One question we are often asked is "what do you do for fun?" or "what do you do during recreation?" Well, the main thing we do is talk! Since we keep silence during the rest of the day, recreation is the time to share stories and news from home, to tell jokes, to compare notes on what we are reading and to just talk! But we don't just talk.
The optional recreation period after dinner dishes (around 1pm) can be a bit more active, especially for the younger sisters with games of basketball or soccer or or sledding in the winter or just walks around the backyard. Evening recreation is more sedate and is often the time for 'handiwork.' You will often see knitting needles and crochet hooks flying (sometimes across the room when a sister is just learning...), but just as often you will find sisters playing card games, scrabble, board games, or one of the many other games in our game closet.
A little while ago Sr. Mary Ruth Bernard began teaching Sr. Joseph Maria how to knit. Sr. Mary Ruth Bernard is our expert knitter, she can knit a sweater in the time it takes most people to just put one on! Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but only slight! Below are some pictures of the process. Sister is a fast learner, and she never had a needle land on the other side of the room.
While the knitting class was in session other sisters were involved in a serious game of Rummikub. Another two sisters were looking over the article on the Blessed Mother in the new National Geographic. Others escaped the eye of the roving camera!
Right now, during our busy season for The Cloister Shoppe, the evening recreation tends to be a different sort of handiwork....labeling! Every afternoon the 'soap sisters' carry up bins laden with soap products in need of labeling. Then ever morning they bring them back down to the basement where The Cloister Shoppe department is located. It is a lot of work bringing the heavy bins up and down all those stairs, but the many hands helping to label all those soaps at recreation makes it worth it!