Well, I have to tell you, I’ve just about had it. Dixie says I’ve got a bad case of “cabin fever”. If the symptoms are grumpiness, lethargy, and being hard to get along with then she’s spot on.
Here in southern Indiana we’ve had too much snow and temperatures as low as 8 below zero. And it just keeps coming and coming. Tonight we’re supposed to get down to about 6 above zero. The ground is covered with 6 inches of snow with about an inch of ice on top. My deer feeders are frozen up so I can’t even check to see if they’re full or empty – I can’t even pry the lid open nor tilt them away from the ground, they’re that frozen up.
My boat is in the garage where the garage door is frozen solid to the driveway by the ice. Cabin fever? Yea, I’m damn sure it have it. And I have it bad.
I’m thinking there are probably three stages to cabin fever: The sports stage, the tinker stage, and the replacement stage.
The sports stage is where it begins. Snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures initiate this. So, unable to go outside to fish or hunt I grab the TV remote and turn on the tube (actually now a flat screen) and scan the channels for any sports show. Football season is only a memory, so I check out basketball, hockey, and any other team sport. I avoid hunting and fishing shows as this only seems to add to my restlessness.
I’ve discovered that a man can only watch so much basketball and hockey. So I’ve switched on some of the really obscure stuff like cricket and rugby and who-knows-what. Eventually it becomes obvious that I am pretty well through this stage when I find myself watching some reruns of little league tryouts in Japan.
The next stage is what I call the tinkering stage. This begins immediately when sports on TV seem boring and restlessness reappears as I sip a beer and puff on a cigar. I’ve got to do something else!
So I start fixing stuff around the house. I replace burned out light bulbs, fix leaky faucets, change furnace and water filters, fill the water softener with salt, paint some doors the dogs have scratched, you name it. I’m tinkering my time away one job at a time.
Dixie suggested I clean out and straighten my office. What? That’s my domain. It’s just fine as far as I’m concerned. If I rearrange all my stuff then how the hell will I ever find anything. It may look a bit askew, but to me it’s perfectly organized and for now I know where everything is, most of it within arm’s reach from my desk. Never mind the stacks of paper or the tools scattered on my desk. I know where everything is and I’m just fine with that.
Like all good things, tinkering finally pays off and there’s very little that needs to be fixed. I suppose I could venture outside with a pan of hot water and try to “de-thaw” the deer feeders, but with 15 to 20 mph winds out of the northwest and temperature in the single digits I just don’t think that’s a good idea.
The third and possibly final stage of cabin fever is the replacement stage. This only happens in my case after about 4 to 6 weeks of prolonged time spent inside or at the office. This is where the TV is forgotten, all the small and even a few large chores are done, and once again restlessness has firmly set in again.
I put a space heater in the garage and within about 2 days it had warned up to about 45 degrees. I went out there and started looking over my fishing rods, reels, tackle boxes, bows, boots, and other gear used for hunting and fishing. And you know what I discovered? I’ve got some old stuff that needs to be replaced.
Little did I know that some of my rods were 10, maybe 20 years old. My boots were cracking at the toes, my tackle boxes (perennially disorganized) were obviously too small, and some of my reels were close to becoming antiques. Aha! Time to replace!
I gathered up all the suspect rods and reels and headed to the store. After all, we DO have a trade-in program. The boots, although they bring back fond memories, landed in the Goodwill bag. The tackle boxes I sized up and decided they needed to be about double the size they were.
Now, about a week later after I entered the replacement stage, I have some great new rods, some new reels, a pair of awesome new boots, and an assortment of new “soft side” tackle bags that would make any fisherman proud. The only thing missing is some marginally decent weather.
So here I sit, typing away in my office, waiting for the weather to break so I can get outside. Being the eternal optimist I’m absolutely positive that will happen any day. And it better. I’m still searching for that flat screen remote I misplaced in my office the other day!
This week we have some great products to feature, and don’t forget about the last chance for our Spring Trade-A-Thon!
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