My old Orange Hat was a very special Hat, it was one I crocheted many, many years ago while living at the old Farm, on County Road 16, at R. R. # 4, Lanark Township. We had moved to the farm in 1977 from Ottawa.
The property we bought consisted of 150 Acres, with a Century Farm on it, and there was a very sweet Maple Bush and an old Sugar Shack. One has to remember that our little family had moved from a home that was about five years old. We lived in Beacon Hill, North in Gloucester, suburb of Ottawa.
My husband worked as the head electrician at the Pollution Control Centre (Sewage Treatment Plant) which was operated by the City of Ottawa. After finding this property it was decided that we would sell the new house and all, and move to the Country. Oh man Culture Shock, for sure. This would mean that hubby would be driving about 55 miles as the crow flies. Well this was on the bucket list, so we went with it.
Now the previous owner had operated a Market Organic Garden and he also processed Maple Syrup during the season. Here we were, two kids 9 and 5, a dog and a cat, and Nan came along with us. We were young and thought piece of cake, throw the seeds in and all of a sudden the veggies would come up and grow. I had 20 rows of asparagus, 200 feet long. It was ready to be harvested in Black Fly season. OH HELL! Now as if this was not enough before long we had 50 Chickens, 25 Turkeys, 2 pigs, 2 Geese, Muff and Duff and a few other barnyard creatures. We had a cute little Banty Rooster, and a few free range chickens and a Muscovy Duck, who was a frisky young fellow. Now the Muscovy did not stay with us to long. He would chase the kids and bite, he did leave a nice little pinch mark and it was not nice, so he went to reside with someone else.
When one takes on a new adventure, I do believe they sometimes think they are more ambitious than the ambition they have. Little did we think out our plans. Then nothing ventured, nothing gained so with the help of great neighbours and family, we soon learned some of the tricks of the trade. I never thought out what we were thinking of doing, Gerry was working in Ottawa and here was I doing the overseeing of our venture.
During the winter sometimes hubby did not make it home and stayed with family in Ottawa. I had lots of time on my hands in the evenings and decided I would fill in time doing crochet work. I had planned to put in vegetables again in the spring and thought maybe, you could make a garden hat. I could crochet and just how hard would it be to create my own designed, very special hat. I had bought some rattan craft thread, a nice orange, which I thought would be bright and cheery.
I have discovered that one does not necessarily need a pattern all you had to do is try it on every few rows for size and go from there. One has to remember that Nan had come up to the country and lived with us. She was an expert crochet guru and if I should run into trouble the expert was right there.
Well I tell you I had one of the best designed garden hat there was to be had and it sure was a bright orange. You were able to spot the hat from a good distant and I was extremely proud of my achievement. Now we went to the craft shop and I bought some miniature garden tools and attached to the hat for decoration. It was the talk of the town I am sure and when people stopped by to buy some of our asparagus in the Spring or the Corn in late Summer the hat was on my head and I sometimes wondered what they thought. When I think of it, it won a 1st prize in the Middleville Fair, imagine that. I have to say I did enjoy my old hat and it was with me all the time on the farm, eleven years.
Now when we moved to Perth the hat did come with us. It was a little tattered somewhat out of shape and had lost some of it’s zip. I managed to keep it going and wore it in my garden at 10 Victoria. I am sure the kids at the high school across the street thought, what the dickens has that women got on her head. I had noticed a few odd looks from time to time but it did protect me from the sun. During the winter one year I had left it hanging on the hook in the summer kitchen, well mother mouse had been looking for nest stuffing and chewed a wee hole in my crochet hat. Everyone knows that in crochet work if you don’t pick up and stitch the hole could grow, well it did until I discovered it in the Spring when I went to put it on my head. I did feel sad about my antique old orange garden hat, but then it had served its purpose.
For some reason I could not throw out the hat and just continued to wear it, I was attached to it and we had memories the old hat and I. Daughter dear would just groan if she happened to drop in and see me with it on.
Here we are October the ninth, in the year 1999, Daughter Dear’s wedding day. Now we were just about to leave for the wedding and I thought the Orange Hat. Daughter dear loved orange and I thought it might just do the trick. On went the hat, I borrowed the bridal bouquet and then called her to come and take a picture before we left. She did take a picture but assured me that it was not coming with us to the wedding, so back in the summer kitchen it went.
Now when we moved to our home on Bathurst in 2017, hubby and I came over the day before the move. Daughter dear was in charge of the move, the Orange Hat never made it in the move. I shudder to think it was deposited in the dumpster, that was the end of my hat that had been around since the Winter of 1977, POOR THING. Yes, I do miss my creation, my beautiful bright orange garden hat. I could have exposed it to my new neighbours in Perthshire, it was a Senior, sorry it was only 40 years old but I am over 65, a Senior so they tell
SO LONG MY DEAR HAT, I WILL MISS U
From the Pen
July 7, 2018
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte