[A view from the front door. Photo is unfortunately mine.]
Mais ou sont les neiges d’antan!
[Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!]
I can tell you where the snows of yesteryear are. I can also tell you where the snows of today are…and I can tell you where the snows of tomorrow, next week or two months from now are going to be. They’re on my front deck, my back deck and three feet deep in our tiny yard.
I wonder why the oceans of the world still contain water. Most of the moisture of our blue planet seems to be covering the 1.3 acres that surround our home. In the last week, I’ve shoveled enough of the solid form of water to fill the Erie Canal.
Which brings me to the topic of this post. Cabin fever.
In legend and lore, in story and in song, the subject of cabin fever is quite common. It is a well-known condition that affects those in the North Country. From the gold miners of the Yukon to the fur trappers of Manitoba, grizzled men with beards and red suspenders have been known to lose their minds when confined to a lonely cabin…while the snow falls relentlessly. Some simply open the door and walk out into the frigid swirling blizzard and are never seen again. Some crawl under their Hudson Bay point blankets and fall asleep while their wood stove burns low and then turns to embers and then goes out. Someone will find the body in the Spring time. Others have been known to take their own lives, once the bottle of hooch is empty. And, others have turned to their fairest friends and best buddies and put a bullet into an unsuspecting brain pan.
I, myself, was driven by near insanity to simply walk out the front door and into the Adirondack forest. But, the screen door wouldn’t open because of the snow accumulation. Besides, it wasn’t nearly cold enough…it was only -18 F.
I have been driven to violence. Two days ago I took a Macy’s carving knife (with a serrated blade) and hacked at a leftover breakfast burrito from the local health food store.
My misery knew no limits. It puzzled me because, well, we don’t live in a cabin, we live in a house with a number of rooms and a fair library in my den. There’s always cable television (something the gold seekers of ’49 didn’t have). No, we have Spectrum with 200+ channels but nothing worth watching. We have the internet, but how many anti-Trump postings can one person click “like” on? And, one gets weary of playing Spider solitaire 377 times a day.
So, what to do? Go out and shovel? No, we’re expecting 6-9″ this afternoon. Go to Whiteface and ski? The lift tickets are too pricey. Pay $90+ for a chance to get frostbite and/or a compound fracture of my left leg? Don’t think so.
I think I’ll find a comfortable position on the sofa by the picture window and begin to count the snowflakes as they fall, minute by minute and day by day for the next three months.