Hermie's House

By Grace Martha (Bell) Wallace


There are always times in our lives when we just have to be alone.  Just off by oneself to work out frustrations, dream, and meditate on one’s own dreams and desires and plan one’s strategy.

From the first time I can remember being potty trained, “Hermie’s House” was a heavenly place to go.  Sure no one would want to follow you there.

Sometimes Hermie (the mouse) would make an appearance.  There had to be many Hermies through the years and they all shared our preference for this sanctuary.  Hermie never bothered anyone, just rustled and bustled around through Sear’s catalogue leaves, minding his own business and just enjoying the privacy.

Hermie’s House was a three holer with a small hole for people with small _____ and two larger ones for larger ones.  Mine was always in between.  Sink or swim or get pinched but since no one ever chose to join me no problem ever came up, except in winter!  Sometimes I would have to go there and my sister did not, so it was a matter of diplomacy.  If you go with me I will go with you when you gotta go, so there.  We would put something warm on our heads and our four buckle galoshes and winter coats over your nighties, light the lantern and creep out so not to wake anyone in the house; trudge through the snow and finally in the sanctuary of Hermie’s house we settled down to sweet relief.  With heat from the lantern we were really quite cozy.  We would leaf through the Sear’s catalogue – what would be left, and dream of wonderful days to come when we were out of school, on our own and buying some of these treasures.

The best part was in summer when we could leave the door open, listen to the birds sing and look over the fields and the little swamp.  It looked like a big swamp to me when I was small, and filled with wild things so mysterious and wonderful.

In the fall it was a lovely sight to look over the fields and woods to see the glorious colors and let the mysteries of life permeate ones whole being, something you felt right down to the soles of your feet.  The wonderful mysteries of life, of childhood.  How great to be alive.

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