I've been a bit nomadic in my life and find it has made me pretty adaptable. When arriving in a new town I've made friends through work, my kid's school and activities, church or in the neighborhood.
Ten years ago I moved to Emmetsburg and in the first couple of years I found it difficult to meet people. I was working from home and for the past several years had suffered from frequent migraine headaches, which made it difficult to get out and meet people. I was busy caring for a family and home and, when I felt well enough, I worked from my home office. I missed having nearby friends and was so excited to learn about the Red Hat Society as it seemed like a great way to meet other women who wanted a little more fun in their lives.
Searching the internet I learned that to be a Red Hat you need to be 50 or better, however those less than 50 could still enjoy membership as a Pink Hat. I called the clubs listed in our area only to be disappointed to learn they had closed their membership when their clubs became too full.
Further research taught me I could start a group of my own... and so I did, in 2004. We began with three founding members and named our group the Queens of De'Nile. Over time our numbers have grown and friendships developed as fun times were had. We've gone to a lot of places, seen lots of things and have had some great laughable experiences.
Red Hat groups generally gather once a month to do something fun. In our group we each take a month during the year to plan an activity. We have a Queen Mum who keeps us all updated throughout the year and in our group we rotate the position of Queen Mum each year so that no one has to feel that membership requires too much effort. It's all about women getting together to have fun!
On the first Saturday of December each year all of the local Red Hat clubs come together for a Christmas party. The clubs in our area take turns planning and hosting the event. Generally 75-100 ladies show up to celebrate the friendship of women.
This year will be our club's second opportunity to host the party. We've been busy throughout the year planning menus, creating invitations and decorations, purchasing prizes, making ornaments for each guest and procuring the best entertainment we could find in our region. This year Billie James (the Awesome Aussie) will be performing for us. She delights the crowds at Little Swan Lake Winery each Thursday evening and has played several other events in our community. We are so fortunate to have an entertainer of this class in our area and are so excited that she'll be performing for our Red Hat party!
This will be my last event as a Pink Hat as in the coming year I will turn 50, 'Reduate' and begin wearing a red hat after eight years in pink. There have been a handful of other Pink Hats but I am the last remaining so I am hopeful that other women, less than 50, will decide to be a Pink Hat soon.
Being a "Hatter" has been a great way to build wonderful friendships and get to know women from our community that I'd otherwise not have met. I've also had lots of opportunity to have fun and go places that I wouldn't have on my own.
If you're a woman (of any age) who happens to be looking for a little more fun or a few new friends I highly encourage you to contact a Red Hat Society group today as I've learned... there's always room for more Red and Pink Hats!