Let life be an inspiration


HURON — “Life is to be treasured and experienced,” is the basis of a new book, “On with the butter,” written by Heidi Herman of Lake Preston, which will be featured at the final Huron Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Campbell Park.

“On With the Butter,” is a motivational book that highlights the importance of embracing life to the fullest, being active and more in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Just keep moving,” was the mantra of Ieda Jonasdottir Herman, late mother of author Herman, which inspired a unique collection of experiences and outlook of embracing life.

“Mom’s one mantra was “just keep moving,” no matter what, one of her favorite things was to never waste any time,” Herman smiled. “When I was reading an article in an Icelandic paper, I came across this expression “Áfram með Smjörið,” which means “on with the butter,” — that’s exactly the Icelandic attitude and exactly mom’s mantra, it was the perfect title for this book.”

The motivational read contains 15 chapters, each focusing on different aspects of life including food, technology, being a hometown tourist and much more.

“There truly are so many ways to embrace and experience life, it’s not just about physical activity, it’s mental activity and engaging in learning and socializing, getting out and enjoying nature,” Herman said. “That is exactly what this book presents, each chapter of the book focuses on a different angle, food, travelling, technology, getting outside your comfort zone, staying active as far as mobility — exercise is great but you also just have to have the basic kinetic movement. Get out and interact with the world.”

At the age of 88 Herman’s mother published her first book which was a childhood memoir about growing up in Iceland.

“When my mom wrote this book there were so many different things that were really cool — the mythology, Christmas, the fact there is no Santa Clause. So that was my first book —I wrote a story about the Icelandic yule lads.”

Following Herman’s first book was a collection of folklore, while for her third book Herman and mother co-authored an Icelandic cook book.

When Ieda Jonasdottir Herman turned 93, it was her goal to achieve 93 new things before turning 94, which later became the focus of a new book.

“Back when she was 88 she had gone paragliding for the first time, someone wrote an article about “88 and feeling great.” So the next year she said “I’m 89 and feeling fine.” every year she did these clever things so for 93 we decided how about “93 and new to me.” No matter how old people are you can always find something new to do and entertaining,” Herman explained. “We logged that year on Facebook and Instagram and then when the year was over she wanted to turn that into a book. Part way through that process in October of last year she passed away so I took on the task of completing that process for her. When I finished the book and I turned it into the editor it was honestly a bit of a mess, there were too many points of view and the editor said “you have two books here, one is your mom’s journey and the other is a motivational guide book.” So I went back to the drawing board, separated everything out and the result was “On With the Butter.”

“That’s really the idea in all of this is to forge ahead,” she added. “Keep moving and have some level of activity in life.”

Herman highlighted the significance of this book also in the current times and struggle of COVID.

“When we look at the environment we are in today, there is a lot of uncertainly and not a small amount of fear,” Herman noted. “But when we look at something like COVID and we make all these changes in our life, we also need to realize when you fight and work so hard to preserve life and stay safe, we have to be cognizant of why. We should fight for a life that we love to live. You still need to reach out and embrace life, experiences and activity. There’s lots of ways you can do that safely, but you don’t want to isolate yourself from life.”

Deeply inspired by both her mother and love of her Icelandic hertiage, Herman wrote “On with the butter,” with the outlook of uplifting positivity that “life is good and it is what you make it.”