Part II: Religious women

June 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

There are a number of ways the religious Jewish (married) women clothe themselves, but to my eye, the most evident way to tell apart certain groups of them is via their head coverings.

Their vestments are much less specific, with the exception that they are required to dress modestly. And by “modest,” that means their hair is covered, as is every inch of their bodies, too. Thus, at least slightly billowy dresses and skirts are the order of the day, as well as long sleeves, of course. Shoe wear varies; some wear slightly funky clog-ish items on their dogs; others wear the female equivalent of the Hasids’ tennies.

Again, it’s the headwear that distinguishes them, one from the other. (“Where’s the Religious Woman?” series would not be a success.)

Some of these women wear wigs. These human-hair items often are placed ever-so-slightly askew, such that they indeed look like wigs. For example, their parts are just too-too perfect. Their bangs don’t blow in a stiff wind.

Others wear turbans, in varying hues and they look to be silk. As opposed to Indian turbans that go wide, these go high.

Still others wear simply gorgeous wraps. They make it look like they have gracefully and artfully hidden within their many-colored wraps Rapunzel’s hair itself. And they may have. The religious teenage girls and young women who aren’t yet married wear their hair very long; it would take a lot of practice and long bolts of fabric to gather up all that hair to hide from the world outside the home.


“Be fruitful and multiply” is a Biblical phrase these folks take very seriously. Most of the younger (and some not very young anymore) religious women we saw were either pregnant, or pushing a stroller, or pregnant and pushing a stroller, or pregnant, pushing a stroller, and herding a gaggle of small children, or wearing babies in front packs while holding the hands of toddlers, or… you get it.




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April 1, 2012 at 1:30 am (Uncategorized) ()

The thought to pull off Hwy. 99 West and lunch at Tina’s or do some wine tasting at Domaine Drouhin crossed my mind as we drove on Wednesday from Portland to McMinnville, but, alas, we didn’t; we stayed the course and headed to the Wings & Waves Waterpark, to be followed by the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Clif and Diane met us there. I’d –smartly, I thought– purchased tickets to both venues in advance. In a stroke of organizational genius, the powers that be at the Wings & Waves spot still required every patron — ticketed and ticketless — to wait outdoors before gaining entry, either buying or flashing his or her ticket and then being graced with one of those wristbands that college kids wear with pride after they’ve legally entered their first — or 50th — bar. There happened to be a screaming wind and driving rain storm going on as we drove up and parked in the lot at the water park. Exactly 15 minutes after it opened, already the line to enter snaked back into the parking lot. Dave and his dad were the intrepid folks who agreed to wait in line; the so-delicate ladies took the bye and waited indoors for the men to reach the merciful front of the line.

Once inside, the lack of wind and sheets of rain were welcome. Then, however, the cavernous trap of an enormous, high-ceilinged hydrotubing mecca closed in on us, bombarding our ears and visual fields. We were to spend the next three hours in that humid, overly bright ‘park,’ with Dave and Clif waiting in Disneyland-esque lines to go down amazing water slides with the girls while Diane and I caught up on all things we’d missed in one another’s lives since my in-laws’ return from Hawai’i in early February. Soon, I realized that I was talking to Diane the same way one engages in conversation at a party; as time wears on, the venue gets increasingly loud, and one must speak increasingly loudly. We got to the point where we couldn’t really easily converse any more. So, we took to looking up and around the crazy water park, trying without success to find our relatives frolicking high above us. We did, however, have two successful sightings of our loved ones, as they streaked past us from one racing-water feature to the next. They were having a blast; by contrast, our butts started to hurt.

At long last, Alyssa decided she was d-u-n; she’d finally come to recognize the noise was FAR TOO LOUD. She’d come a hugely long way, however, from the recent past when we’d never even have considered going to such a venue, given her sensory processing disorder that makes even slightly loud noises seem overly exaggerated in their decibel levels. This experience was a huge departure for her — and, thus, for us — and so we really were waiting for her to be done with the locale before we moved on.

While Alyssa got our of her suit and dried off, Hayley decided she was not done with the water park and so roped Dave in for another run (read: one run equals an hour-long wait to get up the lengthy, zig-zagging staircase from ground level to the ceiling where the hydrotubes’ entrances await). Meanwhile, Alyssa, Diane, Clif and I headed right next door to the equally enormous, impressive Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. I care not a lick about the history of aviation. And, yet, this quiet, beautifully and naturally lit, educational museum sparked my interest to learn as much as I could about aviation’s history until it was time to go (read: until Alyssa completely pooped out from this high-ceilinged space, too). All four of us lasted for exactly an hour, which indeed was the time it took for Dave and Hayley to complete their single, final run at the Wings & Waves Waterpark.

As Alyssa’s patience for this museum neared its end, she and I went together up to its second floor, to check out its Firearms Collection. Displays of mannequins in bright-orange hunting gear, alongside their mannequin hunting dogs dominated the displays. I somehow felt I was betraying my gun-control roots just being on that floor, amidst the clear homage to all things that go boom.

While Alyssa and I remained on that floor, watching a Lewis & Clark film reenactment of the journeymen’s  trajet along the Oregon Trail, she leaned over and whispered to me that she preferred the Firearms space to the museum’s main floor. Why? I asked. “‘Cuz of all those old guys wearing green vests, all with the same creepy expression on their faces,” she explained, in her very matter-of-fact way. Her explanation offered a very astute look into a child’s vision of certain situations. The museum’s docents indeed were a crop of freakish-looking, well-beyond-middle-aged men who looked like they were from the central casting department of war veterans. Each donned a green vest (resembling those Girl Scout polyester jobbies) verily weighted down by myriad pins and buttons, much like the sagging brown sweater Ramblin’ Rod used to wear in the ’70s.

We’d arrived in McMinnville at shortly after 10 in the morning; we left at 3 p.m. and had had enough. And yet, when we passed Tina’s, I wanted badly to stop in for a nice glass of red wine and an excellent meal. Instead, we listened to the fruits of that day’s laborious staycation. That is, we listened to the girls bicker out of exhaustion and hunger about all the negatives of the day as we headed back home on 99 East and then 217 North. Fortunately, their memories of The Chocolate Box in cute Silverton tied them over until we returned home.

And then they started talking a lot about their next day’s adventure: Horseback riding in Sherwood.

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