This would the the “luck” of the Irish on Colleen’s side. We almost had a yard sale by the side of the highway in West Virginia in the absolute middle of nowhere. We had a low tire warning signal and the right rear tire was losing pressure at about a pound per mile. I made it to an exit off the highway with a gas station. And we got directions to a tire place about 7 miles down a twisty winding country road. I had just about lost faith in the directions when the tire shop came into view. Of course, it was “worst case scenario.” The nail hole at the tread rim was leaking enough that we could hear it. The tires need to be matched. That is – you need four matched tires on this particular model car. So, four new tires: they just happened to have our size. And, we were back on the road after about an hour’s delay. This would be considered way better than the alternative scenario. Irish! Colleen has Irish in her heritage. I feel so lucky! Coincidence? Colleen met a guy waiting for his car to be serviced. She and he knew common people all around the state. You just can’t seem to go anywhere without running into someone….
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village Near New Gloucester, Maine. Here is a place I completely discounted. I was about photo op and images. The village itself was small and relatively uninteresting to me. I had passed the area many times when I lived in Maine. This time around I was there to see the cultural history. There is another Shaker village in New Hampshire. The last three Shakers currently reside in Maine. On our tour we were told that Sunday service is open to the public. You need to show up on time. They lock the doors promptly. A fair crowd showed up. I was completely surprised. There is plenty of accapella singing of hymns and then there I a series people of giving testimony, sharing in which members and attendees may say what is on their mind. If you are familiar with the song Simple Gifts, they sang it twice. The second time occurred because one of the sisters thought it appropriate to the speaker. The song’s origin was told to have come about when one of the brother’s was disappointed that two young men left to make their way in the world instead of becoming Shaker members. The song is of course well known in popular music as in Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
Currently there are two sisters and a brother who reside and are the last Shakers. The rich culture and craftsmanship are well known but may soon not be practiced only copied. It was a high privilege to attend the service. Hearing the song Simple Gifts in this context was a very moving experience. It was magical. I had thought of the song and the Shakers spontaneously began their accapella singing. I idly wished that the song would be sung again. And when they sang it again, I nearly cried. Yes, that was a special day.