Mystical green hat and red shoes

Green hat

Green hat

Years ago I wanted to tell you a story.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging at that time.  Taking a break, as you’d have it.

So the story was swallowed away into memory.

Today I am going to share the story of the green hat from years ago.

I once knit a green-olive hat.  The locals here would call it a “chook”.  A winter hat to keep the ears warm when temperatures dived below the 20’s.  It was a beloved hat.  A hand knit, beloved hat.

One day Barry and I attended a hockey game at Michigan Tech University.  We cheered for the Huskies!  We probably took photos.  We left and drove home.

Hockey spectator in stands

Hockey spectator in stands

I suddenly realized my hat was missing.

It had disappeared at the hockey game.

Such grief!  Such wailing!  (OK, maybe quiet sniffling.)

I returned to Michigan Tech and beseeched them.  Had they found a green-olive hat in the stands?  Had anyone turned over a lost green hat?

No, they said, sadly.  No, they said, shaking their hockey-loving heads.  No, they said.  We did not find a green hat.

I returned home to sniffle some more.

Let’s fast forward past the sniffles.

There is a store in Houghton, Michigan, called Surplus Outlet.  It features all sorts of random items like hats.  Sports paraphernalia.  Shoes.  Jackets.  Key chains.  I don’t know–oddities that a person might want to buy.

Barry and I went in there one freezing January night.  Oh!  There on the shelf, dangling in front of me, lingered a green hat.  A hat for my soul!  I swooned.  The Universe was providing a gesture of love in return for the hat it stole from me.


February, 2013.  The hat Barry won for me at the fishing derby.

This hat, though worthy of another blog, is not my soul hat.  I’m sure you have hats like this.  Filled with joy and friendship and meaning, but not your soul hat.

I did not have any coat that matched said green color.  Another “safer” black and white hat beckoned my sensibilities.  Barry voted for the black and white hat that matched my current coat.

I paid for the black and white hat and walked away, a rational human being.  A human being with a rational hat.

But it was not the green soul hat.  I left the green soul hat hanging on the hook, dangling in front of my spirit, and chose rationality instead.

And what flavor of toothpaste would you like?

A different kind of soul hat.

Of course, one cannot forget a soul hat.  Could you?  It lingered at the edge of dreams, calling me.  It begged, “Why did you forsake me?”  It finally propelled me back to the Surplus Outlet store to purchase its fine dream-like greenness.

But by the time I returned–it was no longer there. It no longer preened gaily on the shelf.  Perhaps someone else bought its beauty.  Perhaps someone else wore its spirit.  I was out of luck, it seemed.

The kind sales clerk said, “Well, if you like–our old unsold stock goes down the basement.  You could look down there.  Perhaps your green hat is there.”

So I hurried down the stairs to the basement and dug through box after box of random items, begging the Universe.  Please, green hat!  Please appear!  Show yourself to me and I shall love you forever!

And lo and behold!  At the bottom of the last box sat the soul-beautiful green hat.  At half price.  I marched upstairs like a queen, like the winner of a marathon, like the most grateful person on the planet and purchased the green hat.  It was mine!  Forevermore!  Amen.

OK, if you’ve survived this green hat story, I am going to tell you another tale.


Red shoes

About this week.  About two days ago.  In which I was up in Houghton on a magical morning–not your usual dull or boring morning, mind you.  I was walking along the canal and listening to my deepest self share deep meaning about this and that.  I meandered into the Houghton County Library and discovered a book which further elaborated on the deep meaning theme.  (Don’t you love days like that?  When your thoughts and feelings are confirmed in physical reality?  When life blends together like a delightful soup filled with nourishing broth and vegetables?)

I suddenly remembered that I needed a pair of tennis shoes.  Apparently they are called “sneakers” if you’re not in the Midwest, and if you’re not born during a certain age.  You know, walking shoes. Running shoes.  Shoes to wear when you’re meandering along a canal, listening to your deepest inner voice.

My inner voice whispered, “Imagine your perfect pair of shoes.  Don’t image what they look like.  Imagine how good you’ll feel wearing them.”

So I imagined a pair of red tennis shoes (sneakers).  Red, mind you.  Red, the color of life and love and joy.  I imagined my heart beating in absolute delight at the redness of these particular sneakers.

Pam's red feet--and her grandchild's bare feet

Pam–I think I am stealing this photo from you!  Because I typed in “red” and this photo magically appeared…

Then I walked up to the Surplus Outlet store–yes, the same place where the magical hat appeared years ago–and headed for the shoes.

There!  Sitting so prettily, so boldly, in red-maroon vibrancy–sang a pair of red shoes.  With just as much spirit as the green hat.  With just as much soul, they announced themselves and begged me to try them on.

So I did.

And fell in love with them.

There are, dear reader, soul clothes waiting for you at stores.  Clothes that sing to your spirit.  Clothes that dance in your dreams.  The more rational of us will not find them.  They will find rational clothes.  Rational hats, rational shoes.

I beg you not to settle for rational.  Keep looking for soul clothes.  They’re out there.  Calling to you.  I beg you to heed this inner call.

Please tell me you’ve found soul clothes during your time on this planet.  At least one magic hat or shoes or gloves or dress.  (And if you haven’t–start your sacred quest tomorrow–at the latest!)

Red shoes.  Green hat.

Red shoes. Green hat.


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May 2019 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Mystical green hat and red shoes

  1. dorannrule says:

    You look so happy in your red shoes and green hat! I My only memory of soul clothes is a green velvet dress I wore at as bout age 10. It would not fit me now but I keep looking for green velvet…have found it in a robe!

    • Kathy says:

      Dor, I am smiling thinking of your green velvet dress and the joy it gave you as a young girl! Thank goodness you found its spirit reincarnated as a robe. LOL! Love that!

  2. pilar8159 says:

    Adorable tales… Bless you!

  3. dawnkinster says:

    When I was 5 or 6 I had a blue dress with red flowers, rounded color and most importantly a pocket. It was my ‘milk money dress’ because I wore it on Mondays, the day we had to give 10 cents to our teacher in order to buy milk for our lunch (or snack?) for the week. And my mom would put a dime in my pocket so I’d have it for school. Later on when I outgrew my favorite dress it went to my sister. She fondly remembers it as her milk money dress too.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, what a sweet story of your “milk money dress”. I can almost picture you wearing it. A precious soul dress in your memory, indeed. ❤

  4. Stacy says:

    I love the clothes of your soul, Kathy! Oh, how many times I can tell you I passed something up, only to regret it. And even worse, to sell something at a garage sale that I wished I hadn’t. The solution I’ve found to the latter is to put the thing in the attic and let its absence settle on me. If I don’t miss it in a year or two, I can safely say goodbye….to clothing or any other thing. Isn’t it weird how we get so attached to things? ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, that sounds like a good plan–to put your precious clothes in the attic–and then wait to see if you really can part with it. To give yourself time to say goodbye, as it were. Then you know for sure if it’s time with you is over. (And if you pass it on through a resale shop, then it may become someone else’s favorite.)

      Remembering now a beautiful Parisian-styled skirt that my girlfriend passed on to me about 2007 when I lost a lot of weight. She had gained some, so was prepared to part with it, even though she loved it. Years later I had gained the weight back–and she lost it–so we exchanged the skirt again. It was lovely. Wondering if she still has it. 🙂

  5. sybil says:

    Can’t think of anything at the moment but will let you know if I remember. I also love your choice of images …

    • Kathy says:

      Thanks, Sybil. I do enjoy scrounging in my image file here at WordPress and typing in things such as “red” or “hat” and seeing what comes up. Usually something random–which I love because of its randomness. Have you come up with any soul clothes since typing this? Would love to hear if something tugs you.

  6. How I love your story of your soul clothes, and in particular, your soul hat and soul shoes. As I read your post, I was wondering if I had/have any soul clothes, and nothing came to mind until I saw my photo in your blog – my red socks cuddling with my 4-year-old grandson’s bare feet. (Isn’t that amazing that my photo is ‘out there’ in the universe, under “RED”?) I have always wanted a pair of red shoes. They will go with nothing, but they will be RED and look fun with my blue jeans or even just black leggings. But instead, I bought red socks. And they are SOULfull.
    When looking at photos from the past, when I was a child, a teenager, a young adult, I see me wearing an outfit and suddenly my heart lifts and I think “how I loved that dress.” May we all have in our wardrobe a piece of clothing that makes our soul sing.

    • Kathy says:

      “They will go with nothing.” YES! That was the great magical leap I needed to make. To watch dozens of people at airports wearing bright sometimes multi-colored shoes. To see them wearing their brightness “just because”. That may be part of the soul-fullness of it all. To “just because”. Because they make the heart sing.

      Speaking of which, I think it’s only in my WordPress blog where I typed in “red” and your sock picture popped up. Probably from that time we switcher-ood. (Was that our word?)

      P.S. Your dress story reminds me of my love for a kindergarten napping mat. It was light yellow with little school buses and other pictures on it. I loved that mat. It was a soul mat, too.

      • Aren’t we lucky to have soul shoes and soul mats. I wish everyone realized that really they are made up of lots of soul love in all sizes, shapes, and forms. Right now I am sitting on my soul rocking chair out on my porch listening to the soulful sounds of the chimes above me and the birds singing in front of me . Ahhh…

  7. I love that you persisted in your search – back to the store, to the basement, to the bottom of the stacks – to find the hat that called to your soul. We could all learn from you, for not accepting the ordinary, or practical, or “in-line” choice when something magical is calling. In clothing, and in life!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, the hat was singing in the ethers, calling me, beckoning, saying “Do not forsake me!” Ha ha, such drama. I love that you appreciated this! ❤

  8. Robin says:

    You look so happy and comfortable in your green hat and red shoes. 🙂 I’ve had soul shoes (purple, red, pink). And recently I bought the most comfortable, soft, t-shirt that I’d like to live in forever (on it is printed a cute little bird with the words “Believe there is good”).

    Wonderful stories with a good lesson in there. Thank you. ❤

    • Robin says:

      lol! I completely forgot about my avatar until it popped up next to my name. There are my purple shoes with pink laces. 😀

      • Kathy says:

        Dear Robin, you show your purple soul shoes to the world! How funny that your gravatar decided to tap you on the shoulder and say “Remember me!” Your t-shirt sounds lovely. You just reminded me that I have a soul t-shirt I sleep in. It is soft and comfy, too, but has the word “Unkindness” on it. I bought it because it shows ravens alighting from a tree and thought it said “Kindness”. However, a flock of ravens is called an “unkindness”…who knew? I love this t-shirt, if but for no other reason then it seems to be a non-dual t-shirt. Or something. lol.

  9. debyemm says:

    I once bought myself a unobtrusive forest green knit hat. It is still a favorite. Yes, it felt as though it matched my soul.

    Then, in Hawaii I bought a sundress with big tropical flowers and felt beautiful wearing it places while we were on the island. After we returned home, I saw a photo of myself wearing it. I was horrified. I felt ridiculous because it looked awful on me (there were no mirrors in our tent or at the beach shelter showers, so I never saw what I looked like while there in Hawaii).

    Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Happy Thursday !!

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, just wondering–does your soul green knit hat look like mine? Or somewhat different? And, oddly enough, I bought a soul Hawaii dress, too, that ended up making me feel nervous when I wore it. I wonder if soul clothes aren’t necessarily meant to look beautiful to others? Maybe only to ourselves. Maybe only to what they make us FEEL inside. Just wondering. I know soul clothes don’t fall into “usual” categories. And Happy Friday to you!

      • debyemm says:

        Soul clothes perfectly describes it. My green hat is more muted colors than yours, I believe. I’ve searched everywhere and can’t seem to lay my hands on it – though I’m relatively certain it is here – somewhere. Anyway, it made me think of forests. Some touches of brown and muted gold interwoven I believe without having it in front of me.

  10. Carol says:

    Soul hat and soul shoes – truly you have your soul covered from both ends. Live, love, and be happy!

    • Kathy says:

      Hmmm, Carol, never really thought about it like this before reading your comment. Soul clothes to cover both ends. I like that thought!

  11. Lori says:

    The trouble with soul-clothes is that they eventually wear out or I get too fat for them. I’ve had several items of soul-clothes. I don’t have any at the moment, because I’m getting to large to fit into anything these days. 😦 It so happens that I had a pair of lovely green suede winter gloves that kept my hands oh-so warm in winter. Unfortunately, not long after we moved back to the cold, I lost one of them. Have no idea where. Also had pair of jeans I used to love. I’m wearing them in a photo with my beloved boy, Piezon where he’s hugging me. Have way outgrown those, and they are gone. 😦

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, did you read what I remembered when typing a reply to Stacy’s comment up above? It can be SO challenging to keep soul clothes when our weight rises and falls. Will copy & paste:

      Remembering now a beautiful Parisian-styled skirt that my girlfriend passed on to me about 2007 when I lost a lot of weight. She had gained some, so was prepared to part with it, even though she loved it. Years later I had gained the weight back–and she lost it–so we exchanged the skirt again. It was lovely. Wondering if she still has it. 🙂
      P.S. Lori, sorry about your lovely green winter gloves. And those beloved jeans, too.

      • Lori says:

        Thanks, Kathy. Sorry I didn’t read the other comments today. I do when I have more time. Thanks for pasting. Nice that you were able to exchange “skinny clothes.” 😉

        • Kathy says:

          Lori, no problem about not reading comments–I usually don’t read them myself unless they’re short or I have lots of time. Enjoy your weekend!

  12. Barb says:

    You make me smile, Kathy. You look very content in the green hat and red shoes. Do not lose that hat! Your story reminded me of my shawl which I’ve had over 10 years now. I take it with me when we travel (it’s here at the beach with me), I carry it when I’m going to a special event, and I use it at home when I’m reading and feel chilled. When I saw it in the store, I was drawn to it. When I touched it, my hand would not let go. It is the most expensive garment I have ever bought in my 75 years. I hope someone remembers to wrap me in it when I’m dying. I know it will bring me comfort.

    • Kathy says:

      You just made me laugh, Barb! I will TRY not to lose this hat! Your shawl sounds absolutely lovely. It does feel like a soul shawl. I am glad you take it when you travel. And that you want to take it on your final journey, as well. Truly a soul shawl. xoxoxo

  13. I love this post! Especially: “Don’t you love days like that?  When your thoughts and feelings are confirmed in physical reality?” Times when that happens let me know I’m on the right path. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathy says:

      Sherri, those moments do make us feel that we’re on the right path, that all the stars are aligned, that the Universe is suddenly giving us a big hug of confirmation. Thank YOU for sharing your thoughts here!

  14. Elisa says:

    LOL were you eveeeeeeeesdropping Kathy?!?! bwaaahahahaha with tears in my eyes (yes universe i hate hate hate that shirt i bought cause that is all they had that i could afford) lol
    it is SO much easier to muster gratitude for soul things!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh yes, Elisa, I totally get it. When we buy those things we don’t really love for some reason other than soul. Have been there, done that, so many times. And maybe (who knows?) we need to do this in order to better appreciate our soul clothes when they appear??!!

  15. Elisa says:

    Actually that IS a soul hat both items are perfect!

  16. sherrysescape says:

    I love your gentle wit and sense of humor and your stories! I missed you at Book Club.

    • Kathy says:

      Awww, Sherry, that makes me feel so good this morning! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And I’ll bet Book Club was lovely. Am wondering if someone will give a shout out soon about the new book, meeting date and location. Hope to make it next time!

  17. Janet Zahn says:

    Hoo boy! I loved this telling of your soul clothes, and can totally relate. I have both red shoes and green hat myself.

    My red shoes were bought on Mother’s Day in Madison WI 3 years ago when I was visiting dear friends. They secretly arranged for the Beautiful Daughter to surprise me by flying in from PDX. We share a love for shoes and ended up buying the same pair, mine in red and hers in black. Those red shoes for me, are a reminder of a wonderful weekend, and how, as Jess would say it, “we are, as always, two versions of the same cute shoes”

    The green hat was a random find at Target at least 15 years ago. It is forest green, and soft, with a small brim. It was hanging out on a sale rack and I think I paid about 4 or 5 dollars for it, so I was super happy for the “great find” . As it happens, I still love and wear it during the winter and get compliments all the time.

    Mystical, soul clothes….those items that have a little magic in them. Thanks for another sweet peek into your life, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      Janet, I loved reading your mystical magical red shoes and green hat story. I love seeing you here! I love that both of our daughters live in Portland! And I love that dear friends arranged secretly to surprise you with Beautiful Daughter’s presence. Ahhh life! Glad you appreciate the magic, too. ❤

  18. maryannetuck says:

    Perfect! Your shoes are my to speak.

  19. Judi says:

    Oh JOY! I loved your soul clothes story! I’ve had numerous things that were definitely my soul clothes. The one thing that comes to mind is my lovely, white, jacket that I bought at a used clothing store ages ago. I wore it until it just couldn’t hold together any longer and my body outgrew it 😦 I passed it along to the used clothing store even though it had some faults and failures because I could not imagine it being placed on the trash heap. I wanted it to be worn by someone who would love it as I did. Also, when I was a youngster (maybe about 10. 11, 12) I was shopping with my Mom and saw a dress with an orange petal collar that just enchanted me! I soooooo wanted that dress, but either my Mom talked me out of it or I felt guilty asking for it since our clothing allowance was meager. I’ve never forgotten that lovely little dress with that amazing collar! I wonder if I could make one for myself today?!?

    • Kathy says:

      Judi, I so loved reading your enthusiasm over your soul clothes here! (I think I got equal joy out of YOUR joy!!) Your white jacket sounds sublime, and I love how you passed it on so others could appreciate its beauty As for that orange petal color dress…feeling for your young heart that wanted it so much. Yes, I definitely think you should make one for yourself today. Or one to give away to another small girl at a second-hand shop. Yes, you totally must do it. ❤

  20. Wonderful write up, sometimes things we love always come back to us.

  21. Hal Manogue says:

    A well-written story of soul searching that captures the essence of inner-personality expressions.

    • Kathy says:

      Hal! How nice to hear from you! Thank you for sharing this. (Hope you have some soul clothes too…) ❤

      • Hal Manogue says:

        Yes. I just cleaned out my closet filled with decades of soul clothes. But I did manage to give one pair of unworn pants away.

  22. anthonywilliams2 says:

    Wow! what a great story sometimes things we love always come back to us.

  23. The Grave Digger says:

    Sometimes we fail to remember how much those soul hats get warn out from so much love & pride wearing them, even if others think they silly but it’s there loss not mine.

  24. sonalikande says:

    Enjoyed the cute stories! I don’t have any hats…. what am I doing! 😉

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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