Capped and Crowned: The Evolution of a Head in Helmets and Hoods


I’ve worn a lot of hats in my life—everything from mafia princess to university-professor, almost-homeless to full-fledged-homeowner.

Regular readers of my blog will know about my father’s ties to organized crime and my twenty year battle with bipolar disorder—the mad-hatter’s eventual crown–the one that’s all about recovery.  You’ve tipped your sombreros to my travels with Sara—both our defeats and victories in Vietnam.  You know my well-bee-ed bonnet about Haiti—have read about the poverty we saw there—sadness tarped across the hillsides of Port-au-Prince—Haitians with only tents to hang their hats.  You know the ultimate feather in my cap, however, has been my passion for partner Sara.  You know that together we have traveled the world with two white dogs—including a canine who literally wears conical hats.

My Maltese Lucy in Vietnam

So it only seems fitting that I share a few “hatted snapshots”—my life in helmets and hoods—

–Does child-“hood” involve pulling a rabbit out of a hat or wearing one?

child-"hood"

–You thought I was mad-hatted but what about wigged-out and red-headed in Wales?

–Why is a professor’s thinking cap always a beret?

–Hold onto your hats–Y2K is coming!  Do you remember?

–How did I go from a stocking-capped fear of homelessness to a hard-headed determination to build homes for others?

When I lived in government-subsidized housing--

My university, writing students and I--doing a service-learning project with Habitat for Humanity

–My travel with Sara—has it been a conical chronicle?

Mekong building project

Phuket, Thailand

Ke-Sat Village, Vietnam

Sorting shells in Vietnam

–Now we’re home from Haiti, and I’m tending my own garden, a happy home-owner in a white hat!

Summer 2011

Hats off to my readers for enduring this heady march through beanies and berets! 

Now, tell me something about yourself in the comments below—

What accomplishment has feathered your cap? 

Who’s your crown and glory?

23 thoughts on “Capped and Crowned: The Evolution of a Head in Helmets and Hoods

  1. Wow, I never thought hats could depict so many aspects of one’s personality, and yours comes shining through in each picture (even though I don’t know you very well..yet) 🙂 Really nice ones.
    How cool that you have so many hatted pictures of yourself! This inspires me to dig up as many as I can of my own….what a truly great idea for a blog post 😀
    I have always thought that my biggest accomplishment has been giving birth to my one and only daughter. She also happens to be my crown AND glory (i like the twist on that!)….with hubby coming in a close second 😉 hehe.

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    • You should do a similar post, Munira. This one was really fun to put together. I suspect similar stories could be told with shoes or just about anything we wear.

      Congratulations on a delightful daughter and wonderful husband. Hope you have a great day!

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  2. What accomplishment has feathered my cap? I would have to say not only surviving a divorce, but discovering the person I was truly meant to be in the process. None of what I consider the essential stepping-stones in my life – a fantastic road trip, publishing a book, etc. – would have happened had I remained married. An odd fact, but undeniable.

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    • Wow–that’s an amazing thing, Mark! How brilliant that you could use something so painful to grow in such a profound way. That’s the way I feel about my struggle with bipolar disorder–an experience I am grateful for. Great comment!

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  3. Oh my goodness these are even funnier! And hats off to you for your feathering! My own feather, and I have thought long and hard about this just recently when trying to answer what I think has been the greatest achievement in my life (you tend to do this when you reach 50:)). I realise it was the relationship I had with my last partner, a woman. When all is said and done, including the risk and the heartbreak, I think it was my single greatest achievement, the relationship that I had. Not sad or regrettable that it is over, just a simple truth 🙂

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    • What great insight, Penny. How incredible that something so painful could be your greatest achievement. I mentioned this in my response to Mark above, but that’s how I feel about the degree to which I’ve struggled with and recovered from my illness.

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  4. Hi Kathy, I love the way you brought hats into different stages of your life. I had a great friend who recently passed away from breast cancer. She had a hat for every occasion. I will always remember that vibrant personality and the hats she wore. I always admire people who rise above illness. What a strong person you must be. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. XX Ana

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    • It’s great to hear from you, Ana! Sorry to hear that your friend died, but I’m glad to know my silly post helped you remember something wonderful about her. I don’t know that I’m so strong, really. I just fight like hell! Thanks so much for the comment. Hope you’ll come back soon!

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  5. Very clever, Kathy! I love it. I wore a hat once to a family reunion because I needed a color job and wanted to hide the skunk effect from relatives I hardly ever saw. I do love hats though.

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