Cabin fever. It attacks after looking at mountains of snow, shuddering with the cold and trying to remember how many months ago you wore short sleeves and complained of the heat. It is like living in a cave. A cave that is occasionally visited by the sun, but not long enough to satisfy the soul.
Let me tell you about cabin fever, but in this case it was “farm fever”. At times the snow began in mid-October. I know because my son’s birthday is on the 16th and I almost spun out of the road with his gift in the passenger side of the car. I cursed that year and continued to curse every winter thereafter.
The Greenwood plow truck eventually found our farm after plowing the rest of the town and we were grateful. Let’s face it, we lived at a dead end road and with the technology of the sixties, could have been found in the spring staring out the window looking like a rack of bones. Thank God they plowed us out. This was reassurance that someone cared!
When the kids were small, they were easily entertained. My in-laws gave me an antique sleigh and I put Deb and Brian in and over the pasture hill we flew, in the early morning,on the crust. How they loved gliding along. ( That is Brian in the sleigh)
As they grew older, it was less entertaining if it was a snow day and no school. Out came the board games which took up at least fifteen minutes before they were bored. They were too old for snowmen and by the end of February that was such old news no one cared. If they had built one, I probably would have shot it. The whole farm reeked of wet mitten smell and could have been sold in a spray can. Wet leggings, socks, boots were part of the kitchen decor, shed as soon as the kid came through the door.
The kitchen floor was a design made only by Mother Nature..wet boot prints dried and caked in a diamond design. No mop was ever invented that could keep up with the marching of winter boots.
Escaping the farm fever was not all that much fun. In the barn were two cows bleating as if their last watering had been in July. After shoveling the path to get to the barn, the boys carried pails of water to the bleating bovines, while I ran the tap in the kitchen. It was a daily grind that made us all salivate for beef steak. I did not know that a cow ..a single cow…could drink as many as 21 pails of water. Maybe not many , but we had one who could. The cold continued; the snow continued and then one beautiful day in mid April, we saw a shrinkage of snow. Was spring really coming? Next question…when could we let the cows out to pasture? Well, that was another month or two…unless they wanted to push snow aside to find a sprout of green.
At this point in time, my neighbor and I have exhausted our supply of recipes and also any gossip that might have wended its way over the mountain. I swear I am going to go over the edge. How much cold can one person take; how much snow can one person endure? Then the miracle occurs~~~ the seed catalogues arrive. There is a chance. Spring is coming..it is really coming.
(Brian and our dog, Nicka) with the farm house barely visible)