I’m celebrating a new Shaker book, The Innocent, this month by having a giveaway. That means prizes. I thought about a Shaker broom, but have you ever tried to wrap up a broom for the postman? Too difficult to me. But for a Shaker book, I needed Shaker prizes, and where better to find them than a Shaker village?
Fortunately, the Pleasant Hill Shaker Village, that has been restored to show how the Shakers lived, isn’t far from where I live. To make the most of the trip, I invited my sisters along to have lunch at the village’s restaurant, The Trustee’s Table. Of course, I had the famous Shaker lemon pie for dessert. I was so anxious to dig into the pie I forgot to take a picture first, but this wasn’t the first time I tried the pie. Here I am meeting with a local book club and giving the pie a try on a previous visit.
Then after we had our fill of traditional Shaker food, it was a pleasant stroll through the center of the village on to the gift shop. We admired the beautiful Shaker buildings and as we passed the Meeting House, we could hear the clear voice of a Shaker re-enactor demonstrating the Shaker worship. The acoustics in that building are so good the song drifted out the windows all through the village. Imagine the sound of two hundred Shaker worshipers!
At the gift shop, it took a while to decide on a couple of prizes. So many wonderful choices, including that broom. I should have bought that as a prize for me!
But I came home with a Shaker box and a bread warmer featuring the Shaker tree of life for my contest prizes.
When I visit the Shaker village, I often think how different things must have been while the Shakers lived there. At that time, the main road went through the center of the village and the sound of industry would have come from the many workshops while building projects and farming would have been happening outside. Now the road has been rerouted outside the village. The peace the Shakers so avidly sought during their time here blankets the village. It’s a beautiful place to visit and ponder the beauty of nature and the splendid work of the Shakers’ hands.
Hands to work, hearts to God. That was the Shakers aim.
Ann H. Gabhart is the author of over twenty-five books. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Her most recent Shaker book, The Innocent has just hits bookshelves.
Ann grew up dreaming of becoming a writer and now keeps her keyboard warm on her farm in Kentucky. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren.