Pam Young: Do you have a cozy home?
If you’re a cozy person, you probably have a cozy home.
Now that winter will be coming soon, do you get the urge to cozy up the place? Webster defines cozy as: enjoying warmth and ease, marked by the intimacy of family or a close group. It takes a cozy person to make a cozy home. For every cozy home, you’ll find a happy family.
When I was growing up, our house was always cozy, but as the holidays came closer, the coziness factor seemed to rise. Do you think it could be genetic? If it is I got my cozy gene from Mom who got hers from Granny.
Every home that Granny made was cozy.
Three of her homes that I can recall, were only two rooms; two cozy rooms. I remember one winter, Mom, Dad and my baby sister, Peggy, had to live with Granny for more than a week. The Northwest experienced what they call a Silver Thaw. I think I understand what happens when one hits. First of all, the air nearer to the ground is below freezing and the air a little higher up is above freezing. When the precipitation hits the freezing air, it turns to ice. The super fine ice collects on everything, turning the landscape into a sugary, slippery wonderland.
Before the Silver Thaw, it had snowed about six inches. When the ice storm hit, it covered the snow with such a thick layer of ice that we could walk across the snow and not crunch through. The ice collected enough to pull huge trees over. Power lines were powerless to escape the accumulation of the frozen water and electricity was cut off for more than a week. That’s why we went to Granny’s. Our home was all electric. Granny had a wood stove.
Although I can’t remember the details of our stay that winter, I can still recall how thankful we all were to be warm and together, with plenty to eat. When the Silver Thaw melted, we went back to the convenience of an all-electric home. Granny stayed in that house with just a wood stove for many years and when she and our grandpa moved to another two roomer, it too had just a wood stove for heat and cooking.
Granny’s coziness could be attributed to three things; simplicity, cheerfulness and gratitude. Her life was very simple. She didn’t’ have much in the way of material goods. Three of her most valuable possessions were a bottle of ink, a fountain pen and pretty stationery. She possessed the most beautiful penmanship I’ve ever seen.
Her cheerfulness was undeniable. (I inherited her ability to be easily amused.) Granny got such a kick out of little things. She loved nature, animals and plants. She had a prized collection of four-leaf clovers. She liked to press pretty leaves in books Grandpa read and watch spiders spin their webs. She loved to walk.
Her thankfulness was profound. She actually seemed wealthy by her praise and gratitude for life. Anyone who didn’t know her, could easily have felt sorry for her. After all, she was poor. Self-pity was not in Granny’s vocabulary.
It’s easy to feel cozy when I think about Granny. Although she didn’t leave a very big mark on the world, she certainly left one on my heart. She died in 1976, but as the holidays approach, her memory becomes bright along with my desire for simplicity, joy and gratitude.
Pam Young, who lives in Woodland, Wash., is an author and lifestyle/home management speaker, columnist, and blogger.