Jean was delightful and the class was fun and informative, but what was a complete surprise was the facility tucked away in the countryside not far from Lawrence.
It’s called the Walkabout Retreat and History Center. It’s a beautiful place. Jean Ayres is a co-director with the property’s owner, Judy Long O’Neal.
The Pine Burr class on June 30 marked the official opening of the center. It was so much fun!
The highlights for me were these:
• There are quilts everywhere.
There are little and large quilts, old and new quilts, pristine and shaggy quilts.
There are just a lot of quilts to enjoy!
• It’s no accident that “history center” is part of the name they chose—these gals are history buffs. As we enjoyed a tour of the property, both women talked knowledgeably about the property’s history and its place on the Underground Railroad.
Several quilts on display, including the one above, depict stories and contain symbols related to this history.
• “Retreat” would be an understatement for this place. It’s quiet and beautiful and soulful. I am very anxious to return and spend some time there.
• Judy has an interest in “interfaith dialogue.” This means there’s an expressed respect for all faiths and for the spiritual journeys of all who come here.
Judy and Jean anticipate that some people will retreat to the Walkabout for creative adventures (especially quilt related), some for spiritual searches, some simply to rest—and all of that is okay in their view. Quilters and others are invited to use the facilities for daytime events or for overnight functions.
The space is available by reservation only. It can be reserved for a group or an individual with or without planned programming. A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to hold a reservation. The Center provides coffee, tea, bottled water, towels and linens.
The prices are reasonable. As an example, the charge for overnight groups of four or more is $55 per person. Join an existing sleep-over group to sew for the day for just $15 per person (breakfast is $5 more). The property sleeps 8. There are two meadow labyrinths and a pond.
My six-hour drive was well worth it. If you’re in the Midwest or would care to travel here, do consider the Walkabout Retreat and History Center. I think you’ll love it.
* * * * *
For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Judy (email@example.com) or Jean (firstname.lastname@example.org) by email or visit the Center’s Facebook page.
Do you know of a great retreat location in your area? If so, please tell everyone about it in the comments.