As I stay up late with my husband who is working on a kitchen cabinet, I’m finding more stuff about Shakertown that I had previously written. This is regarding a trip we took around Christmas time 2009.
Yesterday my husband and I went on a fact-finding mission to ascertain whether Shakertown would be a good location for a retreat – a silent yoga/meditation retreat with room enough to accommodate 150 people. There is no question that Shakertown or Pleasant Hill, Kentucky is one of the most spiritual, serene, and peaceful of places for such a retreat. However, the question was whether or not certain aspects of the facility would be suitable for the programs of this particular retreat.
We awoke to a thin layer of snow and twenty degree weather and got a later start than intended. That was a good thing after seeing three or four wrecks along the interstate on the way down. We ate a very light breakfast at home, thought about stopping in Lexington for lunch, but opted going straight to Shakertown to take care of business first. Lunch there was fully booked. We talked to some of the staff and walked around the premises for a couple of hours, as well as drove to some of the outer buildings.
Spiral Staircase in Trustee’s Building
Everything seemed to work in a synchronistic order. We were given a key to one of the rooms above the dining area in the Trustee’s Building. This particular room didn’t have trundle beds, which a lot of the rooms do. We were told the meeting rooms were in use. Still we ventured on foot to the main meeting room where we found people we knew, or people I knew. The meeting going on was that of Friendship Spinners. We were invited in and offered food. I talked to people I had previously done arts/crafts shows with and introduced them to Chris. This was a pleasant surprise. They urged me up to the second floor, which maybe I should have said no to. There were plenty of yarns and handmade items for sale. I bought a shawl type wrap, hand woven. The lady said something about the amount of work that went into it, to which I replied that I was a weaver. She said then you know, to which I said yes. This morning I awoke with the idea of knitting something similar or perhaps even weaving my own version.
Side View of Centre Family Dwelling
There is plenty of walking and fresh air to take in at Shakertown. We walked to Meadowview Barn, another alternative meeting area. This was an old tobacco barn renovated for this purpose. Still it is rustic to say the least. I was told over the phone that the floor was dirt. I personally kind of liked this idea; however, we found in actuality that the floor had a small gravel covering. The barn had electricity but we didn’t see lights. Also, where were restroom facilities? We walked at least a fourth of a mile from the main village of Shakertown to this barn. Not having restrooms there was a definite con.
There was still another meeting room to check out. As with the first, this was also too small and too far away from the main village. Walking to it would be out of the question for most. My guess is that it was a full mile away from the village proper.
Our last check was the summer kitchen, which was locked up. It was also too small and perhaps too dark. It would probably only seat fifty at one time.
Ducks by the Pond
There was one last stop to make – the craft shop. I had been thinking of a particular craftsman a few days before making this trip. I don’t know if it was the thought of Shakertown that brought him to mind or intuition, or both. When we entered the shop, Mr. Kramer was present giving a demonstration on making Shaker boxes. Many years ago probably the same time of year I was also there with my loom along with him and one other craftsperson doing a demonstration. Perhaps this was some memory triggered inside of me, which caused me to think of him prior to going. It also turned out that he had gone to Scotland on a group trip with someone from my hometown and wanted me to say hi. I will be sure to do that.
After two hours walking the premises we left for Lexington. By this time we were starving. The traffic and parking situation was horrific. Chris had Mexican in mind, which I actually did too, only we were thinking different restaurants. We drove up to one he was thinking about. This particular restaurant was about the only place there was parking. My intuition, which Chris always trusts, said no, so we moved on to the mall. We ate at the one I was thinking of that we had never tried before. At first it looked like vegetarian was going to be hard, but the waitress started naming off all these things. I had told Chris I wanted the very thin tortilla chips. That’s what they had. The food was excellent. I had spinach and avocado enchiladas with cheesy mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, different for a Mexican restaurant. I could have eaten a whole plate of the broccoli for lunch. The mashed potatoes inspired me. Therefore I’m going to try them today with asparagus and roasted tofu and vegan mushroom gravy.
The next stop was the Comfort Zone. On a previous trip I had one of those twelve-minute acupressure massages, and it greatly relieved the sciatica I have. I talked Chris into going for it too. It greatly helped both of us. While waiting in line I overheard one girl say this was the best twelve dollars she had every spent. I would have to say it certainly is at the top of the list.
We can’t make a trip to Lexington without going to Whole Foods. After that it was a stop at Starbucks and onwards towards home. At Starbucks they had an espresso machine greatly reduced. This is something Chris has wanted for at least a year. I brought his attention to it. The lady working there said at a nearby Starbucks there was a much better one also on sale. While the manager was telling Chris about it I was telepathically thinking throw in a free bag of coffee. Chris ended up buying it and the guy said I’ll give you a free bag of coffee. As we drove away, Chris said he was also thinking the same thing while he was talking.
It ended up a nice venture out, a little expensive, but then we don’t exchange gifts at Christmas. So, this with my hand woven item, Chris’s espresso machine, and our trip to Whole Foods we had our gifts.