Thursday, April 16, 2009


I come from an unusual family, let me just say that from the start. I can't entirely explain what I mean by that, but it's there. For example, we're never a family that answers questions the way you'd expect us to. "Hey Stephanie. How did you get those dents in your car? Hailstorm? Shopping cart accident?" Well, no. Since you asked they were put there by a pack of especially large and amorous turkeys, that jilted by a lover or angered in some similar fashion, decided to take their aggression out on my 2003 Ford Taurus.

So I guess it shouldn't have surprised me when I asked my dad about his retirment plans he didn't respond with something mundane like, "I'm moving to Florida." No Plan A was to find a nice monastery that would take his retirement money in exchange for letting him become a brother.

After a period of discernment it has been decided that this may not be the right path for dear old dad and he is now seriously considering Plan B. He's becoming a 3rd order Franciscan and looking for a hermitage. Over Easter he described his ideal hermitage to me. It would be in a small town somewhere within walking distance of a Catholic church and some sort of eatery. It would be small, maybe 300-400 square feet and simply furnished with a bed, a desk, a chair, a table, a kitchenette and a bathroom. Nothing fancy, but structurally sound, a place where he could embrace simplicity and live a life of prayerful contemplation.

The other day Zach and I decided to take the kids on a mini-trip to my mom's hometown on the Minnesota Wisconsin border. Mom is from the Wisconsin side, but the ice cream place is on the Minnesota side, so we stopped there for a while to enjoy a treat and walk around. We wandered down the cute little main street to take a picture of this sign. I have a great love of cheesy signage and wanted to take a photo for my collection. That's when I saw this.

It's the cutest little 320 square foot building ever and it is directly across the street from a Catholic church that offers daily mass and down the street from about a half dozen restaurants, a convenience store, a coffee shop and a post office. Best of all it's for sale.

Now my dad has a dry sense of humour, and I am never entirely sure how serious he is about an idea, but if, as he claims, this hermitage plan of his is for real then I think I have found it. Seriously. It would't get any more perfect than this. It even has a cute little white picket fence and a big yard. Does it get any better than that?


  1. That place looks awesome! I want to live there!

    Sometimes I dream of living in a tiny place where everything I keep has to have a purpose - whether it is to peel my vegetables or just be so beautiful it makes me happy.

    I know what you mean about coming from an unusual family, too. My dad used to say crazy things like "Let's get some fries of the French!" and other nonsensical things that made perfect sense to us!

  2. LOL. I love goofball relatives. I guess that's why I was born into my family. :)

    I dream about a simple space sometimes too. Especially on those days the kids have torn the house up and I don't have the energy to clean it.