Hats off to my Red Hat wife and friends

December 30, 2013

Over the years, it has been said that I am somewhat like the Grinch at Christmas. "Just get a McDonald's gift card," I have said to my wife. "Put it in an envelope and send it off.  Make it easy on yourself."  All I got in return was a look of total exasperation.

This year, things are different.  Though I've never been excited about my wife's Red Hat association, over the last three weeks I've been rather impressed with ruffles, silks, feathers and outrageous hats as women in different Red Hat chapters joined my wife at our home (three different times in two weeks) for her wonderful buffets, gift exchanges with Santa overseeing, and jolly songs with my wife at the accordion - something she hasn't been able to do for awhile.

What makes me happiest is that she is still here after a rough year. You may not see me in church, but I do know prayers that were said for my wife kept her lifted up.

Guests were aked to bring a dozen or more cookies.

Never have  I seen so many cookies in my life even though I came from a baking mother and grandmothers!  After Maxine's last party on Thursday, the gals took off their hats, put tea towels over their finery, and began to pack cookies.

I was actually persuaded to leave my favorite chair and iPad and take buffet dishes to shut ins; and, in my red jacket and hat (George, can you believe?) transported cookies by the dozens to Home of the Brave where I met some fantastic guys and the director!  Boy, that was impressive!  On top of one of the bags was a note from my wife: "With love and gratitude from the Red Hats."

This year, when she appeared in feathers, and other stuff in purple and red with her ridiculous hats, to answer our door as hostess, I didn't say, "Oh my God, you're not really going to wear that are you?"  Instead, I said, "Honey, you really look terrific!"  And, I meant it!

This year, Christmas is kinda of special.  My Grinch hat is still in the attic.  But, if I had it on, I would do a hat's off to my wife.

Charles M. Ungerbuehler

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