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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hygge and Winter

I don't know if there is enough wood in the world to knock on to superstitiously keep this statement at bay. Here goes: So far, it hasn't been a bad winter! Not like this photo from 2013!


Last week I wrote about one of my words of the year, Hygge, and a lot of you were excited about the concept and hadn't heard much, if anything, about it. (I hadn't either till recently.) For those who want a wonderful discussion about hygge, check out this link from On Point on WBUR/Boston where the show was devoted to a lively and fun discussion. (They don't speak of sheep on the show, but knitting or crocheting is a very hygge thing!)



So, you might wonder how those two connect -- light winter so far (knock knock) and hygge! Well hygge is all about being cozy. And when I chose it, who knew what winter -- the time I really need to cozy up most of all -- would be. So I decided to share a few photos from winters past so my Southern friends (who seem to be getting it worse than we are right now) and my Down Under pals can see what Michigan winter can look like. Below is the Ditch several years ago.


And below is a golden oldie -- one of the joys of the Scanning Project. Dad and Grandma, endearing for so many things -- notably the chic fashion of the farm wife! Dad isn't the picture of fashionista perfection either!


They had it tough back then, living on a farm with a good deal of property. While I don't remember hearing about cows, I know the barn was full of chickens, including Dad's pet Pedro, who ended up on the dinner table. Dad was never big on chicken after that. There was no "staff," no snowplows. Just Grandma and Grandpa (who is notably absent in these shoveling photos!)


My grandmother was a tall woman -- 6'1" -- so when you see those snowdrifts next to her, you know it was a pretty hard winter.
 

Despite the fact that many photos of me as a child show me scowling when outside...


...I loved winter far more than I do now.It was much closer to the ground when you fell and the snowsuits provided a certain amount of padding that a pair of jeans and a parka don't!


And there is something hygge about eating snow. Clean, fresh snow.


Or building a snow fort or sucking on icicles. Really? My mother let me do that?


I loved sledding and snowballs. Winter was fun!


It became less fun the older I got but even by high school I managed to make the most of it. I would stand with my friends for hours in the front yard at Christmas. We would stop traffic as we'd stand in a holiday tableau, moving slowly, like animated mannequins and trying not to let steam escape from our noses or mouths.I remember people stopping, trying to make us laugh and occasionally trying to figure out if we were real. Our cast of characters varied, depending on who was available but we always had fun.


This all started because Dan, the one in the red who grew up to work for the State Department overseas (now retired) lived in our 'hood and one day when mom came home from the store she commented that his family had a nice Christmas display of a life-sized caroler mannequin holding a candle. Well, it was Dan. He'd do all by himself (a lonely business), so we decided to take the show down the road to our house -- at the top of a "T" in the streets -- and add a few characters. He brought a tree and floodlights from the church where his dad was a pastor. We'd do it for as long as we could stand and when traffic slowed, would come in for a hot-chocolate warm up.


Now Rick is a winter guy.


This year's winter with only one substantial December snowfall that melted within a couple of weeks is frustrating him. He would spend all winter doing this if he had his way.


And definitely not this.


For which I am greatly relieved. The other day he rode his bike over (we were in melt-mode then) and then it iced up outside and the bike ended up in my hall for two days -- till he walked it home.


Whether it is snowy or not, Lizzie's birds will gladly eat us out of house and home.


And I am glad to feed them, partly because it's the right thing to do and in part because it provides us both with great entertainment! (That tree is finally down.)


From where I sit, the best thing about winter and snow is just how pretty it looks when it has just fallen and it feels divinely romantic. This...


....and this...


...maybe this.


And not this, which is more of what our typical winter is like!


So, while we haven't had the snow of some of the photos here so far, it's still pretty darned cold and I am longing for a little more heat and a little less ice.


And I'm hoping to get it soon! But not, I think, here.


So, till next time, stay Hygge!

42 comments:

Joanne Huffman said...

I think warm and cozy during the short days in winter is good no matter what the temperature. But, warm and cozy out of the cold is particularly wonderful.

La Table De Nana said...

You are so lucky to have all these adorable photos of you:)

You have not changed..

and the nonnas..wow..6 ft one and shoveling..I love their attire too:)

I like posts like these..Hygge:)

Deb said...

I just love the old black and whites. They are something I treasure here. You have so many fantastic photos of days gone by. I wish I had more photos of my grandmother outside in the different seasons. I can just imagine how hard the winters were here for farmers back then. She was a tall woman, too, and our snow-banks were enormous.
Aw...look at Lizzie's ears, lol Certainly in bird-hunting mode. We are trying to get through the -20's here and I am taking good care of our birds and squirrels. Can't wait for spring, though.

Mae Travels said...

Cold weather is really a leveler, isn't it? Everyone is almost equally affected -- other than the big question of who shovels your snow. But cold is cold and slippery is slippery. Down here we narrowly missed an ice storm earlier this week -- I think it delivered some snow to you. And I guess it's just getting started.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Linda said...

Contrary to what people believe, Portland, Oregon gets very little snow. Consequently this week's snow storm has brought the city to it's knees. The temp continues to remain below freezing so it's not melting. The forecast is for heavy rain to begin late Monday evening. The melting snow, the heavy rain, and snow melt from the mountains will result in serious flooding. I'm thankful I can remain warm and cozy inside with no threat of flooding.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

We are under blizzard warnings through late Sunday night. Last night there was a 20 car pileup on an off ramp due to ice. The weather people say it was just a preview of what is bound to happen tonight. We are expecting power outages, so I wanted to stop by and say how lovely your photos are, even the ones of you as a child. I so enjoyed this post, and would enjoy it even more if I wasn't worried about the ice breaking branches and downing power lines in my neighborhood. Stay warm and safe this weekend.

Joyful said...

I love the snow too but not the cold. this year it has been very cold and though the heat is on it doesn't get quite warm enough. We're through the worst of our cold now it should start to rain and warm up.

I like all your old photos. Very nice. So glad you are enjoying the Winter and I hope for Rick's sake you do get more snow. By the way, I only learned about the concept of Hyyge (spelling). I've ordered a book from the library about it. But I think the cosiness cast by candlelight is what helps the Danes get through Winter.

Naturegirl said...

Jeannnie great photos down memory lane!I remember back in the 60's in a Northern town I grew up in with snow banks higher than 5 ft.!!! those were the days of crunch crunch underfoot as one walked along. Here in my Canadian winter we have no snow! what we did have, a few days of rain washed it away! Oh yes I am staying Higge...love to wrap myself in woolen throws!THE PHOTO OF KITTY LOOKING OUT MY FAV BUT AS YOU KNOW I AM A CAT LADY =^.^=

My name is Erika. said...

I used o lvoe snow as a kid, and now that it is work, well i think differently about it. However, seeing the old photos (they are really great) and how they used to shovel everything by hand, I had to relook at my whining and complaining. wOw-what a job and none of our modern conveniences like gortex or fleece or even lighter weight plastic shovels. Yes they did have wool, but still, I am sure you can see what I am saying. Hope you're having a great weekend. Hugs-Erika

Shelia said...

Oh, I'm a little chilly just reading your post! :) What great snaps of your family members. Now honey, you just haven't changed. I would have known these baby pictures where you because your bright eyes and smile are still the same. What a little cutie you are! Love seeing and hearing about your teenage antics! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Marilyn Miller said...

Your snow pictures remind me of what we have here. We finally dug out car out today and venture slowly to a nearby restaurant. Looking forward to a bit of warming next week. Love seeing your pictures of your as a little girl in the snow and you and your friends in Christmas mode. What a cute idea, even the rosy cheeks.

Bella Rum said...

Your childhood photos are adorable. You still have that sweet face.
I didn't know it, but I've been practicing the art of hygge for a very long time. For me, it involves small lamps that only add mood and warmth in a dark corner, hot drinks (especially in winter) and my soft stay-at-home socks (love them). Those are my favorite ways to chase away the cold, literally and figuratively.

shoreacres said...

I always love your photos of snow. They bring back so many good memories; sledding, ice-skating, snow angels, icicle-eating! Of course our moms let us do that -- all I remember are the warnings not to stand under the roofline when the weather warmed and they started to fall.

We were talking about snow last night. The fog was thick, and blowing, and under the street lamps it looked just like a nice snowfall. Sigh. I expect that's all we'll get.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I never knew what the cozy feel was like living in Southern California as a child, teen and very young adult. When I moved to Boston at age 28 up until now living in Minneapolis, this concept of Hygge finally makes sense. When we lived in California, the lifestyle was to be out and about and MOVE. Here, we still try to find time to go out to walk, to a mall to walk if the temps are too cold, but are learning to embrace the Hygge lifestyle. I love it, but my innate need to move is still there...I need to balance the two!

The French Hutch said...

Jeanie, wonderful way to express warm and cozy, I love the photos from your youth. You do have the most beautiful winters and yes, snow makes for a romantic scene. I love the photo of Lizzie bird watching, now that is "hygge!" Dear Jeanie, stay warm keep the birdies fed for these winter days will pass......hugs.
PS; Love your baby pics, you still have that sweet beautiful smile:)

Victoria Zigler said...

I love Winter, especially when there's snow. It was one of my favourite things about spending Christmas in Canada.

We finally got some snow a few days ago. Nothing like the snow you get. In fact, you're probably getting better snow than us even with your claims of hardly getting anything. But there was enough so we could say we've had some, which I'm very pleased about.

Tammie Lee said...

It sounds like you have a lot of good winter memories even if you don't care for it much anymore.

Such dear photos of your relatives and you.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I also loved winter when I was a kid. We had a big yard so had lots of room to make forts and run around in the snow. I remember one year when we had a crazy amount of snow, the snow drifted up to the 2nd level of windows in our split level home, so I could climb up the drift and wave at my mom through the window. I thought that was hilarious. I also ate a lot of snow! And there was sledding and ice skating with my cousins!

Now that I am an adult, I don't love it as much. I tend to get mini-flares when the weather changes in the winter so my hands don't like winter weather patterns. Phil does all the shoveling, though, so I am lucky that I don't have to deal with the snow when it comes. I did buy cross country skis a couple of years ago and used them the first year but then the next 2 years we didn't get enough snow to use them. I'm hoping to get out on them in February - I just need the temperature to be reasonable! The weather now would be pretty good, actually, but I've had such a busy month, I need a couple of days of hygge this weekend. :)

Katie Clooney said...

I never heard the word hygge before a reader sent me an article about it a couple of weeks ago and now it's is all the rage! I love the idea of it. It's bitter here today but no snow so I can't complain!! Hope you have a wonderful week, dear Jeanie!

Roz and John said...

Here in Northern France we have only had a light dusting of snow but we did have what is known as a hoar frost and every was snow white, it actually looked like snow and was perfect for hygee and snuggling up in the house with a blanky and hot chocolate, I have only just found your blog and look forward to reading more and hope you will follow me too

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Oh Jeannie,
I will stop complaining about the cold. Burrrrr. But what gorgeous photos.
Thank you for the trip down memory lane. How blessed you are to have so many childhood photos. Thank you so much for sharing.
blessings,
Penny

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful winter photos and memories. You seem to have had a fun childhood. The generations before us did have to work a lot, that's true. Enjoy your Gem├╝tlichkeit, I am resting a bit after a fall yesterday. Hugs, Valerie

~*~Patty S said...

As much as I Love and enjoy snow I must confess I do so mostly from indoors. Having to drive in it is not my cup of tea at all.
Your frozen "tundra" snowdrift and icicle photos are wonderful.
Such cute little you pix too dear Jeanie!
Before we know it Spring will be here...time moves so quickly.
oxo

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what a lovely post of snow and I particularly love the pics that were old! Stay cozy and warm during your Michigan winter! Have a wonderful week!

BeachGypsy said...

beautiful beautiful snow pictures! Wow, some of those drifts are so big! It all looks so fluffy and frosty and FUN!---when you are little, ha ha LOL---sure dont like snow and cold now but I do love seeing all the pretty pictures of it, you have some great ones!
hope y'all have had a real nice weekend.

Kathleen Grace said...

I love the photo of your dad and grandma. I have similar photos of my grandparents and mom and her siblings. Such treasures. I had to laugh at your tableaus with your friends. My sister and I used to do the same thing except in the summer. I distinctly remember using an old bamboo fishing pole and a blanket for a flag and posing by the road as cars went by. Hahahaha! #totaldorks. I thought we were the only ones to do that stuff.

As for the weather, I am actually a little afraid that the upcoming week of weather in the 40's will get the sap running. I'm all for a short, warm winter, but I hope it doesn't eventually kill all the buds!

Bonnie said...

Jeanie, You were an adorable child! Love the old sled, mittens, scarfs and hats. Just darling! There is something about snow and ice pics that are so beautiful but I know life is not easy with either. I lived in Alaska for almost five years!
I 'm reading about Hygge and it does seem to be the word this winter. We did have three or four days of temps in the 20's but last week had highs in the 70's. I'm 85 miles from the Gulf of Mexico so we don't have much cold at all. I can't complain at all.
Enjoy the cozy and beautiful white. It is pretty.

Jeanne Washburn said...

Jeanie - My favorite...grandma and your dad...love it! All that snow...ugh...but fun to a point. Stay Warm!

Sandra Cox said...

What a cutie! And you still are, of course:)
Wearing dresses in snow....yikes!!!!!!

Red Rose Alley said...

I just love these old treasured photos of you growing up, Jeanie. They are priceless. It's so magical for me to see all this snow around your neck of the woods. This California girl doesn't get to see much of it. You have so much of this white wonder in your neighborhood! That last picture of all the snow covering the trees and the roof of the house is so pretty. Thank you and thank you for sharing this snow-filled post with me. :)

~Sheri

Jody Gabara said...

Jeanie, I love this post! So many wonderful photos of you and your family. The ones of you in the snow are the best!! I've enjoyed the stories also! Thanks for sharing ♥Hugs, Jody

bj said...

Great photos...yep, I, too, loved winter when i was young...but now, i stay inside and just HOPE we don't get a reall big snow...love all the rain we can get, tho

Lynne said...

Wonderful photos . . .
Loved your photos from the past . . .
Holiday scenes in the front yard . . . cars driving by to watch, what fun!
A younger Jeanie in the snow was fun to see . . .
And speaking of hygge . . . I have been cozy most of the day.
I think years ago we had snow consistently . . .
My memories are filled with days on end being outdoors skating, sledding, playing, skiing.
Seems different now . . .
We are almost snow free again with rain . . . and ice!
I like that final scene . . . tons of white surrounding the house!
Thanks for tapping my memory bank Jeanie . . .

Tracy said...

Hi, Jeanie! HYGGE is VERY big here in Norway, always has been. I've been living with this for a while, so it's not new, news for me. ;) And sheep and hygge very much good together! Winter used to be SNOW, that's for sure. I'm still amazed we're not having a lot snow right now here in the southern part of the country. In all the years I've been living here, this is the first mid-January with hardly any snow. I'm sure we'll be under a white blanket soon, though. While I'm still learning to make friends with winter, it's OK if it doesn't snow either... LOL! ;) LOVE those pics of you in the snow... too cute! Glad Rick has put the bike down for a bit. It's too crazy when it's icy out. They do make bicyle tire specially for winter, I think, but I don't know... When it's winter, really, all we can do is hygge! LOL... ((HUGS))

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Jeannie
I'm hopping on a plane and coming over to "hygge" with you in Michigan!!!!
Wonderful photos I would love to live where there was a proper winter like this.
You guessed it I'm a romantic ha ha! I wouldn't enjoy shovelling that snow at all!
Love your old photos and your Grandmother looked like an elegant lady - 6'1" WOW how wonderful.
I'm tall at 5'9".
Great post that I'll come back to read again when I've got more time.
Hugs and keep 'hygge"!!!! Love new words!
Shane x

Sandra Cox said...

That first picture with the icicles against the color of the bird is just perfect.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

You are so right Jeanie! Even little pigs have renovation problems..
I am at the kitchen table. So happy you are enjoying. Thank you so much for your most welcome visit.. Working on pig #2
blessings,
Penny

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good Morning Jeanie!
Love, love this photos and I am craving a real Winter.
I have just about had it with Texas Winters...brown and gray, it is even difficult to discern where the land meets the sky.
I am a true romantic at heart and love the idea of fluffy white snow, icicles and a good sleigh ride.
Jemma

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Have I told you that the warmest I ever was in winter was while visiting a friend in Michigan? Your houses are so well insulated and more snug against the cold. And of course you have sensible clothes. No one here is ever prepared for real cold! Your childhood photos are a kick! Adorable! What a cutie you are.

Sandra Cox said...

Those sheep look toasty warm:) Hygge:)

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Oh my, what great photos! But I especially love the one of the outdoor lamp. So lovely! We've had more snow here this winter than we have in decades. And both when we were trying to either fly in or out of town. Ice storms actually when flying which are the worst. It took us FOUR DAYS to get to Paris this trip because of weather and delayed flights everywhere we went. Never had such a terrible time trying to get somewhere. But the snow and ice have finally melted and the sun is out today tho chilly. Glad you are having a mild winter so far. Hope it lasts. Hugs!

Jenny Woolf said...

I love snow - but only for a short while. I can't even start to think about the hardship of life in the old days in climates like yours, but I guess that people just got used to it. Mind you, when I was a child in Germany there were some very cold and snowy winters but I remember how cold I used to get, it wasn't easy even then! But like you I just LOVED the snow, the sledging, and all the fun things we could do. I cracked up at your tableaux in the front garden. Isn't that just the kind of thing teenagers do! For all their ups and downs, teenagers can be so endearing. :)
I hope the next year is a wonderful one for you!

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