Not a fever of 103 or 4. A fever that eminates from a cabin: Cabin Fever. And I think everyone I know is suffering from it these days. It’s the epidemic du jour. And tomorrow’s “jour” as well, given the mounds of snow everywhere and that crazy little thing called the Polar Vortex which has, once again, taken up residence in our atmospheric space.
One recent morning I hit the wall of the aforementioned cabin. In the midst of the morning chaos, I could not find my slow cooker anywhere, due to the fact that half of my kitchen belongings are up in my attic while my house undergoes a renovation that is quite possibly adding hundreds of new gray hairs to my head (those grays will just be another thing to renovate before too long. Hopefully, there will be money left over or things will REALLY get ugly).
Morning chaos erupted while the case of the missing slow cooker finally got solved. After two trips to the attic, I discovered that the fool cooker was down in the kitchen in a cabinet that I never use. Curse-curse-curse. I’m stomping around, which then led to husband stomping around grumbling about snow and his new-found hate for New England winters (which lends a certain irony to our house renovation that I chose to not point out at that particular moment). And to think…we attended college in upstate New York where winters stretch from October to May. It’s almost hilarious.
But that’s what all the kvetching over misplaced slow cookers was really about: Cabin Fever, plain and simple. It had absolutely nothing to do with kitchen appliances or early-day nuttiness. It’s like a simple science equation: temps drop + folks stuck inside + frayed nerves= The Fever. I looked up the term on Wikipedia and it said it was coined in 1918, which obviously begs the question “what the heck happened in 1918?”. The other reference which came up a few times in Googling, hysterically enough (pun intended) was the movie The Shining…Jack Nicholson. Giant deserted hotel in a snowstorm. Mayhem with axes and freaky-deaky twin girls. We all know how things ended there.
Spring might just be about 16 days away (not that anyone is counting), but we all know that there might still be plennnnty of winter left in Mama Nature’s treasure trove. This is New England and snow seems to have become quite fond of us this year. Damn her. What on earth are we going to do for the rest of this stretch? If we don’t figure this out, this blog might just become line-after-line of “All work and no play make April a dull girl.”.
Yikes. Hide the axes.
Back to Google for some remedies.
*You realize, of course, that this is the only time I will Google “symptoms and remedies” and not end up convinced that I’m going to die an awful death in the next 24 hours. Thankfully, “Cabin Fever” does not bring about a long list of general symptoms that all point their fingers of death towards horrible diseases. It’s actually quite refreshing.
And that exactly is what the remedies for Cabin Fever seem to point to: things that refresh the spirit and the soul.
As part of a self-written prescription, I took my girls to a flower and garden show a couple of weekends ago. It was held in a giant convention center and people buzzed in and out of there like bees to a hive. I think pretty much everyone who walked by me had a bouquet of flowers or branches (for forcing) in their arms. Smiles on faces were abundant and all seemed in a good mood. We were all treated to an early dose of blooming Spring in that hall…how could anyone be grumbly? There was green grass and flowers and arrangements everywhere that the eye rested. The scents of hyacinth and lilies wafted through the air. The warmest, most fragrant, sugary baking chocolate-chip cookie could not have stood a chance against those players that day. Those flowers were the scent of a season that we have all been missing.
My girls happily milled about and took photographs of the flowers with the seriousness of seasoned journalists. I could tell that the colors and forms were feeding their souls without them even realizing it.
We all needed that Springy blast of color and scent. It was aromatherapy and eye-a-therapy working its magic in the biggest, baddest way it could. We walked away happy and with a sense of calm that I (we, everyone) have been missing for a while.
In the meantime, go out today and buy the best bouquet of flowers that you can-big or small-and plop it in a place where you will see it countless times during the day. One bloom or twenty; either will make a difference in your day.
Maybe we can make it until March 20th after all.