Cabin Fever

February 17, 2009 by Ellen Stimson in Cabin Fever, Winter

We have it. All of us. We had a run of those fifty degree days where a bunch of the three or four feet of snow we had melted, followed by a few more inches and a nice little February ice storm. Then we got some more warm days and the driveway and the steps were like a skating rink. I was afraid every time I stepped onto the marble that I would do one of those cartoonish back flops only they don’t feel like cartoons when you are 46 and counting. I have been afraid to go anywhere. Only of course work beckons in spite of chills and hacking cough. So John walks me out like maybe I am 102. He warms up the car and even drove me around like a sweet chauffeur on the really whiny days when I couldn’ face the mountain roads.

Everything in our house is sludgy and there is salt stuck between the old hardwood boards. The old wooden pharmacist’s counter has been oiled five hundred times this winter, but still it looks dry and forlorn. Our mud room smells like old wet winter. The boots are in piles, and they look worse for the wear. There isn’t a scarf out there that doesn’t have little pulls and the gloves look like maybe we milked cows in them. They are stiff and yucky and begging for spring. Our lips are chapped, our hair is dry and no amount of olive oil and honey face mask can hide the cracks for long.

Eli and John are on winter break. Benjamin is home with his ankle surgery scheduled for Friday and Hannah will be home for her birthday this weekend. But everyone wants to know the same thing. What is there to do? Sledding has lost its allure. And of course there are grassy patches here and there amidst the snow, but then since we are expecting snow again for the next two days I guess those will be gone by the weekend. And every time it warms up our mudroom fills with the detritus of being on the downhill side of all that melted snow. The French drains are all ice down there and doing nobody any good up here. It is Godawful.
We are pitiful and getting pitifuller.

So what is there to do around here anyway? Well we can make repairs. Eli’s ipod isn’t charging so phone calls to Apple, the box got here and it is on its way. His 360 also was on the fritz. Benjamin handled that one and the replacement is already here. Our closets have clothes we will never wear and that we meant to give away last spring. And there is a tub fill of pictures just waiting to be organized into big satchel sized envelopes maybe by date, and then put into albums bought two summers ago and put away for winter when there would surely be days with nothing to do. Oh gosh look there’s Benjamin playing ice hockey int he fifth grade. We really need to organize these pictures. The basement and the attic look like refuge camps. Why not give all that stuff away and organize the rest? Somehow I think that TV from 1987 could be pitched.

There is plenty to do as it turns out. I re-organised our closet which is also a dressing room. John had three thousand coins strewn hither and yon now all neatly contained in a giant vase with butterflies. And my kids are too old to want their old childhood art adorning our home, but I love all that junk, so I plastered the walls in the dressing room with it. I added a nude John did of me with his Christmas acrylics. I look like a Rubens, round and happy with a wild mountain of cherry coke hair. Not fit for the kitchen perhaps but perfect for the dressing room.

What is there to do? This is the time for all those projects that were put off for a dreary day. Well they are here. A whole bunch or them and more on the way. Projects! We must crawl our from under the covers and move. Weekends are not for hibernating. We are not old fat bears after all. Well we are dfinaitely not bears anayway.This is the time we were talking about when we said later. It is later than we thought and we are bored and out of our minds. Maybe I’ll do all the drawers next. Old batteries and hair bands better watch out. Projects. We will surely be saved!


  • Bia

    I love a good project . . . especially ones that calls for cleaning and organzing. Recently I organized our walk-in pantry, and every so often I stand in the doorway marveling at the cannisters neatly lined up, the cereal boxes on the same shelf, the cans grouped together by type.

    This weekend when you’re holed up with your projects, make bread…great big rounds of bread that you just tear off in great chunks the minute you take it out of the oven.

    Cheese and wine would be good, too.

  • Bia

    P.S. I absolutely loved your Valentine post . . . I hope you printed it out and presented it as a Valentine to your Valentine.

  • Beesknees

    I loved it too.
    And I promise spring is coming.
    Wine and bread and cheese. I think Bia has all the remedies just right

  • library lady

    I don’t believe I saw anything about knitting in this post of project-seeking!

  • Jamie

    I cleaned my closet last weekend–it was such a relief to get rid of some of that old stuff!

    I agree with Library Lady–take up the knitting again! 🙂

  • TheCynicalOptimist

    So that’s it- in those hills of Vermont people get snowed in and then they draw each other naked. Guess that sums it up!

  • painted maypole

    i love that you have a nude that your hubby painted of you!

  • starrlife

    Sounds like fun! It is getting to the end though isn’t it? We has those teaser days… sigh.

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