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Housekeeping?

 

            Nestled in the foothills of Kentucky, the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill draws visitors from across the United States. Among these visitors one early spring weekend was Marie Clayton. The mother of three young children, Marie had escaped her hometown of Paris, Kentucky to enjoy the sights of the bluegrass. After a late dinner at the Trustees’ Building, she headed for her room in the East Family Dwelling House. Marie fell asleep quickly after exploring the town all day.

            At 5:05 in the morning, a soft knocking on the door awakened Marie. She grumbled as she unlocked the door and wondered who could possibly need her attention at such an ungodly hour. Upon opening the door, Marie discovered a woman with pale blue eyes and light blonde hair dressed in Shaker costume. The young lady kindly asked Marie if she needed fresh hand towels. As calmly as possible, Marie declined the offer. She shut the door, and climbed back into bed, perplexed that the housekeeping staff would call so early.

            When Marie woke again at 11:30, she showered, and called the management to inquire about the odd timing of the housekeeping staff. The man who answered the phone assured her that the housekeeping staff kept regular hours and started their rounds promptly as 9:00 AM. Marie insisted upon her visitor and described her physical characteristics and clothing clearly to the gentleman, but his reply was not what she expected.

            “Ma’am,” he said, “our housekeepers wear simple white service uniforms, which are nothing like the heavy, traditional dress you told me about… but as you speak, I am reminded of a young woman who has often been seen around the East Family Dwelling. She died sometime before 1900 here at Pleasant Hill. It seems as if she is just as dedicated to helpful service after death as she was when she lived in this world.”

 

Kat Baughman

Assumption High School