Cabin Fever

In my youth, I was heavily influenced by the great, classical writers whose influence will be felt down through the generations. I mean, of course, Erma Bombeck and Patrick McManus. What? You’ve never heard of them? And you call yourself an English major! Erma I’ll leave for another time: suffice it to say everything I know about maternity underwear I learned from her. Patrick McManus is the pinnacle of humorous outdoorsy writers. He wrote about the world in which I lived my youth — a world I left in the dust when I drove across a blazing hot country from my home in the shaded Northwest to arrive at a prestigious and ritzy New England college, dripping in history and “Natty Lite”.

I remember reading “Never Sniff a Gift Fish” in the log cabin my grandparent’s inhabited on the Cedar River, at a Boy Scout camp they ran (Camp Fremont). There were dogs milling about and arcane tools stacked in tubs in the corners. It was chilly and I don’t recall fireworks, which points to a Christmas visit. One of the prizes I unearthed in a back room was a stack of McManus Masterpieces. The great ones were there: “Rubber Legs and White Tail Hairs”, “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?” and “The Grasshopper Trap”.

Anyway, one of his brilliant essays talked about Cabin Fever. Go ahead. Go read it. I’ll wait.

Read it? Good.

So Monopoly, fudge and the old “Great Northern Railroad” calendar.

That, folks, is where we’re at here. I’ve been home since Wednesday, when it seemed like a good idea to work from home. Ha! Since then, I think it’s snowed three times? Four times? Yesterday, a day I was willing to venture out, I had to take two passes at getting in to my driveway because I turned the wheel, but the car was disinclined to go that direction. Today it was much worse. For the second time in three weeks we had to cancel church. I was very much looking forward to church. You know, people who don’t beg to play their DS or scream at me because they’ve lost the lid to their very favorite toy: the empty milk jug?

I suspect my mother-in-law is planning a break for it. She keeps talking about “packing bags” and “plane leaves tomorrow at 11, but you could probably drop me off now if that’s more convenient”.

Grey is bored stiff. I don’t blame him. I’m bored stiff too — or possibly that’s a side effect of the shoveling. Did I mention that all of us except Grey is sick with a sniffly cold?

You know the only thing worse than being bored stiff? It’s being bored stiff and not permitted to sit down and read a good novel because someone wants up on the couch. And down off the couch. And up on the couch. And down off the couch. And up on the couch…. and wait! Where is the lid to the milk jug?!?!?

At least Grey is now at an age where he can play in the snow while his father and I shovel. He had fun this afternoon, getting buried in deep drifts, throwing snowballs at passing cars and pretending to be cold. I didn’t take any pictures because I was afraid that no one would recognize the white-haired gnome.

Tomorrow it should be all done. The winter storm will pass. We’ll all head back to work and daycare for the long slog of serious winter. Thane will probably have to go back to the doctor because he’s not better. All the balls that were put down on the ground for a week will be picked back up and tossed into the air. I’ll dye everyone’s hair back to the normal color, and life will go on.

Let’s just hope this is the last of the snow!

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

5 thoughts on “Cabin Fever”

  1. There have been so many reasons we weren’t supposed to come. Snowbound must be one of them. Weird — we seem to stay on the side of the country without snow for Christmas vacation. Last year Mineral was snow bound and Boston merely nippy. This year Mineral even mustered some sunny day, while Boston ….


  2. I feel your pain. Do you remember when you used to be able to sit down on the couch and (wait for it) watch an entire movie? Or, even, half of an entire movie?

    This snow is not helping. Hope this week, a “normal” one, is off to a better start.


  3. We bagged our trip through Boston on Sat. on account of snow. The drive south from NH was a bit sadder for not stopping in Beantown. Sorry about the snow for you guys…


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