The weather certainly took center stage this year, making for an icy holiday. The ice gathered and lasted much longer than expected and last Sunday reminded one of Antarctica… at least an Antarctic of my imagination. Never has the North wind been so bitter or so biting! This weather with overcast days of icy rain and snow, or sunshine with howling winds and bone-chilling temperatures is rather depressing for those who love to be out doors. It is down right dangerous in many parts of the nation!
With too much ice on rural roads for days, many were trapped and could not leave home. They may possibly be experiencing a weather related syndrome called ‘Cabin Fever’. First recorded in 1918, cabin fever is a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group of persons are isolated and unable to leave a confined space for an extended period of time. Symptoms of cabin fever include restlessness, irritability, laughter, forgetfulness, excessive sleeping, and finally distrust of anyone they are trapped with. Often there is an urge to race outside even in snow or darkness as the individual assumes 'the unknown' is possibly better than entrapment with their companions. The most famous case of extreme cabin fever is horrifying as depicted by Jack Nicolson’s character in the horror flick, ‘The Shining’. Who could ever forget the typed message, ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy‘… over and over again as Jack famously ‘lost it‘. Humorously cabin fever has been referred to as a reaction of extreme boredom caused by an infusion dull company, with visiting relatives often to blame.
It can safely be assumed that the recent power outages may have contributed to a rash of cabin fever for how many hours can one find entertainment sitting in the dark listening to clocks tick? We may expect more dastardly winter weather, but it will not last forever. All of this house-bound misery will end with the arrival of spring and each dawn brings her closer to us. Last week, as though fulfilling a promise, the brave and precious freesias peeked through the frozen garden soil. Happy New Year... stay warm!