Here is a picture of my last year's Christmas gift from my husband. It is a Civil War spoon bonnet covered in beautiful silk with silk ties for under the chin. It features cotton lace around the brim and on the bevolet in the back. I love it because my hubby thought of it, searched for it and bought it all by himself. I plan to make a silk gown later this Winter to go with my Best Bonnet.
The picture above is a small part of my hat/bonnet collection. I keep them on this quilt cabinet in my guest bedroom. It is picturesque to see all of the hats in different hues and different heights. Reminds me of all the personalities I have met through blogging and our picturetrail site. Some are more colorful than others, some are more quiet but they are all friends with their unique personalities.
The oldest bonnet in my collection. It is called a coif and comes from the late 1600's or the early 1700's. It is a beautiful linen bonnet with cut velvet designs and wonderful golden metallic embroidery around the brim of the bonnet. I love to wonder who wore this and when. I can see a young woman drawing water from the stream or another young bride preparing herself to meet her groom. Or perhaps it is a spinster sitting in the window with her flax wheel~ clippity-clop, clippity-clop. Whoever wore it was one lucky girl and now I am the lucky one to own such a treasure.
Old black bonnet of tafetta was made for me by my grandmother in the early 1970's. I loved old country things even then and asked her to make me a bonnet reminiscent of what she wore as a girl. This ruffled crown is what she presented. It is the style she wore in the field to pick feed corn, or into the large chicken houses on a cold Winter's day to collect eggs, it's what she wore to town i south Georgia on Saturday in the rickety old wagon and what she wore to church on Sunday morning when she praised the Lord. It is simple, quilted with the stitches of love of a granny for her granddaughter and I cherish it.
Pictured above is the most important hat to me. In 1997 I had a major double brain aneurysm to erupt above the brain plate in the center of my head. None of us thought I would see another week of life but God had the different plan. I underwent the surgery to clip the bleeders and received an incision on my scalp from the center of my forehead across the hairline to below the front of my right earlobe. It was ghastly and I was somewhat embarrassed but thankful to be alive after the ordeal. My husband bought me scores of hats and turbans to wear so that I could hide the ugly scar reminder until my hair grew back in.
Well, after 9 weeks of ICU in the Neurological section of the hospital I was able to go to church, a 'day' date with my husband after weeks of pleading with the doctor and hospital personnell. The church knew we were coming. I was so glad to be off that hospital bed and on the way to my Father's House. We arrived just as morning service started. I think the sun shone brighter, the trees were greener, smiles were warmer, life was good. When I walked into the sanctuary on my husband's arm, every woman and girl in the church was sitting there wearing hats! Every color and style you could imagine. I found out later that they didn't want me to be intimidated by wearing a hat to church since I never wore one and this is the hat I wore.
At the end of service the altar was rich with praise for my well-being and everyone came around me and brought money, fives, tens and twenties and began pinning the money to my hat and my dress. I began to cry at such an outpouring of love and compassion and I sat on the front pew of the church holding my face which was burning hot with the tears of joy. Suddenly, one by one, the women and girls came to me, bent down and tenderly hugged me an kissed me and expressed their love for me and presented their hats by laying them at my feet or beside me on the bench. Each had purchased new hats for me and wore them that day so that I could feel their special love for me.
I will never forget that covering of love that day and I feel it even today though I am no longer at that church and no longer wear a hat to cover my scar for I feel the covering of God's Spirit on my life,...His banner over me is love!