Beyond cabin fever

If people in Iowa are talking about anything besides the weather, I can’t tell you what that is. The temperatures, the piled-up snow, the general dreariness of the situation threatens.

“Do you guys feel like you have cabin fever yet?” asked Ty Greenstein of Girlyman tonight at The Englert Theatre.

The audience hooted back a half-hearted yes-like noise, which is all anyone can muster these days.

I got an email today from a friend whose husband is in Boston right now, where 40 degrees feels springlike compared to the icebox moonscape that Iowa has become. I sympathized. I had the briefest of brief (with all apologies to friends who there was no way I was going to have time to see and/or call) trips to DC for a client meeting, but found myself with about a half-hour to spend on the banks of the Potomac near the Jefferson Memorial on Thursday afternoon.

DC BudsI spent much of the half-hour on a conference call with two people from work, but it was the best conference call I’d had in weeks: the sun sparkling off the water, the planes flying into National Airport overhead, the early cherry blossom buds swelling. D.C. hit somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 degrees that afternoon, and because it was about 50 degrees warmer than its been in Iowa, I wandered around with my coat unzipped and my face turned up to the sun.

That half an hour did more for my mood and spirits than anything has in weeks. Of course, it also meant the return to Iowa was one of the most difficult I’ve had in a long time—as the plane descended into the frozen wasteland, I shrank into my seat. When they had a problem with the gate and made us sit on the plane for 10 minutes while they straightened that out, I wished they would give up and turn the plane around, fly it somewhere warmer, less frozen, less difficult to navigate.

The birds sing outside in the mornings these days, and it’s light again when we leave work, so I know spring is coming. I know this, too, because I whined so badly last year, and spring came nonetheless. I know I won’t be punished any further for my bad attitude and cranky disposition.

But let’s just call it what it is, shall we? Because at this point, I’m beyond cabin fever.

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9 Responses to “Beyond cabin fever”


  1. 1 wayne February 22, 2008 at 5:30 am

    OK my rant 721 schools on the school closed list and mine no where to be found! My wife grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. I just read your post to her and she truly, and I mean truly feels your pain.

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener February 22, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Wayne, I wish I could snap my fingers and close your school for you! I have to say, too — there was a point in my life when I really wanted to move to Vermont…and I didn’t, and I’m really glad I didn’t, because there is no way that would have been a good idea for me! The next stop has to be somewhere warmer.

  3. 3 Kalyn February 22, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Me too Genie. I am so sick of winter I could scream!

  4. 4 Curtis February 22, 2008 at 9:23 am

    I tend to rant about the cold weather when I step outside on days when its not sunny outdoors. But I have only a few days worth of real ranting, considering all the cold you have up in Iowa

  5. 5 Benjamin February 22, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Now, dear neighbor state, here in Nebraska it’s going to be almost 50 this weekend and SUNNY, so I’d hope your weather is the same. Still, Iowa has had snow to protect sensitive new plants–we’ve had bare ground with negative temps the last few days and I can tell my Japanese maple is losing some recent growth. I’d like the snow, but this weekend I’m also taking the garden hose out and mapping a new bed!! With only a sweater on!

  6. 6 Jen-Ben February 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Although our weather has been downright balmy compared to yours, I’m completely with you about wishing for spring. After some virulent flu-like virus made it through our house and Frances’ announcement this week that I should start looking for her replacement, I need sunshine, fresh, green grass, and flowers. You know how leaves are a really bright green when they first begin to come out on the trees? I think that’s my favorite color in the whole world. Now, if it would only appear…

  7. 7 Robin at Bumblebee February 22, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Too bad you weren’t in D.C. a few days. The temps got up to 65 degrees. I had the windows open in the house and was in heaven! Did I spend time outside. Yesiree!

    Robin at Bumblebee

  8. 8 Gillie February 23, 2008 at 3:53 am

    Snow and cold weather is only fun for a very limited time and usually (IMHO) when one is under the age of about 15. Here in the UK we don’t get the serious snow that you do, but my girls do get a bit peeved if we don’t get snowed in at least once over the winter. This year we have been iced in more than snowed in. Our little lane becomes a one mile skating rink! Wishing you lots of warm sunshine, bright skies and little green shoots peeping through the snow free ground :)

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener February 23, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Kalyn, I’m glad I’m not the only one…

    Curtis, I don’t begrudge anyone some ranting — even if you’re not getting as bad weather as we are here.

    Benjamin, I can’t imagine what kind of wind you’re getting — yikes! We didn’t hit 50 degrees here today, but it was warmer, and that’s a good thing.

    Jen-Ben, even without snow…you’re having a heck of a week. I hope the weekend’s bringing you some peace!

    Robin, I would have loved to have had 65 degree temps! I’m so bummed I missed them.

    Gillie, I agree — I enjoyed the snow a lot more when I was under drive age. Thanks for the warm wishes!


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