I turned 44 yesterday. And honestly: it felt great. I got to enjoy some extended time with God in the woods of West Branch State Park in the morning. I did some desk work in the afternoon. Then I got to celebrate with my family in the evening: eating homemade pizza and cake and opening presents… including a beautiful, brand-new Tilley Hat!
It’s hard for me to express just how much joy this silly hat brings to my soul. I’ve been wanting one for at least five years (I know this because I remember specific conversations about Tilley Hats with my children at Estes Park Leadership Training in 2016). My kids have been pretty resistant to the Tilley Hat. They’ve said that it would make me look old. And I always countered by saying that I’m getting older, anyway. Why not enjoy some of the benefits that come with aging, along with the drawbacks?!?
The Tilley Hat is incredibly well-designed. It just feels amazingly comfortable on my head. Excellent ventilation. It blocks sun and rain. It floats on water. The wind cords have a really clever design to keep the hat glued to one’s head in the fiercest mountaintop gales. And there’s even a secret Velcro pocket in the top of the crown (underneath the tag explaining the hat’s lifetime guarantee).
My adolescent children were not persuaded by any of these arguments, however. They groaned (audibly) whenever I found a display of Tilley Hats in a hiking store. And they refused to let me get such a hat until I was “old enough.” But after dropping some hints that I might take matters into my own hands before too long, they went in with Marci to get me a Tilley Hat for my birthday.
And I’m so happy they did.
I wore the hat for the rest of the evening, just for the joy of it. When I went to bed, I enjoyed the ridiculously-detailed Owner’s Manual for the Tilley Hat as recreational reading. Finally, I fell asleep, dreaming of hikes that will be all the more enjoyable with my very own Tilley Hat.