Saturday, January 09, 2010

In Which I Go on a Selfish Rant About Winter....

So there's this illness going around. And it's quite a doozy. Worse one of the season. If you haven't gotten it yet, by all means, stay away from us.

The disease I speak of is Cabin Fever.

Now, some people think Cabin Fever is a mental illness. Actually, it really can be. People inflicted with this virus have weird tendencies to do random things like go to the Post Office on The Day of the blizzard, stamp all 121 belated Christmas Cards at the Post Office and just feel all happy inside to be around other people with two legs and two arms. (Not that people don't normally come with two legs and two arms; it's just when you sit at home all day for days weeks on end, you begin to wonder if only snow plows and mail carrier vehicles make up for the entire population outside your front door.) It gives one a "community" feel that you don't otherwise get sitting in your house at home alone while the snow and wind blow -40 wind chills across your town.

Other people think Cabin Fever is just a state of the mind. Like one of those "I-choose-to-be-sad-or-happy-today" kinds of illnesses. If that were the case, I would so not have Cabin Fever because the funny thing is, I choose everyday to be happy. But it's just not working.

Today I was talking to my mom on the phone who happened to be traipsing across the northern part of Wisconsin this weekend. You know, that part on our planet where it's always just COLD? Yeah, the snowy north woods. Anyway, the dear woman sympathized with my complaints about having Cabin Fever (like SHE would know; she was out gallavanting about!) but she assured me, "Oh you wouldn't want to be here right now; we had 22 below zero last night and today only got up to 14* above zero!"

I responded, "Well, that sounds great. We had -27 last night and the highest we got today was -2."

"Oh," was all she said.

Yeah, tell me about it.

Thing is, I was born and bred in this kind of weather: my birthday is in July... you do the math. (Oh dear, where did that come from?) So I have no problem dealing with this kind of climate, right?

Anyway, my point is, from October to June in Wisconsin, we just planned on cold weather. We didn't fight it. We didn't hate it. We didn't dread it. It happened every year and we embraced it. With pride. We went sledding, ice skating, had soup suppers, cookie exchanges, more sledding parties and a few more skating parties. The snow, wind and cold never stopped us: we were from the North where winter is fun.

But, in the lovely state of Nebraska where everything is flat and the corn fields spread on forever gusting with 50mph winds, winter is something to be dreaded. There is nothing fun to do here in the winter. Except go to the Post Office and stamp 121 belated Christmas cards during a blizzard.

In Nebraska, often a winter storm comes in this order:










Let me give you a little secret here: Hidden secretly under the layers of drifted snow, a sheet of ice lays ready to slay anyone who dares to trek out in the cold. You can scoop snow and you can haul snow and you can play in snow but WHAT do you do about ice? Nothing. In Nebraska, we wait for sun, not salt.

And usually the sun does come and within a week or so, our roads are clear. And we can do things like go to Walmart and Church and stuff. But not this year. This year, the sun refuses to shine and when it does, it just gleefully tempts us with it rays while the below zero frigid air, fights to keep the snow and ice packed firmly on our landscape.

Since this year's winter storms have come with a heavy does of Cabin Fever ingredients, people just stay home until they become like canned vegetation with a meaningless existence. I seriously HATE winter. I know that sounds cliche' because everyone is saying it right now but for the first time in all of my existence, those words have escaped my mouth.

For the first time I see WHY people go to the southern parts of our hemisphere just to get sun and warm air. I see now why people spend their life savings on vacations to warmer climates. I understand fully why people hate winter. And I'll never wonder again why people don't go to places like Alaska for Christmas vacation. I so get it now.

Bears have it down pat; they sleep the winter away. It's a perfect solution to an otherwise aimless existence as canned vegetation. If you can't beat the cold, sleep. If only my kids would participate more readily....

To top it off, after staring intentely at the four walls around me for the last month, I have this new theory about depression. The sun is loaded with Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D3 has been proven as a great supplement to take for depression. There is no Vitamin D3 to be had in our sub-zero climate right now which explains why Cabin Fever is so depressing. Are you following me? If not, you must not have Cabin Fever.

It's also a proven theory that our bodies do know how to heal themselves; we just have to provide the right balance of nutrition, rest and supplements when necessary. Since people automatically pick sunny, vacation spots, Voil-a! coveting a sunny vacation is actually your body's way of saying, "Help! I'm dying of depression!"

So. If you find yourself craving a sunny beach or a heavenly experience of something warm on your face, book that vacation and get away from here. If your bank account doesn't kill you Cabin Fever will anyway. And personally, I'd rather die happy than die depressed.

Disclaimer: if parts of this post are unintelligable or difficult to comprehend, just be thankful you don't really know what Cabin Fever is.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I am sorry to say this, but all my southern friends who are getting winter weather are besides themselves, and I find it amusing!!! Is that terrible?? :)

Or maybe its just another symptom of cabin fever that I don't realize I have. Because WI is 90% winter maybe its just a steady state of mind... Grins