The art of hunkering is something I learned as a child growing up in the snow belt south of Buffalo. In fact, my hometown made the news this week because of the heavy bands of snow that blew in off Lake Erie and blanketed the area. In the good olde days, when 30 inch snow falls and temperatures in the -25 degree range were commonplace, we learned to hunker down for weeks on end. Laid in supplies and food. Dusted off the snow shovels. Ordered in extra coal for the furnace. Often we were stranded for days because the plows couldn't get through.
So...hunkering down for a couple of days at a time is easy for me. It brings back happy memories of a cozy house and a welcoming kitchen, evenings spent reading or playing Scrabble, and heavy kettles of homemade soup.
Not that we spent much of our time indoors as children. Bad weather never kept us inside. We built snow forts and tunnels. We filled the yard with snow angels. We struggled through the drifts hauling sleds up the hill. We tested the ice on the creek. There is nothing quite as sweet as hunkering down for bad weather and then going out in it...
...because it sets you up to enjoy it as an adult.
Today I filled the bird feeders and shoveled the sidewalk. I walked my dog in the snow and rustled up eight deer and a red fox in the woods. I walked a mile to get the mail. I finished decorating indoors and out. I would have baked some cookies...but my oven died the day after Thanksgiving, and they called today to tell me the new one won't be delivered until the day AFTER Christmas. This is not funny, Santa!
The point is this:
If you write, you need to be able to hunker down with it. For me, this means stocking up on coffee, good red wine, and dark chocolate. It means turning a blind eye to the dust bunnies when they take over the house, and it involves letting the laundry pile up. It may require missing lunch with friends and backing off at the gym. It definitely means long hours of solitude punctuated with frustration, impatience, and insecurity...
...which is why I'm glad I know how to hunker properly. I'm starting work on a new book.
Do you have a routine you follow to prepare for bad weather? How do you get ready to start a new project?
"So you see, imagination needs moodling--
long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."
Hunkering and moodling. Good stuff.