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Friday, February 20, 2015

There's No Place Like Hovel

There is one thing everyone in the Northeast can agree upon:  this Winter is sucking the Life out of us.   I cannot remember the last time I was so winter-weary, with so much Winter yet to come.  Michael, my youngest, and the biggest winter fan in the family, is done making snowmen and sleigh riding.  Even our dog, an active pointer-lab, has ceased to be excited about playing in the snow, and that’s saying something. 

            We try to make the most of winter.  We took a winter vacation to Disney World -- but it seems like eons ago.  We all stay physically active so there’s no Freshman 15 getting piled on.  The darkness all the time doesn’t really bother me  (to be honest, sunlight that’s too bright gives me a headache).   It has just been too cold, and too dangerous driving wise, for too long.  And pretty much everyone I know has slipped and fallen on black ice at least once.
            With a winter this treacherous, there has only been one thing to get me through:  my Hovel.  This is an affectionate term my family has given to my little area in the Living Room.  We all have our own “nook”.  Michael and I have matching comfy chairs.  Anthony has a giant Lazy-Boy type leather recliner.  Christian somehow manages to have the entire couch -- don’t ask me how he managed that one.  And of course Orion has his giant dog bed right in front of the fireplace.  And the fireplace is pointed right at me.
            I suppose I should mention that the “fireplace” is not your traditional fireplace. All right, you got me.  It’s not a fireplace at all.  It’s a space heater.  But it’s the kind that has fake logs inside and pretend flames in the background and I LOVE it.  I pick it up and bring it into every room with me.  Listen, it makes me happy, don’t judge.
            Every day, all winter long, all I can think about is coming home, getting into my flannel pajamas, having dinner and then -- just like on Downton Abbey -- we all retire to the Great Room to our respective nooks.  Except that, unlike on Downton Abbey, there are no servants.  And instead of drinking sherry, we have coconut water.  And instead of dressing up like landed gentry, we could easily pass for hobos.  The kids do their homework or their social media or whatever they’re doing and Anthony and I read iBooks on our iPads.  Sometimes one or more of the gifted musicians in my family will grace us with a song on the piano or trumpet.  Sometimes Michael, our cruise director, will make us play a card game or a board game.  And I often work on Newburgh Rowing Club “stuff”.  But mostly, we are just happy to be in the same room.  It is the most wonderful place in the world and it is our way of hibernating, I mean coping, through the Winter.
            I don’t know when we started referring to my nook as my “Hovel” (As in, “What time is it?  I can’t wait to get home to my Hovel!”)  In fact, “Hovel” is defined as “a very small, humble dwelling house” or “a wretched hut.”  Call it what you want.  I have a view of the whole house yet the walls are placed so I cannot see the dirty dishes in the sink (Score!).  I can see my family even if they are plugged into their “devices.”  My loyal hound is at my feet, and I have my fake fireplace.  It’s the best darn spot in the world and, to coin a Coach Kennedy phrase:  There’s no place I’d Rather Be.

            Have a great day, everyone and, as always, Remember to Count Your Blessings! <3 Mrs. Lo