Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Hairdressing

When I was eleven, we moved from Gramma's house, and into our newly-built one a mile or so away. Our new neighbors took notice of the dolls hairdos when we girls would play together. One mother was quite 'impressed' by my young skillfullness, and asked me if I would set her hair in her rollers.

I had begun using them some on my own hair by that time, and I knew I could do it. At the appointed time, I went to her house and was surprised to see a can of beer on the table. Our family didn't drink any sort of alcoholic beverage, and to me, the smell of that stuff was awful. Another surprise awaited me when she asked me to comb the beer through each strand of hair before it was rolled! I certainly hadn't heard of such a thing before, but she explained that when it dried, it would hold the set longer, and would have no odor at all. Well, I supposed in my young mind that wearing beer on your head would be more healthy than drinking that awful smelling stuff.

Her trick did seem to accomplish the desired result, and she was pleased with my neat rolling of her hair. She asked me many times in the years we lived side by side to set her hair in that way....and to my recollectiion, I never turned her down. It was my first paid hairdressing job. Another neighbor, too, sometimes had me set and style her hair. I was grateful that she, too, didn't use the beer applications.

Thus began my road to becoming a 'real' hairdresser!

Reconstruction of Mind and Heart

For some reason, I have always been curious and intrigued by the ways of the Amish people. Whenever we would go to Pennsylvania, I would request that we go to Lancaster area for a day or two. Though I did not appreciate the tourist traffic or the over-growth there, I always enjoyed riding the roads through the neat farm lands owned by those who live a simpler life.

Perhaps that is what tugged my heart most...the simpler lifestyle. Their ways appeared to be that of people who lived a hundred years or so before we do. Without electricity, without modern transportation or machines or technology. The clothing worn by the people of the sect appeared to be neat and clean and simple, yet so out of date in today's world. They were a people, at least in my eyes, who kept to themselves, not speaking first, but would answer politely when spoken to. I've always wanted to know more about them.

Recently I discovered a blog, composed by a woman who was born into an Amish family. At this time, I do not know why she and her husband decided to leave the Amish way of life, but as I follow her daily postings, I'm sure I will discover their reasons. She has, thus far, captured my full attention with her honest and humble thoughts, and I'm thoroughly enjoying this peek into a life that is so mysterious to most of us.

I've discovered on nearly every turn that my notions of what the Amish people are like and how they live their lives are nearly all wrong. I suppose much of my thinking has come from articles or books written by outsiders who don't know any better than I do what the truth is about these 'plain people'. Now that I'm getting to know this woman through her words, I must erase much of what I've ever believed about them, other than the thought that they are hardworking religious people. I've always admired them due to what I thought was true. In fact, after exploring several excerps of her writing, I find that I am examining my own life to see how I measure up to the way God would have me to live my own life and beliefs.

It is always a good thing to do a bit of self-examination and perhaps some reconstruction. This new reminder is a blessing, for there are some spots in me, in my attitudes, in my work, that need refining. As this gentle woman continues to share her journey from then 'til each new dawning, I believe I will discover that she and her family,too, have done some true soul searching and have been shown where and how they can make changes to best live as their God wants them to.

It is a joy to follow this blog and to learn from it.