It seems silly to take a break from Lobster Cove during the height of its best season; to leave on a Friday afternoon with everyone else from Boston, on a sunny day while moving towards rain and dark skies; to sit in traffic and do a one hour trip in 2 hours. But we did it for a reunion of former colleagues who I have known since 1983.

We used AirBnB to find a room during the Beacon to Beach race and Maine’s busiest time, when all other places were either full or very expensive. To our big surprise we found a room for a very reasonable price and a delightful hostess.

After a fabulous dinner, the first one is to re-acquaint and get updates, we are getting ready for the second which is when we can all pretend to be 30 years younger and hold our rowdy/raucous annual general meeting and decide where we will meet next year and call members of the group who can’t be with us, even if the time zones don’t match and people get woken up. It’s punishment for not being present. Another punishment for not being present is being the object of gossip.

Saturday everyone roams around freely until it is dinner time again. We went with Alison to the Shabbat Day Shaker village where the last 3 shakers in the world live. Some of our misinformed stereotypes about he Shakers were corrected. We got to see several of the hundreds of patented inventions (the circular saw, the flat crib brush, permanent press fabrics) that came from this industrious, god fearing, egalitarian and very entrepreneurial community that is now on the brink of extinction.

They are still recruiting and it occurred to me that they offer an interesting alternative to our hectic life. They are living in the world, so it would not be a retreat. Like the Buddhist monks we saw in Sikkim, there is internet, they do online sales of their branded products and you can communicate by text. The only thing that may give some people pause is the ban on the intermingling of the sexes and their very deep faith. But maybe that is exactly what would be attractive to some. axel, who we nearly lost to the singing monks in Vezelay (France) more than a decade ago, was not interested.

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August 2014
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