By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
The above lines are from the poem Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. My dad used to recite it to me as a child. This weekend, David and I spent the night in the wigwam of Nokomis, at Wigwam Village in Cave City, Kentucky. Well, actually it may not have been the wigwam of Nokomis, but it surely was a wigwam.
We had been by the Wigwam Village motel in Cave City several times in our married life. I even knew a woman who had stayed in the motel, when she went to Bowling Green to visit her son at Western Kentucky University. We had sometimes talked about staying there, but it seemed the occasion had never arisen.
Last weekend, we arranged to meet our children, Ann and Daniel, halfway between our home in Kentucky and theirs in central Tennessee. We decided Bowling Green might be a good meeting place, and David suggested we book a wigwam. What the heck, I thought, why not!
It was after dark when we got to Cave City, and for a while we were afraid we wouldn't find the motel, but we did. It was probably also the coldest day of this winter to date. You of the far north who read this don't know Kentucky cold, and you from the south haven't experienced it recently enough to appreciate how cold it was last Friday night--dropping down to the 20's, at least, and maybe even lower.
The office at the motel was closed when we got there. Folks had to register at the owner's home. He met us at the door wearing a coat and gloves. I went inside to sign paperwork and found his home very well heated, despite his winter get-up and his little daughter sitting curled up under a blanket on their couch. We got the key to our unit and went to explore.
When we entered our wigwam, it was cold. Bone-chilling cold. There was a big steam radiator in the room, but apparently it hadn't functioned recently. Instead, the interior of the wigwam was heated with a 1-foot square space heater. The thermostat was set at 58, and I don't believe it got much over it all night--sometimes I doubt that it ever had been there. We had a double bed, one chair, a small table, some open shelving, a small bathroom, and a television. That was it. Not even two chairs, not even a Gideon Bible. Slightly underfurnished, in my opinion.
Let me tell you something you probably already know. Linoleum floors get COLD in the winter. Did I mention there was no carpet? Let me tell you something else. Commode seats in unheated bathrooms are cold, too! Neither of us even wanted to think about taking all our clothes off to take a shower, so I have no idea if there was hot water.
After taking a look around the room and checking out the television--yes, there was cable! Thank goodness!--we went out to find batteries for the remote and to warm up with ice cream at the Dairy Queen down the street. Then we came back to the room, got every blanket we could find and piled them on the bed, put on our long flannels and hopped in. We didn't get out again until the next morning, when the sun woke us up. No alarm clock, no telephone, but we weren't sleeping soundly enough in that cold room to stay in bed very long.
With the exception of the lack of heat and sparsity of furniture, it wasn't a bad stay. I would go there again, especially with children. There is a certain charm to sleeping in one of those little round rooms. I would want to go when it was a little warmer outside, though--like at least in the 70's!
If you go to Wigwam Village, ask for Unit 13. I know there are batteries in the remote--David duck-taped them in before we left. Don't look for a refrigerator, but your drinks will stay cold without one--they'll chill well enough on the floor. And watch your head when you go to the bathroom--David whopped his at least once!
Love to all, and God bless.