Friday, August 15, 2014

My Hermitage

When I read The Cloister and the Hearth for high school literature I thought being a hermit would be fun. Don't get me wrong...I am not a sociopath. Quite the opposite, really. I love observing people (the more diverse the better). But you have to admit being a hermit, as described in The Cloister and the Hearth, does have a certain cozy feel about it. And for the past several weeks I have been able to experience a full blown hermitage...or as close as you can come when you live with ten other people.

Here's how I came to be a hermit: Henry, my darling little brother, was recently diagnosed with a seizure disorder (more on that here). The medication he is being treated with suppresses the immune system so severely any exposure to sickness is dangerous. By order of his geneticist, Henry and, consequently, those of us lucky enough to live with and hold him everyday (yes, I am trying to make you jealous) cannot be exposed to any possible sickness. So we aren't leaving the house except when absolutely necessary and then only with plenty of hand sanitizer.

Now some of you may see this as a death sentence. I am a person who likes to go and do so hermitude (let's see how many tenses can I come up with for the word hermit, shall we?) doesn't come naturally to me. But as I've been weighing the pros/cons of the life of a hermit I've come up with a surprising number of pros.

1. I've been remarkably efficient. I've read two and a half books in two weeks. Complications: a young surgeons notes on an imperfect science by Atul Gawande, The Pact by The Three Doctors and How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman. For me, a dyslexic and habitually slow reader, that is a gloriously fast pace. Plus I've completed two knitting projects and am making steady progress through a third. (Check out my Ravelry page for project details!)

2. Afternoons by the pool have now become morning/afternoon/evenings by the pool. Most days I go straight from my pajamas to my bathing suit to the shower to my pajamas. It's lovely.

3. We've had some serious family time. Including, but not limited to, regular family dinners, cut-throat games of Monopoly, Castles of Burgundy (our new favorite) and badminton till my legs...and arms...and abs ache.

4. Sunday mornings, watching church via live stream, by the pool, in my bathing suit, with doughnuts AND coffee is definitely the way to go.

5. We're developing our creativity. Yesterday we learned to square dance via You Tube. Because we've been at home for a month and are running out of things to do. FYI: Square dancing is pretty darn fun and not nearly as complicated as it looks in Barbra Stanwyck movies. You learn something every day.

While I definitely would not thrive on this life style for an extended period it has been a much needed blessing and break after an unusually hectic summer. God knows what we need when we need it. But maybe that's just the intense positive thinking training my dear mother (and part time therapist) speaking.

So now I'm curious. Have any of you dear readers ever had a go at the life of a hermit?


  1. We hermitted (a new word!) with Mackenzie when we first brought her home, and we will be doing it again soon with Paisley. The upside is having groceries delivered, and the house is clean because you have to look at it all the livelong day... It sounds like you are making the very most of being in seclusion! Hang in there...

  2. Ah, I envy your respite! I would so love to sink my teeth into a new novel (I'm reading the Percy Jackson series when I have time, because that's obviously up to my reading level. ;) or finish that Audrey Hepburn biography, or work on Psithurism. Unfortunately, school & Hillsdale essays are occupying all my time, not to mention I'm learning a bit of HTML/CSS on the side and planning a few surprises where the blog world is concerned (I'll keep you posted, promise. ;)

    But all that aside, it's so wonderful to hear news from Wachter-World! I miss chatting with y'all. If you're running low on Things To Do, feel free to drop me an email & tell me about life! I may not reply straight away, but I will get back to you & you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you made my day. That's a good thing, right? ;)


  3. You do make being a hermit sound nice! :) If you're with the ones you love it really can be a sweet time, although I haven't done it quite as long. I do remember when I was younger though and pretty much my entire family broke out in chicken pox at the same time. We were home for a few weeks all together. Aside from being miserable with chicken pox, I do have good memories from that time.
    We miss y'all though and although I am slightly envious of your number 4 :), we will be so happy to see you at church again!