Newburyport Walking Winter 2009

I see my neighbor all the way down our Newburyport street. He has a day-glow orange winter hat on. I want one.

My neighbors, a lovely young family, have two dogs, which are technically “hunting dogs.” I never thought that they (the dogs and my neighbors) actually went hunting, but they do.

I find out this missing piece of information when I start my quiz about the nifty orange day-glow winter hat. (I have memories, which I share, of Marisa Tormei’s character in the movie “My Cousin Vinny,” when she laments about the cute little baby deer out prancing around, and then “BAM”), but no, they don’t hunt deer, just tiny little birds, sometimes. And no, they are not like Dick Cheney, they have never shot anyone in the face.

But the hat, I love the hat. During Newburyport winters, often the only safe place, or navigatable place, to walk when there is a lot of snow and ice, is in the middle of the street. And I tend to blend in with the surrounding, no red coats, at least not yet, for moi. And the bright day-glow orange hat would most definitely “stick out.”

I tell my neighbors that I too would like to look like a day-glow orange pumpkin head, and much to my delight, right before Christmas, they appear at my door, with a hat in hand.

On Christmas day, my son, who is now old enough to be beyond the “I am so embarrassed, you’ve got to be kidding me, you’re wearing a day-glow orange hat” phase, and I walk along the narrow car filled street of Newburyport’s historic district.

As a distracted holiday mother with a cell phone, and a busily driving teenager wiz by, my son nods his head in agreement. “Good idea Mom, I definitely get this one now.”

We pass some well known fellow walkers, who do not recognize me in my new day-glow paraphernalia. But when they are aware of who the mysterious person is, who is underneath the orange day-glow winter hat, they want one of those hats too.

So readers of the Newburyport Blog, who know me from my different walking routes, if you see a brightly colored, orange, day-glow pumpkin head moving along the street–c’est moi.