In downtown Trenton, Nebraska, in an historic building whose early owners also ministered to the health and well-being of their customers, Sandy and Robert Scott have opened "Island Thyme Massage," in an effort to, as Sandy says, "offer a year-round menu of seasonally-inspired therapies that bring renewal and relaxation."
Sandy is a registered Allied Health instructor and nationally-certified massage therapist. She taught therapeutic massage at the university level for 12 years, and is also a master level herbalist and aroma-therapist.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)
For the community's children who watched the complete transformation of the Scotts' building throughout the summer and the fall, Sandy plans special Christmas classes -- Saturdays, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 -- to make herbal Christmas presents. Call (843) 441-0092 to make reservations.
With Robert's retirement from the U.S. Navy after 24 years, the couple decided to return to his hometown, Bob two years ago and Sandy in July this year. With Sandy's arrival, the couple began to bring to life Sandy's retirement dream of creating a massage studio.
The small, square, stucco-sided building -- half-way between the Hitchcock County News and the Hitchcock County museum buildings -- had been vacant for years. Using architectural salvage that they had collected for years, Sandy and Bob created a new interior wall using doors from the Fox Theater in Chicago and covered an existing wall with mahogany from The Globe newspaper office in St. Louis. Another wall is sheathed with squares of recycled leather.
Sandy refinished the antiques that decorate the studio, and Bob and a friend installed a 1928-era pedestal cast-iron sink gifted to them by a dear friend -- a 90-year-old lady whom Sandy helped with her roses -- in St. Louis. "My husband and a friend had to cut into a concrete wall to make the sink fit," Sandy explained. "It will be there forever," she grinned. "My friend was so very happy."
"My pride-and-joy," Sandy said sincerely, "is my copper penny floor." Four-thousand copper pennies laid side-by-side and encased in clear acrylic. "It sounded like a good idea at the time," Sandy laughed.
Sandy asked Bob to build a "phone booth" -- using a former library door with an opaque rippled-glass window -- to camouflage the water heater.
The chandelier is a gift from friends -- he does metal work, she does blown-glass work. Their gift mimics the chandelier that can be seen in a vintage black-and-white photograph of the Scotts' building.
Outside, the couple used historic-standard paint colors, and hung real shutters to cover for the lack of real windows.
The courtyard fence came from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and "had 40 shades of rust," Sandy laughed.
The building started life as a barbershop, Sandy said. It has been a Farm Bureau office, an apothecary shop ... a seamstress's shop in the early 1950s ... as well as a number of other businesses over the years.
Sandy said that she and Bob did all the renovation work themselves, with the exception of a glass block window. "Five months of very hard work," she said. "Nothing's new. Ninety percent is salvaged, reused, recycled. We've honored the character of a 100-year-old building."
At "Island Thyme," Sandy has developed a menu of services that bring to her mind her two favorite things -- thyme and the Islands. She describes her studio, "Island Thyme is a tranquil setting immersed in the philosophy of personal health, happiness and abundance."
Sandy offers a Swedish massage package: "A calming and relaxing massage style ... the most traditional and commonly requested massage." It includes an herbal foot bath in a copper vessel, that assists detoxification and stimulates circulation.
A Swedish massage can be enhanced with these add-ons: custom-blended essential oils, seasonal herbs, honey or mineral-rich Himalayan salts.
Special services include:
* Lomi Lomi -- An ancient healing art from Hawaii.
* Sea coral and coconut shea ritual -- A thoroughly relaxing treatment that "can put you in touch with the natural rhythms of the Islands ... ", "balancing your entire system."
* Ayurveda Package -- "The root of all healing in Ayurveda (a Hindu system of traditional medicine) comes from this gentle, yet luxurious full-body massage," nourishing and infusing the body with herbal and aromatherapy rich oils chosen to balance and detoxify body, mind and spirit.
The treatment moves on to "Ayurvedic Shirodhara" for deep-transformative relaxation, followed by stress-relieving Ayurvedic Pedi Karma, an energizing treatment that includes Ayurvedic reflexology, massage with three-metal kansa and a gentle cleansing and exfoliation with an herbal powder.
Sweetheart -- The client first receives a bouquet of flowers while enjoying freshly-made organic chocolate-covered fruit of the season and a hot stone massage with oils infused with real cocoa.
Sandy's products are produced in small batches, following time-honored methods of traditional herbalists and aroma therapists.
All products are organically-grown or ethically wild crafted.
Sandy plans "community children's classes" Saturday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Classes are limited to four children; they will enjoy a light lunch while making herbal Christmas presents.
Sandy is excited, she said, about offering the children's classes to the children who so generously offered to help with her courtyard and garden as they walked by during the summer and fall renovation.
Call Sandy, (843) 441-0092, to make reservations for the children's classes.
As time progresses, Sandy plans community evenings during which she will discuss herbs' uses, and they will be prepared and sampled. She will also offer children's classes three times a month.
Sandy also plans to offer her handmade organic soaps, body products, herbal teas, gift baskets and pressed flower greeting cards early next year.
"Island Thyme Massage" is located at 108 East B Street, one-half block east of Trenton's main street, tucked between the newspaper office and the museum complex, on the south side of the street.
Sandy's hours will be Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
All treatments are by appointments; reservations for specific treatments are subject to availability.
The phone number is (843) 441-0092. Or go to www.facebook.com/SimpleAbundanceOrganicB... for seasonal specialties, special offers, community night and herbal class dates, as well as health-related items of interest.