Friday, October 08, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 10-17-04
By Jeff Gill

Poison ivy is beautiful. Have you looked at it lately? From a distance, yes, but look around at the fall foliage and some of the deepest, richest, most multi-hued leaves are from a vine coiled around old tree trunks, gnarled fence posts, and along the backs of sheds and outbuildings around these Hebron Crossroads.
For those with severe allergies to the oil, the sap of these common growths in our region, poison ivy is no joke; especially when brush piles alight on early autumn evenings contain the vine, the stalks, or even the leaves of the more modest ground cover variety. Yes, even the smoke from burning poison ivy can carry substance enough to trigger those highly sensitive to it. The red berries, the crimson, maroon, golden, pink, saffron colored leaves, the vines growing as thick as my wrist, is all uniquely lovely and still problematic.
Harvesters on the main roads, grain trucks spilling a golden trickle on corners, whether soybeans or corn, headlights in trackless fields by night tracing their humming square dance, all telling us that it is time to bring in the full and fulfilled growth of the long summer season now past. Be patient if you’re behind one, as the farmers have had to be patient since spring planting. (And be patient with the Lakewood football team, too; they’re not quitting in the third quarter, and that’s a victory all it’s own.)
Hallowe’en is always October 31, the eve of All Hallows, or All Saints Day Nov. 1, but official “Trick or Treat Night” for the village of Hebron is set for Thursday, Oct. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Most areas around are using the same night, but times may vary, so check our fellow columnists here or see the list in our sister publication, “The Advocate.”
Geese have been flocking and vee’ing and honking their flapping way overhead, heading (generally) south. Saturday morning at Evans Park sees a steadily growing mass of vehicles jockey for parking spaces as if it were Polaris on Christmas Eve, dropping off or picking up either soccer players or flag footballers, or for some lucky families (!) both. Jackets get progressively heavier each weekend, as the chill sets in earlier each evening.
School pictures, soccer pictures, senior pictures, wedding pictures; fall is a favorite time for adding to our digital stash of memorabilia, with Mother Nature providing spectacular backdrops for free – the key chain picture, however, will cost $8 extra with or without foliage.
It’s a season full of memories, both those being made right now and those the smells and sights and sounds evoke. Perhaps a distant ancestral need to sharply etch on our gray cells where the final food stashes went is why this time of year carves so deep a mark.
Making this fall memorable for our family is that we will be leaving Hebron soon. We will not forget -- in fact, we won’t even be going very far from here -- but we will move shortly to a house closer to the Lovely Wife’s job at Denison and to set a new pace of home life for the Little Guy.
My five and a half years in Hebron have been wonderful, and we know that we were “meant” to be here; we also know that our plans as a family have always been that we would do whatever we had to not to have both of us in full-time, extra hours, professionally demanding careers.
When after a dozen years of forgetting even about our child care plans the Little Guy made his dramatic appearance, for a time we thought I might be the one staying and working from home on a part-time basis. Then the Hebron possibility turned that equation on its head, and the Lovely Wife worked off a laptop and the kitchen table for six years.
Now it’s my turn! I’m going to step back from full-time parish ministry and the 24/7 expectations (internal and external), but our editors tell me they may still have a place for my weekly scribblings – off of a laptop and on the kitchen table. We’ve kicked around “Out Centerville Street” or “Notes From My Knapsack,” but I most assuredly plan to keep writing, even if no one wants to publish it.
Through Dec. 31 I’ll still be preaching Sundays, and will continue passing along this weekly printed nod from those sitting by these growing, thriving, and memorable crossroads.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church (for a few more months!) and still plays Stone Soup’s “October Nights” every year at this time. If you have seasonal news or notes to share, call 928-4066 or e-mail

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