Happy hunkering!

Posted: February 26, 2016 in Miscellaneous, Musings
Tags: , ,

 (I’m on my way to Ohio today for an extended weekend, so my photo challenge entry will have to wait until tomorrow.  In the meantime...)

A winter storm warning, high winds, and blowing snow bring to mind the comforts of hunkering down at home. “Hunkering” is a wonderful word, full of nuances and associations. Strictly speaking, “hunker” means to squat down, often for a long time. But it’s the informal meanings that contain richer meanings:

 to hide, hide out, or take shelter.

 Those meanings might not be so enjoyable if you’re caught outside without shelter or if your weather forecast includes a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster. But that’s not where we’re going.  We’re headed home or, if you prefer, to a lodge hidden away somewhere that’s special to you.

Come in. Grab an armful of wood while you’re on the porch, leave your boots by the door. Sit down. Relax. Watch the flames dance in the stove. Tea or hot chocolate? I have marshmallows and more tea choices than you can imagine. Grab a throw if you’re cold. Yes, that’s soup you smell and the bread’s almost ready to come out of the bread machine. You’re welcome to work the puzzle on the dining room table, board games are over there, books are everywhere. Or we can just sit and talk. It’s so good to see you.

In my mind, “hunkering” includes being able to look out the window and see the beauty of a snowy day. You could hunker during rainy conditions, but no one can hunker when the sun’s shining and it’s hot.  Heat allows you to lounge in a hammock or on the beach, stretching cat-like in the warmth. Hunkering is curling up, drawing inward, conserving warmth, battening down the hatches.

After food, drink, and renewal, I want to be able to don outdoor clothes and boots, head outside with my camera, phone or Nikon, to take post-hunkering photos, followed later on by an evening of watching a hockey game while sipping a dark beer and eating home-popped popcorn.   In the morning, the sun will hopefully be shining on all that newly fallen show.

Those of us in the northern hemisphere are moving inexorably toward non-hunkering time, while those in the other half of the world are anticipation (or dreading), the approaching hunkering time. Whichever part of the world you call home, I hope you have at least one time soon to enjoy hunkering; alone, with a pet, or with family and friends.  Happy hunkering!

  1. Lena says:

    So nice you put it, I love hunkering in the winter.

  2. It was 63 degrees here yesterday and tomorrow below zero. Yesterday, I went out and picked up branches and sticks and tomorrow I’ll hunker down. 🙂

    • That’s more than a bit schizophrenic, Judy, but tomorrow will be the perfect hunkering weather. Enjoy!! Just about ready here to hunker down in my van and head for Ohio. 🙂


  3. Aaah I wish I had a way to hunker over snow! We don’t have any here 😦 Actually winter is slowly leaving us and I don’t like that one bit 😦

    Hope you have a relaxing day, enjoy ! 🙂

    • Had a lovely 6 hour drive to Ohio and am now relaxing. Winter is slowing leaving us, too. I enjoyed it while it was here (and will if we get a bit more) and will be ready for spring as well. For everything, there is a season. 🙂


  4. joannesisco says:

    I really like that expression too – to hunker down. It implies protection and safety.

    Happy Hunkering Down!! 🙂

    • It does to me as well, Joanne, although if you live in places where you have tornadoes and hurricanes, it’s probably associated more with bad, and maybe not so safe, times.


    • It does to me as well, Joanne, although if you live in places where you have tornadoes and hurricanes, it’s probably associated more with bad, and maybe not so safe, times.


    • It does to me as well, Joanne, although if you live in places where you have tornadoes and hurricanes, it’s probably associated more with bad, and maybe not so safe, times.


  5. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I used to work with some old-timers in the South who “hunkered down” to explain the really important things they had to say. It always made an impression on me and seemed to focus my attention on the lesson they imparted.

    Enjoy your weekend, Janet.

    • That’s the original meaning, Allan, and a good one. The implication of being at someone’s level when talking is a powerful one.

      You have a great weekend as well. My trip went wonderfully and I really enjoyed the drive…except for the moment when I was just starting disc 5 of a 10-disc story and the disc stopped. A look revealed a large scratch on the back which someone obviously “forgot” to report to the library. Can’t skip to another track, unfortunately, so I’ll finish the story in the book, but not until I get back. Had to start the other book, but I won’t get it done on the return trip. Either would have just fit, but not half of one and then the other. Fortunately, they’re books I’ve already read and can easily get, but still frustrating.


      • Allan G. Smorra says:

        The Good, the Bad, and the Buggy. thanks for checking back and good luck with the audiobooks. Scratched discs are a way of life these days. Spotty Streaming is a close second.

  6. Some of us here in South Florida are very tired of hearing our media tell us to “hunker down” with the possibility of oncoming storms. We much prefer to hear them tell us to stay inside, be safe, put up your shutters, keep a good supply of batteries, water, and food on hand, and the like.

    But in the meanwhile you be careful on your travels, and as soon as possible hunker down safely yourself.


    • Randy, hunkering down for reasons like the ones you mention isn’t the fun sort of hunkering and yes, it would get tiresome to hear. The phrase, like so many others, has positive and negative connotations, depending upon circumstances and people.

      As for my trip, I had an enjoyable drive and am now relaxing and answering comments. Soon I’ll be reading a book. Good stuff.


  7. Dan Antion says:

    Unfortunately, the non-hunker days this week came on workdays – I can’t hunker tomorrow, but hunkering near the wood stove might be a nice idea.

  8. Emilio Pasquale says:

    We usually hunker around an outdoor fire, me with a glass of wine no matter the hour or weather. In fact we had one last night. There’s just something so relaxing at the end of the day. We don’t have an indoor fireplace but, if we did, we’d probably have the air conditioning on in summer and a fire going!

  9. bythebriny says:

    I never realized before what a great word “hunker” is. Somehow it sounds just like it means. 🙂

  10. RuthsArc says:

    Such a lovely post. Another hot day here in the southern hemisphere so I thoroughly enjoyed your description of hunkering and comfort food and all things winter 🙂

    • I think the differences of things like opposite seasons in different hemisphere make life so much more interesting. Glad you enjoyed the post. No hunkering today, as it’s going to be (relatively) warm and sunny as well.


  11. pommepal says:

    What a lovely play with words this post is Janet, so descriptive. I would love to grab an armful of wood and I can just about smell the warm inviting aroma of fresh baked bread to go with that soup simmering on the stove. I really don’t get any opportunity to hunker over here, but I think I will pop over to your place via cyberspace and hunker down with you.