Cabin Fever

As the staff goddesses departed for the weekend, we riffed about all the things we were going to do on the weekend- dancing, clubbing, movies, meals out, sky diving. When our laughter stopped, we had a moment of just being glad we were all healthy, but yes, there was still a fragrance of cabin fever in the air- both the usual winter in NH version and the unusual covid variation.

I decided to shake up the weekend as best I could to combat the north country’s particular type of cabin fever.  I would strive for innovative, outside the box adventure and a saucy attitude.

So how did it go? Let me share my exciting Saturday with you.

As Saturday morning dawned, temperatures were in the single digits. That and a significant wind chill factor made dressing for success vital. My solution was to layer with two winter coats, and that was while I was inside.

Jim needed to go to the dump with sheetrock scraps from the barn renovation. He got the interior of the truck smoking hot thus luring me into riding shotgun to town. This was a chance to have a date or as they say on The Bachelor TV show, “have significant one on one time”. We made the most of it by savoring the excitement of getting the truck weighed both before and after dumping our load.

Back at the farm, I decided to get our Animal Tracks book and go out and track the wanderings of the neighborhood bobcat. We’d seen him trot through the yard at dawn, so I knew where to look for his freshest tracks. This activity proved befuddling.

Humans may be staying home more during covid but the wild animals? Not so much.  About fifty feet into tracking the bobcat, I ran into a vast number of other tracks. As I wandered into the field next door following tracks, tracks and more tracks, I traveled up and down and all around the field, circling round and round in a futile attempt to sort out the deer, coyote, rabbit, turkey, skunk, squirrel, bobcat and dog traffic.

Because it was bitterly cold, I began to muse on the topic of “How much longer can it stay this cold out?” I recalled my first boss in NH who used to say that if you survived to double digits in February (ie Feburary 10th), you had made it through the worst of a NH winter.  As I was counting off how many days until that magic moment, I also recalled that this man jogged with his tie on.  The memory of watching him jog round the track in suit coat and tie got me laughing.  So there I was staring at the ground, walking in circles and laughing my head off. Could an evening out on the town be more fun? I don’t think so.

It was lunchtime by the time I threw in the towel on becoming a master tracker in one day. I knew nothing further about bobcat behavior but had clearly established myself to the neighbors as truly off my rocker. I could just hear them commenting, “An arctic wind blows and she’s wandering in circles in a hayfield for a very, very long time. And good golly, she appears to be laughing.”

Post lunch on the weekends is always a moment of excitement as I wonder how so few people can make so many dishes.

After the last dish was washed and before the afternoon snack dishes began to pile up, I sat down with granddaughter Grace to discuss important topics like, “Do mermaids have to wash their hair?” This chat entertained me as I ripped out a large chunk of stitches on the sweater I was knitting. Even though I JUST knit this same sweater for one grandbaby last week, I messed up on the directions for this sweater for another grandbaby. By the time we had solved our mermaid questions and I had ripped out what felt like most of the sweater, Henry was up from his nap and asking to have books read to him.

30 or 40 of them.  Sometimes more than once. The three adults in the household, Grandpa, Grandma (me) and Henry’s Mom, all pitched in.  All of us were either reading aloud or listening to someone read aloud all through the afternoon hours.  What can I say? Ferdinand wears well.

Dinner time and a new recipe tried. It was not good. Like a night at the casino, I had gambled and lost.

But it wasn’t a total wash. Grandpa had just enough voice left to croak out a chapter in the chapter book we’re reading, then Grace and I had half an hour of mermaid time. OMG! Serious mermaid drama as one of the mermaids goofed up a levitation spell!

As the evening wound down, I felt serious contentment with the day. I had not been anywhere exotic or eaten anything very good special or felt warm except when practically planted on the wood stove but there was still glorious life all around me, and it was good.

PS Here are what bobcat track’s look like.

PS 2 I will try and list some of the Flower Essences people have been leaning on for Covid Cabin Fever in the next couple of days.  In the meantime, there is always a meander in a hay field when its 4 degrees out with a wind whipping off the north pole.