When the towns women walked to the Soapies shop the next morning, something had changed. There was a new, large sign that was leaning against the side of the shop and several rows of benches set up in the street, facing the shop. Those few women who could read quickly began to tell the others what the sign said and as the word spread through the town, most of the women dropped what they were doing and made haste to the shop where they crowded onto the benches and whispered excitedly to each other as they waited.
Inside the shop, Kelley (who by this point was a bundle of nerves and was shaking like a leaf) and Theodora took a deep breath and then opened the door. “Greetings, ladies,” Theodora exclaimed, “and welcome to the first ever Soapies Class!” She went on to explain that every week there would be a new class that all women could attend, free of charge. Here they would learn to make all manners of lotions, salves, healing oils, soaps, and more.
The women clapped and cheered as Theodora beamed and continued, “today we’ll be teaching you how to make a basic healing oil that can be used for healing cuts, wounds, burns, and soothing dry, cracked skin. Are you ready to begin?”
“YES!” the women yelled and with that, the class began. With Theodora doing the speaking, she and Kelley made a simple infusion of olive oil mixed with rose petals, chamomile flowers, and calendula flowers. Theodora explained the healing properties of each flower and herb and the rest of the morning was spent showing how different herbs, flowers, and roots could be used to heal and cure many common ailments.
Once the class was finished, the women browsed the shop where they found the items needed to make their own infusions. Oils, herbs, roots and flowers, bottles – everything they would need to begin their own medicine box of healing infusions. In addition, several outings were planned where the women, Kelley, and Theodora would go to the surrounding countryside and wooded areas to gather the needed herbs.
Theodora encouraged the women to purchase just the supplies they could not obtain on their own and to learn to harvest their own herbs so they could save money. The day ended with most supplies being sold out and Theodora off to the market for restocking. Kelley went to bed that night filled with a total sense of satisfaction and excitement for what the future held!