Time in a Bottle is chapter 17 of Fine Line, sequel to Woodcutter’s Revival. Both books, written by Jerry Slauter are historical fiction. They are set at the beginning of the final phase of the Industrial Revolution.
After living in Indiana for a while, the characters discover a spa that has mineral mud baths and offers European elegance and cuisine. The spa, named Mudlavia is located only 15 miles from the farm. Michael, Whitney, and Victoria visit Mudlavia for the weekend. They discover that Henry Kramer began selling the Lithia-rich water, world-wide from the Indiana Springs Company. There have been books and article written about Mudlavia.
The following is an excerpt from the chapter:
Whitney told Victoria, “I’ll watch Raymond while you go downstairs for a mud bath.”
Victoria said, “Seriously, I couldn’t do that.”
Whitney said, “Oh, it’s quite normal. That’s what most people are here to do. Go ahead, you’ll enjoy it.”
Victoria reluctantly agreed. She went to the women’s bath area. There were mosaic floors, onyx partitions and low sturdy beds with an air mattress on canvas stretched over strong wooden frames. Victoria watched as the attendant placed a four inch layer of hot mud on the table. She then assisted Victoria to lie down on the table. Another layer of warm mud was placed over Victoria, leaving her face open.
She lay in the mud, resting and relaxing as the theoretic effects worked wonders on her. After the prescribed time, she was assisted from the mud, hosed herself off in the shower room and given an alcohol massage. She was helped from the massage table and assisted until she regained the strength in her legs. People usually experienced such a deep level of relaxation that their legs felt rubbery after the bath. She went back upstairs and took a long nap.
Another excerpt describes the foyer and dining hall of Mudlavia:
They entered a grand foyer with parquet tiled floors and a fountain in front of a huge stairway. To one side was the desk of solid walnut, with walls of solid walnut paneling. The other direction led to the dining hall. The high ceilings had hardwood trimmed beams between flat plastered panels. Huge crystal chandeliers hung from the beams and green marble columns with German silver trim supporting the beams at their intersections. There were German silver curtain rods, Tiffany windows, and hardwood floors with colorful wool runners.
Victoria looked around. She was still in awe of the grandeur of the resort. Each table had a white linen table cloth and napkins, silverware and serving dishes and fresh cut flowers. The vinegar and oil bottles resembled medical flasks with frosted glass stoppers, neatly arranged in a silver caddy. Up close the trimmings on the chandeliers were brass and glass resembling emerging buds on a willow branch. Huge silver samovars filled with coffee and serving dishes sat on walnut side tables around the room. Porters and waitresses served the tables. The porters wore maroon jackets and white gloves. The waitresses wore dark dresses with white aprons.
Jerry is a retired school teacher who loves to spend time with his family, including children and grandchildren. He likes to travel and speak about writing and the topics of his writing and research. He works in his wood, leather and metal shops at home. Writing aligns well with his passion of reading and research. Jerry is available to speak in schools and churches or conferences and seminars.