It’s cold in the midwest. If my blood hadn’t thinned from thirty years in a moderate climate I could perhaps tolerate it a bit better. Too cold to do much outside, hot and dry inside — it’s cabin fever time.
I remember this as a child. We quickly exhausted what there was to do (“I’m bored”). TV was an evening affair, you didn’t put it on in the day (and there wasn’t much to watch). So that was out. The combination of small house and too many young bodies in it, running around, noise, commotion, the perfect storm of cabin fever. At least the sun was shining. My mom would coax us out of the house in all but the coldest weather. “go, ice skate, play in the snow, go to a friends” anything to change the building ions threatening to explode the house from inside out.
And now, I’m here, braving the weather and cabin fever, to check in on my parents. Now the TV runs constantly, insinuating bad news, scary music and insane screaming pretty much non-stop. My mom claims she likes the background noise while I’m wondering what the constant commotion is doing to her cortisol levels. Perhaps it reminds her of being cooped up with 6 kids. Which I’m pretty sure DID raise her cortisol levels. Music might be a preferable choice but I don’t think they even have a radio.
The same elements are there (weather, noise, an excess of energy) but the circumstances have changed.
It’s a different kind of cabin fever. Especially for my dad whose hearing loss is becoming more profound and whose spells of dizziness and lack of clarity are increasing.
I haven’t seen them since Sept. when we had our trip to Poland. There we negotiated my dad’s apparent declines both physically and mentally. Since then, I’ve gotten reports from my mom but needed to see what’s been going on myself and work with my siblings to determine what’s next,
There are constant reminders in life that we never know where things are heading. The best laid plans can be disrupted in an instant, the worries we imagine might never appear. So we plan and prepare, and pray (or mediate) for flexibility — Keep a spare deck of cards or a good game hidden in case cabin fever, pens us in, leaving us irritable and restless.
If we can just get through, and crack the door to spring, our fever may abate.
A cabin fever shopping break yielded this suede jacket for $5 and a cool pair of brown shoes for 2.98. Chicago thrifting is best. The skirt I thrifted here but it was a LOT more expenses than shoes + jacket together. Linking up with Patti and her partners in style at Not Dead Yet Visible Monday