Hurkle-Durkle Hygge

Kym Seabolt's dog, Nova Grace
Kym Seabolt's dog, Nova Grace, poses for a picture. (Kym Seabolt photo)

“Dearer to me than the evening star
A Packard car
A Hershey bar
Or a bride in her rich adorning
Dearer than any of these by far
Is to lie in bed in the morning”

― Jean Kerr, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

I strongly agree with Jean Kerr. The phrase that is taking the world by storm, and by world, I mean my corner of the Internet, where we discuss fluff and nonsense and the three of us who actually care get VERY excited is … drumroll please … Hurkle-Durkle. Not since the term “hygge” trended a few years ago have I been this interested in learning a new language. Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.

Hurkle-Durkle is said to have originated in Scotland with the earliest reference from 1808 and is defined as the act of lounging in bed past the point when you are awake and should be up. I think that sounds heavenly. To lie in a cozy bed and maybe read for a few minutes, contemplate the day ahead, stretch? I think it is lovely of these languages to come up with nicer terms for hibernating and hiding out all winter than “clinical depression.”

“Goblin mode” was the first Oxford dictionary “word of the year” chosen by public vote and describes “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy behavior.” It was the word of the year in 2022. I suppose when compared to goblins, Hurkle-Durkle sounds positively tame.

Does anyone else sense a trend here? In 2020 we were all forced by a pandemic to stay home. Most of the world reacted like we LOATHED THE VERY IDEA. The moment we were told to stay home we wanted nothing more than to leave. Later we were all released back into the “real world” and have apparently spent the ensuing years really just wanting to stay home after all.

Overall, I am generally an early riser. To me, “sleeping in” means staying in bed as late as 7 a.m. It probably stems from living in a rural area where to sleep past, say, 5 a.m. is seen as the definition of sloth. Getting up at 6:30 a.m.? “Time’s a wastin’! You’re missin’ the shank o’ the day!” In light of this, sleeping until 7 a.m. feels positively decadent. Honestly, I just want to wake up on my own without an alarm clock. This should not be hard. I go to bed at 9 p.m. My needs are small.

Our dog is also small — but mighty. Nova Grace Seabolt (codename: Torpedo) would like the record to reflect that she neither Hurkles nor does she Durkle. She runs a tight ship and as such believes fervently that lying about in bed is not to be tolerated. None of this sleeping in for HER people thank you very much.

She is very smart. I know every pet owner probably says this but she really is. She can understand simple phrases, body language and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, probably.

Nova also knows how to tell time. Her internal clock is a well-oiled machine. Trying to lie about in bed? Expect a paw to the throat at the 6:59 a.m. mark — like clockwork. She also can clock her dinnertime and woe to you if you think that whole Daylight Savings Time change matters to her one whit. Spoiler alert: it does not. She knows what time dinner is served and that doesn’t change on the whims of the Federal Government.

So, as much as I would like to partake in the Hurkle-Durkle lifestyle once in a while, I don’t have that opportunity. I have a tiny but darling little taskmaster who insists I get up EARLY. We have places to go (the kitchen) and things to do (serve breakfast). I suppose less time to Hurkle-Durkle leaves more time for puttering. The dog has no snooze alarm. I know, I’ve looked.

As for me, I like to call staying home and lying around “cocooning.” This is not to be confused with “puttering.” Puttering is my favorite thing to do — or not do. Puttering means I have all day at home and no place to be. I’m not lazy. In fact, I tend to clean, organize, or take on projects that cause Mr. Wonderful to worry. It’s not technically “doing nothing” if I’m wandering around with a tape measure making ominous comments about needing a drill. Terrorizing my spouse is just very relaxing to me.


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