  3. Christine Widman

    Pierr, I totally agree about the “posture of loss” – brilliant stick emotion.
    I looked at the drawing and I just went crumbly inside… and then lol lol at Christi’s stick figure continuing task at hand “J” orientation. lol
    And Christi, tell the Bearded One that I also delighted in the “hide and seek” of the red hat throughout the “Lost Hat” story.
    I have the same “lost of favorite articles” phobia! I go searching the house berserk if I can’t find something that matters to me on a daily basis in my life. Did that recently over my pair of orange-handled scissors. Oh the utter relief when I found them.
    Sigh. The idiosyncrasies of our human-ness.
    I am just plain full out in love with this aspect of your blog.
    The artistry & tenderness in showing our human-ness as we daily live on this planet.
    Thanks thanks thanks thanks.

  4. Don’t we all have those “filthy hats” in our lives? Little posessions and habits that we carry with us that our friends and lovers HATE but that we don’t care…we love them anyway. That hangdog “help me” is endemic in men. Steve gets bereft when he loses things which happens about 47 times a day because Steve doesn’t put things back where he found them, indeed he found them someplace he left them last and they will not be returned. We have hooks for keys and for binoculars and a shed for throwing every imaginable “man thing” into but he clings stubbornly to his need for absolute freedom from organisation at all costs and at all times. I am a creature of place. I like things to just “be” where I can find them. When they go missing I know who to blame ;).

    • I’ve just been informed that “chicks dig angst and dejection” as an explanation for the hang-dog among males. Hm. I think that might have a bit of truth, but it’s a definitely got a shelf life, eh? lol

      • Yeah…tell the B.O. that “chicks” are generic females not wives! 😉 We married chicks know the ins and outs of your wily ways men and good luck getting one past us on any given day other than a day that we are taking pity on your pathetic attempts to manipulate us 😉 (be thankful you are married to Christi B.O. there are worse things in life you know, I am one of them! 😉 )

      • lol Fran, he thinks of it as FLIRTING. Why do I love him so??? 🙂 but I do. Be nice to Steve when he gets up…he hasn’t read the blog yet. 😉

      • I tend to let Steve wander around the house half asleep for the first hour of the day, I find it sets him up well for the rest of his day ;). After we walk the dogs he seems to wake up a bit more…who wouldn’t with Bezial attempting to drag him down embankments at any opportune moment? 😉 Steve must be flirting we me 24/7 I am just too stupid to realise it, I thought he was being bolshie! 😉

  5. Yikes! It seems like having electricity problems would make getting the meat birds a little bit nerve-wracking! I like the picture of a goat stealing the bearded one’s hat 😀 they’re on your side!

    • Erika, we have electricity, just not for the hot water heater. No electricity at all for a week would be a nightmare. Please don’t test me, God. 🙂

      • Oh, thank goodness! I wasn’t sure how widespread it was! Also, I wanted to tell you, I decided to wash the fleece to keep the dogs out of it, since they’ve never smelled anything as interesting as farm goats. I took pictures to send you at some point!

      • Oooo, I look forward to the pictures, Erika, and I know what you mean about the dogs interested in the smell. I’M interested in the smell! 🙂

      • I’ll get them uploaded as soon as possible! And at least you don’t bite the wool! 😉

  6. I Love BO’s sticky men/women drawings. i especially love your recounting of your life on the farm. I miss the wide spaces and differing busy-ness of a more organic lifestyle 😀

    • Thank you, and if I’m not mistaken, you are Fran’s sister and a fellow blogger and I’m very glad to meet you! Ours is indeed a life of differing busy-ness, but with no commute, and I highly recommend it. I’ve enjoyed your recipes, “Pinkus”, and will continue to check in on your adventures.

      • Thank you Christi. Sadly, I’m not as wonderful a wordsmith as my precious elder sister “Fronkii”, it takes me a time to put pen to paper sometimes. Like Fran, I enjoy sharing what I can do if it helps out someone else living on this great blueish planet. I gain so much from the blogs I follow in return. xox

  7. Just got back from another trip, went up through Michigan to Canada and back. Stayed on a farm with two very cool people like you two. The gentleman was a little older than me, after a great home cooked meal we sat an talked. He revealed that he was born in the kitchen sink. 🙂

    Life is good.

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