Natalie’s Prompt: Where is home for you? Go. Ten minutes.
Some say home is where you hang your hat. I’ve got a bunch of hats. It seems that whenever I visit someplace new I get a hat. When I was a big dude, buying shirts didn’t make much sense because I could seldom find one that would fit me anyway. And, being a balding chap, hats hid the proof.
I’ve got a really cool hat from the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. We went there the day after the power went out in New York a few years back. It was quite a caravan: my family, my in-laws, two nephews and one niece. Eleven of us total. I led the convoy out of our driveway in NE Indiana bright and early and didn’t plan on stopping until we reached the Statue of Liberty; the kids wanted to see it at night. It was somewhere around Cleveland when we heard the first reports of power outages across the North East. The chipper announcers didn’t seem too worried about New York; the lights should be back on by evening.
I stopped listening to the radio.
We could see the lights of Newark. But where the map said New York City should be, there was nothing but darkness. We managed to see Lady Liberty, one of two things somehow illuminated against the surrounding black. I got us close but we had to turn around and head back an hour into Jersey to find a hotel that wasn’t full.
The next day everything was pretty much shut down. Parks were open and free. Mother-in-law chose the Liberty Science Center. Not free but worth the price; it housed a replica of a dinosaur named Sue.
And a gift shop full of hats. I took one home and hung it up, wondering when the lights will go out again.