There is always a point after a big snowstorm that everyone starts getting what is known as cabin fever. When I hear that term, I always think of a log cabin covered with snow with only the top of the chimney exposed and the smoke drifting up into the snowy air. While we are not that snowed in, we are kind of trapped in some ways and have had to think of things to make the best of it.
The problem in New York City is that Manhattan always gets the best attention during snowstorms. Mayor Bloomberg was on television telling people to take mass transit and go to a Broadway show, go out to eat, blah, blah, blah. If Mr. Mayor ever made it to the outer boroughs, he would find that not only are the streets not plowed, but that many subway lines and bus lines are not running either. Sure, we’d love to see a show, but how are we going to get there?
I ventured out today to get coffee, only to see cars, taxi cabs, and even a city bus stuck in the snow. Plows can’t get down these streets with vehicles in the way. It is a frustrating situation to be sure. What was worse is that my local Starbucks was closed and completely covered with snow over the windows and doors, so I had to trudge back home and make my own coffee.
Still, getting out and walking was good for me. I got to breathe the cold fresh air, and I also saw that many other people still hadn’t even been out yet because their front doors were still covered with snow. At least I had made it outside.
Later in the morning my daughter and I went back out to have some fun. I did some more shoveling as she scouted for the arms for our snowman, and then she started finding the best packing snow to commence the creation of the base.
I joined her and we fashioned a snowman we called “Mike” in honor of the mayor who forgot that Queens and the other boroughs besides Manhattan existed. When finished, Mike seemed a pleasant enough chap, but his biggest attribute was silence. I always wince when Bloomberg speaks, so I wish he would take a cue from his namesake snowman now and then.
We then prepared snowballs for the snowball fight of the century. I was no match for my Lauren’s onslaught of carefully aimed volleys, and then had to capitulate after she caught me off guard with one last shot to the kisser. She packs a mean snowball and has quite an arm and pinpoint accuracy.
After this contest was over, we made our snow angels. This is an art that depends on many things, mostly the depth and quality of the snow. Finding virgin snow is much harder on the second day after a storm, with all the varmints running around the yard (in this neck of the woods, varmints are squirrels, raccoons, and birds). Still we were lucky to find a good patch of snow on our patio and the angels came out quite nicely.
Since my son was sick with a bad cold inside, we decided it wasn’t fair to enjoy ourselves too long without him. Besides, the cold was really starting to get to us, so we put our shovels away, bid adieu to snowman Mike, and headed indoors for cups of warm soup, English muffins, and hot tea.
As the day waned, the cold wind blew harder, and even cabin fever seemed preferable to the frosty bite of the outdoors. Besides, we have it much better than those poor folks in the old days in that cabin with the lone chimney sticking out of the snow. We have cable television with hundreds of channels – even though the last few days it seems that all we watch are either Nick Jr. or Disney. We have our computer connected to the Internet for our amusement and entertainment, and we have a video cabinet stocked with an infinite number of movies from which to choose (though we have had to watch Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland and Despicable Me too many times to mention).
So there are ways to avoid cabin fever, like getting out and taking a walk or playing in the snow, but there is also a time when you must acquiesce to its presence and accept your circumstances. Pop a log on the fire, make some hot cocoa, and sit back and relax. Before you know it you’ll be back at work and school and wishing you could do something like this, so enjoy it while you can!