Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July Hygge

Today is the one year anniversary of our move to our cottage here at Cultus Lake. As I drove down the lake towards our new home on the day of our move I remember feeling so incredibly lucky that everything had come together and we were actually going to be living here. And I can honestly say that one year later there hasn't been a single day when I haven't been overwhelmed with that feeling all over again.

So given the fact this is our cottage anniversary, it seems fitting to have this month's hygge post focus on home. For new readers who aren't familiar with the term hygge, here is the definition that seems to best sum up its meaning:

Hygge is usually inadequately translated as cosiness. This is too simplistic: cosiness relates to physical surroundings – a jersey can be cosy, or a warm bed - whereas hygge has more to do with people’s behaviour towards each other. It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one.

Contentment is a key component to hygge, and I have to say I feel more content here than any other place I have lived as an adult. However, I have to confess that I'm still trying to make this cottage feel like home. Yes, I love it, and yes, the surroundings are beautiful. It's a place people spend a lot of money to come spend a week or two, and I have the incredible privilege of being able to live here. I wouldn't trade being here for anything (well, maybe a croft in Shetland or Scotland).

The thing is though, for the past three decades our home has always had children living in it. We went from adding one child back in 1981 and by the time we finished the expansion we had five. Then the gradual contraction started, and now we are empty nesters. It's very different being empty nesters. Please don't misunderstand. Different isn't bad. In fact, I have to say I quite like buying groceries and cooking for just two people, being able to narrow down who Mr. Nobody is, and not having to worry about other people's schedules.

So now I'm learning how to make a different kind of home. One that is smaller, quieter, but hopefully still warm and welcoming. A place that friends will want to visit. A place that everyone from my eighty year old mom to my one year old granddaughter will feel at home and want to come back to again.


I realized I forgot to do a June Hygge post. Between being sick for most of the month, going to Victoria, and then having our friends from England visit time sort of got away from me. And also, Blogger messed up part of this post, so my apologies if what you see is rather garbled.

56 comments:

  1. Hey Kristie,
    I have home envy! The outside certainly looks welcoming. I love the painted shutters and porch railings. It reminds me of the houses I saw when I visited Norway. I love my home, in spite of the clutter. Most of that is mine to be honest. I can't pass a charity shop without going in.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Blogger and I are having a bad day. The comment below was meant to be my reply to you, Leanne. I think I need to turn off the computer and get out my knitting, but judging by the way things are going I'll probably mess that up too. Ha!

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  2. That's interesting that it looks like homes in Norway. I'm going to have to do a Google search and see what comes up for Norwegian houses. Our house is deceiving though. It looks much bigger than it really is. It's just over 1500 square feet, so I have to stay away from the charity shops. :-)

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  3. I think you hit the nail on the head about what home is, perhaps without actually stating it--memories. Your cottage will not feel like home until you make more memories in it. Being just a year old (of living there) your cottage is just a baby and needs time to grow up with all the attendant memories before she comes into herself. What might help is to keep a little notebook journal of the meals you serve to company and your family's special occasions. I've started adding photos to mine (of the food and people sitting around the table). Then you can look back on the year and remember all that happened in the cottage and it will feel like home.

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    1. You are exactly right, Cathy! This is what I was trying to say, but couldn't quite come up with the right words. Our home is a baby and needs time to grow and be filled with memories. Thank you so much for this, and also for the idea of writing down the family meals we have, along with taking some pictures.

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  4. I'm sure I'm not the only person in Blogland who would LOVE to visit your home! The outside is completely charming, and I'm sure the inside must be even more so.

    I hope you're feeling better now.

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    1. Any time you are in our little corner of BC I would be happy to have you over for tea. :-)

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  5. I think your home looks stunning. I dream of owning a house with a covered porch like that. I could sit out there with my cup of tea, watching the rain - bliss!

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    1. I will get a chance to do that very thing starting tomorrow. Our heat wave is to end and we are predicted to have rain for the next several days. :-)

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  6. It does indeed look like a beautiful house and I am so glad that you are enjoyed spending the last year living there. I hope that you enjoy many many more happy years and lots more hygge there too! xx

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    1. Thank you, Amy. The house is nice, but the main feature here is the surroundings. I love having the mountains so close!

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  7. Your house is so beautiful Kristie, and happy cottage anniversary. I love the piece about being empty-nesters (like us) - 'narrow down who Mr Nobody is'. Gotta quote that one over dinner, he he. It takes a little while for a new house to become 'ours'. We came here 10 years ago and it felt like we were visitors until I had personally washed every inch of it (which took months) - then it belonged to us!

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    1. I almost took out the part about Mr. Nobody because I didn't know if many people were familiar with that poem. I'm glad you "got it", Patricia. :-)

      Perhaps I should follow your lead and clean every square inch of this cottage. I'm close to having done so. All that's left is to clean the tops of the cupboards on the kitchen (I don't think the previous owner ever did them) and wipe down a few light fixtures. For some reason both of these jobs keep falling to the bottom of my to do list.

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  8. Your house looks so cosy Kristie. It's always lovely to hear people really enjoying their home. I am definitely a home body :-)

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    1. I'm a home body as well, and that's why it's so important for me to have it be more than just a house. I think Cathy's comment above was exactly right. This place will feel more like home once it contains more memories.

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  9. I can't believe you have been there a year already, time certainly flies. It all looks lovely though, happy anniversary

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    1. I know, and in a few days it will be Lucy's first birthday! That is even harder to believe than the fact we have now lived here a year. :-)

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  10. You certainly have a very happy looking cosy home. When you have a family, and a house that's bursting at the seams, you can never imagine it ever being any different. I think it takes a while to adjust to being just you and he, but as somebody said to me recently, "at least I can now go to bed with the bedroom door open!"

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    1. You are so right about never being able to imagine things being any different when you have a house full of children. But different it is. And yes, there are perks to being empty nesters. One of my favourites is that I now know exactly what is in my fridge and cupboards. No more starting to make something only to discover half the ingredients had been consumed by one of the Mr. Nobody occupants. :-)

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  11. Your house certainly looks like somewhere I would like to visit! We can't believe we've been in our home nearly 2 years - the time has flown and yet our life back in the city feels like a (bad) dream that took place eons ago. I recognize the Craftsman influence on your house design and trim - I think that style makes a house look cosy and welcoming (we used it throughout our place, inside and out) - there's something about the proportions involved in it that evokes very positive feelings. Happy cottage anniversary, and many more to come! - Ruth in Ontario

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    1. I bet you couldn't imagine ever stepping back into your city life, Ruth. I know you feel the same way about your new home as I do about mine. And remember, if you ever make it out to BC you have an open invitation to stop in for a visit.

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  12. Congratulations on a year in your new home! I really enjoyed this post. I have been thinking lately about how the way we live in our homes changes as life does. I was thinking specifically about what it was like at home for us before we had children. Neater, certainly, but I actually think I like it better now because it feels like a more purposeful use of the home. I will surely enjoy when it swings back the other way someday. May you have many more happy years in your beautiful cottage.

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    1. I think the whole empty nest thing sort of snuck up on me, Jennifer. Yes, I knew it was inevitable, and I was ready for it. But I hadn't thought through what it would mean on a day-to-day basis. We are back to a neater house, but I must confess there are times I miss the mess and chaos of having a house full of kids. Enjoy every minute of your time with yours at home!

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  13. Anniversaries of home ownership are always special, but the first year is the most monumental. Now you've set down roots and they're starting to grow. You've had house guests and you've have old and young visit you. Your house does look so snug in the trees, a perfect setting as you continue as empty nesters. My husband & I are just on the cusp of being empty nesters, and I'm torn between having more space in the house (which I crave!), and not seeing my kids on a daily basis (which makes me sad). Wendy x

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    1. I like the way you put this, Wendy. Yes, we have put down roots and now they are starting to grow. In the time leading up to being empty nesters I could remember feeling torn just like you are now. Part of me was ready, after so many years of parenting, to move onto a phase of life where I could focus more on my interests (I know, it sounds horribly selfish, doesn't it?). The other part of me dreaded not being close to my kids and having them around.

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  14. Such a lovely place to call home, I be you enjoy each moment.

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    1. Thank you! We definitely enjoy our time here. :-)

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    1. Thank you Sarah! I was just thinking about you and wondering if you had made a decision about getting a dog.

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  16. Congrats on a year! I still love your home and the beautiful area that you've shown us.

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    1. Thank you Nadia! I feel so very lucky to be able to live here amongst the trees and the mountains. :-)

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  17. Beautiful home in a beautiful place you are certainly blessed.

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    1. Thank you, and you are right. I feel very blessed to live where I do. And thanks for following my blog. Welcome!

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  18. Happy anniversary! That year passed quickly. Before long you'll have so many memories of events at the cottage that it will seem you've lived there longer than you have. From everything I've seen, I have to believe it's a very welcoming place.

    About Mr. Nobody, I sure my brother was on his payroll for years. :)

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    1. Thanks Rick. The year did seem to fly by, and it was filled with so many good things. The problem at our house when the kids were living at home was we had multiple Mr. Nobodies. :-)

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  19. Phew ... I'm finally all caught up here. And just in time ... it's our turn for a heat wave and your limeade sounds like just the ticket :)

    We are down to one still at home, and that one very much does his own thing ... it's an odd feeling isn't, this turning of the parenting page.

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    1. Our heat wave is forecast to end overnight, and the rains and cool weather are to take its place. I feel like I'm passing the weather baton over to you, and the cool drinks baton as well. :-)

      It is a very odd feeling, Annie. Partly good and partly sad. I look back and think "how did the years go by so quickly?" Enjoy your one left at home while it lasts.

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  20. Has it really been a year already?! Kristie, your home and your surroundings are lovely but the real beauty in your cottage lies within the folks who live there. I truly believe you could bring grace and warmth into a shack in the middle of a corn field! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

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    1. You are very kind, Lisa, but I don't think I would do so well in a shack in the middle of a corn field. I might be okay in the middle of a wheat field though. :-)

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  21. 1 year already, that has gone fast! Such a gorgeous home Kristie and I agree with the others, I can only imagine the inside being just as warm and welcoming as it is on the outside simply because you and your husband are the occupants. Mel x

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    1. It has gone really fast, Mel! Thank you for your kind words. :-)

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  22. Beautiful words Kristie, I just hope that it all works out for us too. It already seems much longer than a year since you moved to your lovely new home. Sarah x

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    1. I'm sure it will work out for you, Sarah. But oh my, I remember that feeling of being where you are now, wondering the very same thing. Good luck with your house sale!

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  23. Your home looks beautiful and happy 1 year anniversary. We moved into our home as a couple and now it seems full to the rafters with people, as we added 3 kids. With one due to move away to university in October it's going to seem strange.

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    1. Enjoy having your home filled to the rafters while it lasts, Jay! It seems like all we do is blink our eyes a few times and they go from being babies to being ready to move out on their own.

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  24. What a charming blog. When I first moved into my old house, I felt the ghosts of past inhabitants and struggled with not feeling at home in it. I needed to create my own memories here and that takes time. I've just read your description of hygge which I so love - and evidently many others respond to it as well. The Germans have a similar concept in gemutlichkeit - difficult to translate - it's so much more a feeling than a concrete thing. Lovely blog.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog! I agree that it does take time to fill a house with our own memories. That's so interesting that the Germans have a similar word. Now I need to do some Googling to see what I can find out about it!

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  25. Your home is a beautiful one and, better yet, it does sound like you've created a welcoming place for those fortunate enough to spend time there. Happy Cottage Anniversary, Kristie.

    -Karen

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Karen! :-)

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  26. Hello, Kristie ! Thank you so much for becoming a member of my blog; I have just reciprocated. All the best from Paris ! x

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    1. You're welcome, Silver Bunny! I look forward to getting to know you through your blog!

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  27. Gosh, a year already! It doesn't seem anything like as long since you wrote about your move to Cultus Lake, Kristie. I love the exterior of your cottage and am sure that as your second year there unfolds and your stock of memories in that house increases it will truly become home. It's so long since our children left home that I'm having to remind myself how it felt to have the house to ourselves again.

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    1. It's hard for me to believe it has been a year too, Perpetua! Until we moved here we have had at least one child living with us since my oldest was born in 1981. The years seemed to fly by, and here we are now, empty nesters. You're right about our cottage feeling more like home once the stock of memories increases.

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  28. Your home looks so beautiful! Maureen and I were chatting about maybe taking a day trip to visit you sometime later this summer. Hope that works out!

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    1. That would be great if the two of you could come for a visit! Maureen had emailed me, and I told her I just need to find out the days Karsten, Diana and Lucy will be here in August, then we can work out a date. :-)

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  29. I love the notion of hygge and remember being really excited when I found out that the Danes had a word to describe a feeling I so love. And it's not just for winter - you can be hygge in the summer with a picnic or barbecue and a beer with some friends or family. Your home is beautiful and I'm sure it's full of hygge. x

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