Drying Linens

From the Shaker Village Get-Away:

At Pleasant Hill, back in the day, Shaker 'sisters' were expected to spend most of the day 
glorifying God through work in the kitchens, the weaving rooms, or the laundry buildings...  
Women of all ages labored in this small set of rooms and turned out 
clean clothes and linens for hundreds of people. 

Can you feel the peace of drying linens racked so closely, a concrete display of 
joyful community, each owner represented by initials carefully sewn on a cloth corner or seam?
 Or could there be hints of competition here? 
Did certain pieces always win space on upper racks ...
whose linens were the most carefully made, woven in the most brilliant patterns ...
which linens displayed the neatest stitches? 
I wonder if it was it peaceful, truly, among those Shaker laundresses 
in early January of the 1800s?
* photo of the restored laundry rooms as they would have looked in the early 1800s 

Side Note:
When my sons were small, they were blessed with the same good health that most American children enjoy. But when they became sick with whatever virus was going around,  I took pleasure in playing the mamma-caretaker to each, and maybe even spoiled them a little bit. Women often complain that men are such babies when illness strikes - this sort of indulgence by mothers like me might be the reason.savored any opportunity to snuggle one of my sweet little boys who would normally be running, leaping and squirming to get away. 

Now my sons are mostly-grown, all tall and strong - I'm so grateful for them. When they get ill, to my amazement, they find the appropriate over-the-counter medication and dose themselves. They judge when, or IF, a doctor will be called. It's crazy! Just one more thing I always did for my children which they now do for themselves. 

For the last six months, one of my sons has faced the challenge of an auto-immune disease. He regularly drives himself to the doctor and endures a difficult procedure with admirable fortitude. Early this morning he came downstairs with resolve painted across his face; he shrugged into his coat, grabbed his keys and (again) turned down my offer to come along. 

But he did let me linger a tiny bit longer than usual on the goodbye hug.


The Spooky Eye

More from Shaker Village:

Would you believe that calling this bull would cause it to actually come ambling over? 
Would you WANT this bull with its menacing horns to  come any closer than this?  
 So while my husband called and cajoled, I freaked. 
"Oh. My. Gosh! Don't call it any closer! Watch out for its horns! What if it can 
jump over this wall? What if it can climb over? For Pete's sake - DON'T TOUCH IT!"
I snapped photos of the impending loss of his hand and babbled warnings.
But it wasn't long before I made pals with the big guy ...  
... and his super spooky eye.


Rolling Hills

 The rolling hills of Kentucky, as seen from the walkways of Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill.
We stayed here on our Christmas Get-Away, January 2nd and 3rd. 
 Oh the peace of nearly-deserted museum rooms, reading history until I'm finally satisfied. 
Tours of restored buildings and tales of the long-gone citizens of Shakertown 
from docents and enactors eager to please their only visitors of the day. 
I'm still thinking of it. 
One of the unexpected pleasures of a get-away is the reminiscing. 
"Remember how much fun we had when we went to ____?" 
"Yes! The fireplace ... the balcony ... that Chinese place in town ..."
Fond smiles, clasped hands, sparkling eyes. 
I'll never regret the time, effort and expense it's taken 
 to get away from our daily lives and make memories with each other, 
as husband and wife.



All the Holiday merriment has been packed away and slugged to the attic.
That is, except for those few crafty items that managed to dodge under a bed
or crouch in a drawer. 
Is it only me, or does everyone have a similar pile of Christmas leftovers discovered
 in the post-celebration cleaning, now glaringly festive in the thin January light? I've been sorely tempted to 
open the door and toss them out, somewhere near the dried-up and forlorn tree. But I don't.
OK - there was that one time with a cookie tin, and it was too ugly to keep. 

So now it's time for this - 
Ah! Space for peace and pondering!
I guess the first-grade teacher in me lingers on, because that 
child's chair is my favorite place to sit in the winter. 
Or maybe it's my favorite because it's the very closest to the fire ...?

*** We took our (We Survived) Christmas Get-Away - photos soon to come.