Time For Hibernation…

This morning I got up to log onto work for the day, and I noticed an anomaly that I haven’t seen in these parts in a long time. SNOW.  Now sadly, I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, because quite honestly, my brain was not at normal functioning levels for me to even think to do that. For the last 2 ½ years, my wake up call was between 9-9:15AM. Now, it’s 7:30AM. That 90 minute difference is a bit much for this soon-to-be 47 year old. Hopefully after a few months of this new schedule, I will be more cognizant in the morning. 

Winter has finally arrived here in Southeast Pennsylvania

We haven’t seen snow in my town in a couple years. Call it climate change, call it global warming. But the last couple years, snow has been almost non-existent in my part of the world. And for someone that has had some serious difficulty with snow/cold temperatures in general, I’ve been completely A-OK with this. Yet, if this year has taught me anything, it’s to appreciate the present and stop thinking/worrying about the future. 

Honestly I cannot even believe I’m saying that! If anyone knows me, you know that Winter is extremely difficult for me. My Seasonal Depression (also known as SAD), is usually over the roof between now and Mid-March. My energy levels plummet, my motivation is practically non-existent. And yet, 2020 showed me that it is NOT worth it! The warrior in me wants to fight this. Until I get to my Heavenly home, I need to understand that where I am living at right now, I need to deal with the good AND the bad. So I need to make the most of the time I have here.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries about my ancestors from Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia. I’m a Scotch-Irish Viking, dangit! And let me tell you, they did some really cool stuff back in the day when it came to Winter. Without getting in all the magical properties of their culture (I cannot go down that rabbit hole for personal reasons), I’ve been mainly watching the culinary and domesticated ways my ancestors handled the cold. Especially in that part of the world, there are areas that sees the sun rise and set and only a few hours from each other. Darkness for most of the year sounds incredibly upsetting to me. But I like to think of myself as a domesticated pet who has NO idea how my feral brethren did it for as long as they did. In many ways, the Industrial Revolution made many of us lazy. As easy as it is to switch on a light, or turn on a fireplace heater, I can easily say 90% of this population would die in the event of an EMP disaster. 

How much would I love to have a wood burning stove in my house, as well as a window in my kitchen, part of my deck covered, and a cobb stove outside? These are things on my wish list, and until then, I need to work with what I have. We are planning on staying here for a while, and until then, we might as well really get into the nesting process that I ignored when I moved in here 5 years ago. The moment cold weather hits, I retreat into my own depression, and it’s really easy to just stay there. This year, I am going to press on through that and force the change that needs to be made. There’s a big difference in hibernating during winter and retreating. In my eyes, when you retreat, you walk away, you surrender. When you hibernate, you go into quiet mode for a temporary amount of time. Retreating is permanent, whereas hibernating is temporary. 

So, this year, I’m going to hibernate. 

Taking from my Scandinavian ancestors, I turn to the old tradition of Hygge. (pronounced Hoo-Ga). It is the tradition of nesting, getting cozy, hibernating. There are amazing YouTube videos that talk about Hygge and what it entails. SLOW AND SIMPLE LIVING. If you want to understand my need for slow and simple living, go check out my blog post here.

The Lord created this world for a reason. There’s a reason why we are born to a certain country, race, culture, climate, etc. I have spent countless years trying to get away from a season that I never really got to understand. Why would God have me live in the North if I’m not supposed to enjoy it? There’s no doubt I LOVE the change of the seasons. Even Autumn into Winter, there is a small period where my body, mind and soul enjoy the change. But it’s a very short time, and I spiral quickly afterwards. So, how does one try to keep the joy for that entire season, like I do the other three?

This is my quest. 

Now that I am working from home, I have the ability to nest a bit more. Before, I was out of the house somewhere between 6:30AM and 9PM, depending on where I was working. No more! Linus is quite happy that Mama is home every day, and if a puppy’s love is not motivation enough, I’m in big trouble!

Linus’ spot during the day, which is literally 12 inches from me

How do you hibernate in the Winter? I’m legitimately curious. This is a big challenge for me, so any advice would be truly appreciative!

Be Blessed,

Bridget

The Homesteading Hobbit

Finding Gratefulness…

Thanksgiving Tablescape Goals

Today starts the beginning of the holiday prep season for most Americans. I say that because this week is the prep time for our annual day of Thanksgiving. Although many people see Thanksgiving as a day to remember the terrible genocide of the Indigenous Peoples that inhabited this land before, I made a vow long ago to remember the day we tried to make peace and harmony with those who’s land we came upon. The truth is, the only people who discovered America are the people who were living here at the time Columbus and Erikson came onto these lands. Our Native American Indians, who lovingly met with the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock all those hundreds of years ago. These people who taught us how to plant corn and wheat, how to forage the native medicinals for healing, how to build shelters to keep warm and safe during those North Eastern Winters. My ancestors who shipped from the likes of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany and Scandanavia (yup, that’s right, I’m a bit of a Celtic Mutt), lived amongst the Native Americans here at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains not too far from where I live right now. Thanking science for geneology reports, I found that my people came to live in the Pocono Mountains, about 2.5 hours from my home.

My personal geneology report as of 11/22/2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about my ancestors this year in particular. Call it pandemic curiosity, call it research, I’ve taken great pride in studying my family’s history and how we ended up here in Pennsylvania. I come from a Clan of people called The Ulster Irish, also known as the Black Irish. They were the Indiginous people of Ireland who lived up in the North East of Ireland. There was a time in history that the Vikings from Scandanavia came down, raping and pillaging these people, breeding a new generation that would eventually emigrate to Scotland and England, and then eventually hundreds of years later, take a boat off of Southampton and land in New York City. My ancestoral history is not a pretty site, but I feel it is important to remember that not all of the Irish were good, and not all the Vikings were bad. What I DO know, is that it’s MY history, and although it’s not always pretty, it’s MY history. And this is exactly what I taught my children as I raised them. History is messy, and sometimes there are things that happened that are not easy to talk about. Horrific things like brutal rape and genocide, but also wonderful things like love, truce, and comraderie. We educated each other, and I HAVE to believe that however this country was formed, there was both bad AND good. Both sad YET happy times. And if 2020 has taught me anything, is that for all the bad stuff that’s happened to us, if we don’t remember the good along with it, we forfeit our right to the powerful truth of history.

So, as you prepare this week of celebrations, reunions and the like, I dare you to think about the good that has happened in this year along with all the challenges we as a nation have faced. Even if the good was personal and private, and no one but you and God were there to witness it, REMEMBER it. And thank our Creator above for all that we have been given.

For me, I am grateful for several things and came to some funny conclusions:

I have incredible faith that I never knew I had until I found myself in some serious hard times. That my inner circle, although tight and and secured, is more powerful than having thousands of social networking fans. That maybe I’m really a Northern gal, and that maybe it’s time I face the fact that if I embrace Winter, I may not be as depressed as I always expect to be each year. That the power of prayer can move mountains. That God gives me EXACTLY what I need when I NEED it, and nothing more or less. That if I stop trying to live life like I’m running in a marathon, I’ll find that peace I keep talking about. Huh.

I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year for my in-laws. I’m looking forward to it, despite some challenges it sometime faces. I have SO much to be thankful for this year, and I intend to relish in every single moment over these next several weeks, until it’s time to bid adieu to 2020 and turn the page to the next chapter. I hope you take heed to what I’ve said and do the same. We all deserve peace in our lives right now. And it has to start from within. God Bless You.

Me and Linus VanPuggle

Bridget