Sunday, January 29, 2023

Knit 1, Purl 2...Cabin Fever Has Arrived

Every year around this time, when we are well into Winter, but oh so far from Spring it happens. Cabin fever starts to set in at our house. You know, that feeling like you have been confined to the same space for days, weeks and now months. That feeling that puts you a little more on the edge and cranky side

The dictionary describes cabin fever as ”irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from a long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.” Some of the words used to describe cabin fever are , “ climbing the walls, seasonal affective disorder or S.A.D. , winter blues”, and my favorite…”temporary insanity” 

While it is not an official diagnosis, Cabin Fever is a real thing that does happen to some people here in the North during the Winter months. And for the most part, we deal with it and get over it either when Spring happens or we decide to bust out and go out often into the elements. Either way, here in Minnesota, most of us survive Cain Fever each year. And as I age, I do have the hope that it sometime will just dissolve without much fanfare and notice by others. I am still waiting for that moment in my life…when I get to the age where I don’t get sucked into cabin fever. But for now, I am entering that season in life for the next few months or so.

I was down in the basement this morning, longingly looking at my E-bike that I so love to ride. It just sat there collecting dust with a pile of dead box elder bugs lying next to it. I for old time's sake sat on my beauty and gripped the handlebars as if to push the throttle and take off down the road for a 20 mile ride. But I just sat there staring out the window at the 4 feet of snow on the ground. So I trudged back upstairs and closed the basement door for what will probably be another 4-5 months. 

Last week I bought a cheap exercise bike off Marketplace so I could at least pretend to bike and keep my legs active working out pedaling to nowhere as I overlook winter from the deck door in the family room. I got it not only for the exercise, but also to keep my legs moving in a longer stride. We have had lots of snow and then some melting and freezing, making it slippery walking outside. I have taken a few dives onto the ground this Winter and to quote my Best Half…”We don’t bounce like we used to”.  

So for most of us walking through parking lots and running down the road to get the mail, we do the “Penguin Shuffle”. If you’re from around here you know what I am describing. That bundle up so you can barely move your upper body and then take tiny shuffling steps as you feel for slippery ice underfoot. You walk about the pace of an overly slow, chunky Penguin. After doing the Penguin Shuffle for a day of errands my legs get really sore from tensing up and not taking a normal stride. I am hoping the stationary bike will do the trick for the next months to keep my legs in shape and free of pain from winter walking. Time will tell.

And last but definitely not least, the endless darkness here from November to about March when we turn the clocks forward ties so much into cabin fever hitting our household. It is darkness when awakening in the morning and darkness by about supper time. That darkness seems to take its toll by ending the day’s activities around 6 pm. Unlike Summer when it is daylight until 10 pm or longer and outdoor activities abound, the Winter months seem to find me flopped out on the couch watching tv every evening. 

To combat complete  vegetation on the couch, I like to knit as I sit there. Along with a knitting machine that will crank out items fast, at night I will take to hand-knitting with needles. Somehow knitting while watching tv doesn't seem as wasteful of my time. I have recently been knitting mittens and socks. My sock drawer is stuffed with warm wool socks (more than I will ever need) and my grandkids here in Minnesota have enough mittens to afford losing some and still have pairs. I have been instructed that no more mittens need to come their way…or hats, or slippers, or socks. 

I have since moved on to using up all the scraps of yarn and making a blanket or maybe a rug. Actually I am not sure what it will be when done as it is all the really bulky yarn someone gave me a few years ago. But none of it matches. There are purple, black, red, stripes and a tweed. I decided last night to just start knitting and see what happens. Yes this is what cabin fever has come to look like at our house. 

This morning as I look out over the yard, watching the birds at the feeder, I realized how bad I have cabin this Winter. I am watching the 5 squirrels who swing from the feeders eating all the bird feed and realize that I have names for all of them. And for the pileated woodpeckers that check in from time to time. And in the early morning hours when I am looking out the window, there are at least 7 rabbits who all go by the name of “Bun-Bun”. They have all become my neighbors this Winter. I have yet to invite them in for peanut butter and bird seed sandwiches, so I think I am ok for now. But in the remote event that anyone hears of that happening…send help. Happy Mid-winter to all my friends in the yard and all you 2-legged humans farther away. Hang in there, we’ve got this!

No comments:

Post a Comment