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Cozy without comfort?

Hygge is the posture of the Danes in the long dark months of a northern winter.  They create environments of beauty and pleasure, safe from the harsh elements outside. Candlelight in the windows, wood piled high for the hearth, knitted blankets, hot tea, and good books. Everything this hobbit of a girl could ask for.…

Bittersweet

On Tuesday, August 21, 2015, after a 12-½ year battle with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including almost four years’ separation, my husband, Patrick, now with U.S. Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status, landed at SeaTac International airport.  Our 8-year-old son, Solomon, and I were waiting anxiously and I sobbed with elation and relief…

Seeking hoogly

My mom was the one who told me, after hearing it from Betsy Brown, a close friend in Atlanta. “It’s just so hoogly,” she said, describing that perfect cozy feeling when you’re snuggled right where you want to be with the exact people you want to be snuggled with. Betsy told her it was a…

Piece of me

I don’t even look at the clock anymore but can usually gauge the time based on if my husband in still in the bed or not since he rises by 5:00 am. They later confess that they have each been trying to will themselves to wake up before the other one does, their competitive cores…

Last light

It’s late afternoon on a winter Saturday, and I’ve taken my children to the beach for an hour of fresh air, an hour of running around and tossing beach stones into the water before the day is gone. What light we’ll get today in the northwestern corner of the country has already crested and is…

Sticks & stones

My son has a growing collection of twigs and rocks and dead flowers littering our home. I stepped on a crow feather this morning on my way to the coffee maker and I am writing this while looking at a piece of tree bark he tearfully told me he could not live without. He is…

What do you expect?

Hygge is comfort, the long sweater love lingering conversation over coffee leaves falling sweet scents of breads fresh from the oven and joy of the soul. Dreamy. School has begun again, and it always makes me want to rewatch You’ve Got Mail and buy sticky notes. A friend once brought me a bouquet of sharpened…

Getting some help with hygge

No one but me thought it was a good idea to hire a live-in maid and nanny. My mother reminded me that she had raised three kids and worked full time, and still managed to keep a cleaner house than mine, all on her own. My mother-in-law pointed out that neither of my sisters-in-law had maids, and they could actually afford…

Pizza and my place in the order of things

I need a single bowl of tomatoes for dinner, but the plant is overflowing with the delicate orange orbs. It’s the end of an extravagantly fertile summer that began with a slow spring and plentiful rain, a rarity for our high desert climate. My garden has responded to the weather, heavy with produce. As I…

Presence

Think of that feeling when you are cozy. Lit candles are scattered around the room, good food is in your belly, and a hot cup of tea is in your hands. Maybe you are alone, on a no-work day, sitting on the couch with a good book and no bra on under your old, tattered…

Magic is everywhere

We spent our last week of summer on the Olympic Peninsula, nine days nestled in our camper amongst the ancient cedar groves and limitless ferns, near crystal clear turquoise lakes and the vast sand and driftwood grey of the Pacific coast. We read books and played games and skipped rocks. We drank coffee and wine…

A love letter to You: on coldness and warmth

July 2018 Hi, You.  It’s the middle of the week, and I’m calm. My to-do list sits mostly empty, as I’m expecting family for the weekend. There won’t be enough beds to sleep in, but sugar consumption and late night conversations will keep us awake in any case. Your name will come up, as it…