Image: Our Back Yard.
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year, and is the Scottish celebration of the New Year. One of the most widespread customs associated with Hogmanay is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts intended to bring luck to the householder. Food and drink are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning, and well into the next day. The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.
And indeed, it is good luck we shall have! Our first-foots were our friends from Ransom Point, just back from visiting with family over Christmas. We were very happy to see them, as they’d been away for awhile and we’d been very busy working on the cabin. They brought a beautiful house warming gift – a full-size hand made quilt in various shades of green. The individual patches were made of all sorts of exotic print fabrics with interesting eye-catching designs. If you looked carefully, you would see a ladybug or a dragonfly, green scales, leaves, and many other intersting things. It was absolutely wonderful, and a present that definitely will keep us warm in our little house. It also reminded me in a nostalgic way of sleeping in my bed as a young girl. For many years I had a big starburst design quilt in shades of yellow on my bed. My mother and I patched it together when I was about twelve, and I slept with it on my bed until I left home for university.
Ken and I have been putting up the interior knotty pine siding – this really brightens up the cabin, and is an excellent improvement from pink styrofoam and red tape. Now we are starting to consider what kind of trim will go around the windows and as facing on some of our posts. As it turns out, Ransom Point has a wood working shop, and we got into some great discussions about materials and designs with our friends. Not only did they have a lot of good ideas, but they have some locally milled red and yellow cedar which we can use for trim.
Happy Hogmany to you all, and may you have as bright a start to 2016 as we have had!