Deb's Monthly Review
October 1998

Special Quotes
There are persons who always find a hair in their plate of soup for the simple reason that when they sit down before it, they shake their heads until one falls in.

No doubt Jack the Ripper excused himself on the grounds that it was human nature.
--A.A.Milne (1882-1956)

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International Paperweight Society Paperweight Slide Show
Beautiful, functional art.

Matt's Homepage
Some themes, some variety, and he has a nice eye for making simple stand out.

Client Side Image Maps.

TMJ4 Weather Wisdom-Autumn Equinox
So our Northern Hemisphere days grow shorter now.

The Zone - Sam's Free Stuff
Free catalogs, samples, coupons and more.

National Immunization Program
Announcements, FAQ, other information available.

HISTORICAL SITE OF THE MONTH: WeatherPost--History of Naming Hurricanes
It's been a busy hurricane season, and isn't Georges a gentle name for
such a wild storm?

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October Events
word festivals For October Travelers

October 3-4, 1998
Harvest Moon Festival
Ashland Nature Center, junction of Brackenville and Barley Mill Road, Hockessin, Delaware.
Bring old clothes and stuff your own scarecrow. Enjoy pumpkin carving, food, folk music,
artisans at work, corn cob tossing, conservation exhibits and guided walks.
More information: Call 302-239-2334, Extension 10.

October 10-11, 1998
Apple Butter Festival
Berkeley Springs State Park and area streets, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
pressed cider, apple butter stirring, crafts, mountain music, art sale and exhibit, turtle race,
beard contest.
More information: Call 1-800-447-8797.

October 10-11, 1998
Ohio Sauerkraut Festival
Old Main Street, Waynesville, Ohio.
Over 200,000 people visit this event. You can sample from 30 food stands (items such as
sauerkraut fudge and sauerkraut cream pie) and browse over 400 arts and crafts booths with
exhibits from 22 states. Local residents enter a contest with their largest cabbages grown
from seeds provided by SnowFloss Kraut of Fremont, Ohio. The festival has been an annual
one since 1970.
More information: Call 513-897-8855.

October 10-11, 1998
Covered Bridge and Arts Festival
Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pennsylvania.
Seventeenth year of the event. Crafts, food, live entertainment, children's rides, hay rides,
bus tours of area covered bridges.
More information: Call 717-784-8279.

NOTE: Knoebels holds its own charms if you tire of covered bridges. It's an amusement park
in a woodsy setting. I'm told they have all sorts of tasty food, if you can think of eating before
The Phoenix, their roller coaster. Check before you go. I'm not sure the rides are available that
late in the season.

October 19-25, 1998
Georgia State Fair
Central City Park, Macon, Georgia.
All the usual kinds of State Fair attractions, plus lawn tractor races, U.S. Navy Band, Fire
Fighters competition, and a House built in seven days by Habitat For Humanity.
More information: Call 912-746-7184.

NOTE: While in Macon, be sure to visit the Harriet Tubman Historical and Cultural
Museum, Massee Lane Gardens (full of beautiful camelias), and the Lights on
Macon...Historic Intown walking tour.

October 24-25, 1998
Celtic Nations Heritage Festival
Marconi Meadow at City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Dancing, children's events, regatta, music. The festival is in its seventh year, and 1998's focus
is on the cultural wealth of Wales.
More information: Call 504-529-1391.

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Hairy-ing To Be Holy

When Delilah got her hands on Samson's hair she started an uproar that has never really calmed down. Whether straight or curly, coarse or fine, red or black, blonde or gray, thick or thin, hair is a topic that produces more ongoing controversy and conversation than almost any other element of the human body. (I said almost).

I didn't inherit my mother's natural curls, or my father's dark blonde waves. My mother gave me one Toni Home Permanent after another. I didn't get curls. I got brown frizz. Between home permanents she did my hair in pincurls, which worked fine on her own natural curls. I got more frizz.

My father owned a neighborhood meat market/grocery store in Saint Louis, and when I'd go with him to work wearing my caucasian brown locks, the black girl down the street would ask to comb my hair, because she thought I had "good hair". I was too naive to realize what racist drivel someone had been feeding her, so we just took turns styling each other's hair, with her longing for my fine straight brown stuff, and me longing for her shiny black crown that held up under wind and rain. I suppose it's human failing to want what we don't have.

By the time I reached my teens young women were ironing their long hair to make it as straight as possible. I remember a friend who had natural curls confiding in me that the newest trick to smooth out those curls was to roll the hair on the cans that frozen orange juice came in (after emptying the contents of the cans). Needless to say, you didn't lie down to sleep while undergoing this particular treatment. I didn't really need to iron my hair, or set it on orange juice cans, so I just let it grow.

Parents seem to fuss a lot about their children's hair, especially when children grow to the age where they want to do something "different" (which really just means looking more like people their age and less like their parents, I think). For us it was long straight hair. Today, it's more likely to be unnatural colored hair.

I've always tended to prefer my hair a bit long, and it seems my mother always wanted me to try it short. A few other people also suggested I try it short, but the time or two I had it cut, most people didn't say they loved it, and once it grew out they began commenting that they really liked my growing hair. Hhhhmmm.

Since I'm female, it's only mildly interesting. My husband has worn his hair long now for several years, and he gets lots of comments, good and bad. Some women are envious and openly admit they wish they could grow theirs to look more like his. Some ask if they can braid it. Some people ask if it interferes with his work, or with getting work, which I find hilarious. He's wearing it down his back, with occasional trims to get rid of split ends. It's long, but not as long as Mart's!

Some people would like to make hair length a test of Christian faith as illustrated by this article. Of course, then one has to ask what is meant by short or long? Never fear. The author of the article seems to have this too, worked out. But wait a minute. Samson, clearly defined as male in the Bible, got into a heap o' trouble after he had his long male locks cut. He did plenty of other things we'd consider in bad taste too, before that haircut, including visiting a lady of the evening (Judges 16:1). The story isn't about hair anyway. It's about loyalty and betrayal. It's about choosing to be set apart for God in a world where it's easier to be selfish and live for oneself. It's about trusting in God's strength instead of one's own.

Actually Paul is not talking primarily about hair in I Corinthians 11, but instead about head coverings during public prayer. He then speaks of long and short hair and refers to nature's teachings. In this world we live in, even nature itself has been tainted by sin, and so a fox killing chickens is "nature" too, but is it the sort of nature the Creator planned from the beginning? (Oh well, Paul was only learning, too!)

(As an aside, this issue strikes me a lot the same as that of Masters and Slaves. Other than the fact that it has the elements of good storytelling, such an issue is relevant only at the most elementary level, when used as an illustration to a past reference so that one can understand the basic idea of a Divine Master. Those who have labored to free people from slavery would experience appropriately strong righteous indignation at the idea that anyone should continue to submit to a human master, including the harsh master spoken of in the second chapter of I Peter. I don't know about you, but all that sort of thing would teach me is that our Father in Heaven is a Harsh Master to be feared and obeyed like some monster. The United States is still in recovery from racial tensions created when we had slaves and masters. It's time to heal and move onward and upward, to a higher standard. In a world full of domestic violence, incest, child abuse and torture of international prisoners, shouldn't we be looking to present the most loving illustrations of a Saviour?)

I've also noticed that a lot of people who "split hairs" regarding this issue, and who spend countless hours attempting to instruct others on exactly what the Bible says about how men or women should wear their hair, are the same people who also stress verses on the dangers of focusing on outward adornment. Forgive me, but I'm rather confused by this dual approach to Christian appearance. Can we stop looking at each other and look instead at the character of Christ?

And besides, doesn't all this long hair vs. short hair quibbling point a bony finger at people with Androgenetic alopecia or Alopecia areata? And what about people who undergo chemotherapy and lose their hair? Does the Lord want us to notice if people wear the hair they may have for personal or medical reasons, or perhaps because they are rebelling against Him?

That being said, maybe someone will find out that a person lacks hair for medical reasons, and then go on to perform a most beautiful ministry. Check out this story on what loving co-workers did for one of their own who lost hair during treatment to save her life. And then there's the story of those who sacrifice for complete strangers. Now this is my idea of what the Lord would like us to do about hair. What a loving bunch of people! And if some caring woman grew her hair long and then had it cut to provide a child with a wig so he or she could at least feel comfortable in public, would the Lord think her rebellious, or would He see her relecting His love in action? A man might grow his hair long and do the same.

Those who wish to measure and arrive at a set length might think they can know if each person's faith may be coming or going, depending on whether they are cutting or growing. But how can any of us really know?

Very simply, we can't.

Our Father is infinitely more generous than our limited expertise can define, and His knowlege and wisdom go beyond any test of faith a human being can place on loyalty to Him. It would be openly arrogant for any of us to look at someone else and then think to determine their relationship with the Lord by appearance. We are not called to be judges at this time, only witnesses.

I Samuel 16:7 (last part) "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Scripture quotation from THE HOLY BIBLE:
Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984

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September 1997
October 1997
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