Dog-sitting in Portland
I did it! Achieved the dream, the nirvana evening I’d been longing for. One fireplace, one book, two dogs, and me. It was every bit as good as I’d hoped.
If I ever design a language, I’ll give it a word for that moment when you wake up from an accidental drowse to find yourself in a very pleasant situation. I had that. Repeatedly.
But no need to create a word for the love of such inner and outer warmth, the Northern Europeans already have a bunch. The Danish hygge gets more publicity than the Norwegian kos, but I’m a fan of the Dutch gezellig.
You can translate them as “cozy,” but that’s like having a satisfied French gourmand lean back after a boisterous meal, sigh lightly through garlic and wine to say “c’est tres delicieux!” and translating it as “It’s good.”
Gezelligheid is the right light, the embracing temperature, the belly full of satisfying food. Candles and fuzzy slippers would have worked well, and the comfort of loved ones had to be at least in close proximity. While a cold rain fell outside my secure shelter.
Three days of it. Chilly Portland rain and warm beagle companionship. Meals with my kin, pages under my fingertips, and naps in furry blankets. Good stuff. But as the pups snore away on the couch beside me, I admit I’m ready to head to the airport in half an hour. These hounds are like a dog sled to Rip Van Winkle Land, and I fear I wouldn’t wake before June.
So I’ll take the restorative slumber and carry it back to the bustle of the Bay, grateful as always for the chance at balance, and wish you all a gezellig March.