Lebanon Reporter

Columns

March 5, 2014

Fighting cabin fever when warm weather refuses to come

I don’t want to discourage anyone, but it seems that I was correct in my assumption that we are never again going to see warm weather in this region of the country. It is nearly impossible to stay outdoors longer than a few minutes in these frigid temps, and people are starting to go a bit crazy with cabin fever. Last week it was reported that a mom in Cayuga not only completed her children’s baby books, but she filled each one out in Klingon.

The main symptoms of cabin fever are: irritability, forgetfulness, restlessness, excessive sleeping and foaming at the mouth. It should be noted that cabin fever is very hard to distinguish from PMS.

Since you’ve already played every board game a hundred times, watched everything on Netflix twice, and created every possible Hershey syrup concoction, I have come up with a list of five more things to do while combating cabin fever. Originally, I had a list of 10, but I have succumbed to the forgetfulness symptom.

Cabin-fever busters:1. Make snow cream. I first read about this when I was 10, and engaged in the Little House on the Prairie books. However, my mom wouldn’t let me make snow cream due to some nonsense about how pioneers like Laura Ingalls didn’t have to worry about acid rain. Now that I’m an adult, I reason that the first big snowfall cleans out the atmosphere, and I’m free to eat everything that falls thereafter. I have accumulated mountains of snow cream, snowsicles and Baked Alaska. No bellyaches thus far.2. Try a new, summery drink. The last time I was in Central America, I had a drink called The Belizean Bobsled. It contained root beer, dark rum and butterscotch. Belizeans have absolutely no concept of winter, or bobsledding, which is why they gave a winter name to a drink that contains distinctly summer flavors. In my opinion, it should be served in a frosty mug instead of with a paper umbrella and fruit kabob, but do whatever gives you the sensation of being poolside.3. Nude snow angels. Years ago, during a short stint with cabin fever, I donned my bathing suit and made a snow angel. Due to the extreme length of time we have been captive this winter, I recommend stepping it up a notch. A snow angel with a bare posterior will make a great picture for your Polar Vortex Scrapbook. Plus, being nekkid in the snow will save money on the heating bill. Even if you lower the thermostat to 60 degrees, it will feel really warm when you go back inside.4. Strap on your snow shoes, unearth the grill, and barbecue some chicken. The two most pleasant smells of summer are freshly mowed grass and grilled food. Since it is impossible to uncover grass without a snow plow, let alone cut it while it’s frozen, I recommend firing up the barbie. This has the added bonus of adding insanity to your neighbors’ cabin fever symptoms. They have been shut inside for so long that they will think they are imagining the smell of grilled chicken and charcoal.5. Make your kids go to bed at 6 o’clock. One of the few advantages of an early nightfall is that you can secretly change all the clocks in the house, and send your kids to bed early. Dark is dark, so they have no clue whether it’s 5:30, 8:30 or midnight. Hustle them off to bed, and indulge in a big bowl of snow cream with the remaining Hershey’s syrup.I hope these cabin-fever busters prove useful to you. I know it’s difficult, but only a few more weeks until spring. Oh! I just remembered number six! Knit a scarf for the Easter Bunny.

Ginger is an author, speaker and mother of five. Contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com, or find her on Facebook (Ginger Truitt-Author) or Twitter (@GingerTruitt).

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