Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Cure for Cabin Fever

A trip to Belize.

But when that's not possible, I like to cure cabin fever by traveling along on other people's adventures.

This is a habit that was developed when the kids were very young and I as a stay-at-home mom. I would revel in the adventures of Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall. The newest incarnation, such as Survivorman, just don't quite live up to the standard set by those earlier scientists. Perhaps because their adventures actually had a mission.

Last Sunday, weary from a Saturday of pushing grout and cleaning up the nasty white glaze, I escaped to the local library to see if I could find something to read, preferably someone's adventures put to paper.

I tucked a list of want-to-reads in my pocket but I swear my library has none of them. In desparation I decided to cruise the stacks, hoping that something would catch my eye.

Bingo! Within two minutes I was standing before a shelf that contained cabin fever gold. There was a bunch to choose from but I settled on three, speeding home with my bounty.



The Farmer settled in for an overdose of American pasttime. I don't need to say the word, do I? Leaving him safely ensconsed on the La-Z-Boy, wrapped in his Snuggie with two Chihuahua's to help keep him warm, I retired to my bed, plumping up the buckwheat hull pillows for a long read.

There are four books in the above photo. The one on the bottom is Robert Louis Stevenson's, "Treasure Island". I just couldn't get into it. There's a lot of archaic language that made it feel like I was trudging through sand. So, I ditched it. You've just got to know when to cut your losses.

I dug into the first book and I'm totally worn out, tired to the bone. In the past three days I managed to hike the Appalacian Trail, from Georgia to northern Maine with Bill Bryson.



It was an interesting hike (and read) but I'm bushed. I briefly entertained the thought of putting on my winter boots and going for a hike on the nearby trail that was created from the bed of a now-defunct railroad.

Briefly. I walked down to the mailbox in the biting wind and thought better about the idea. You've got to love Bryson though. He manages to find humor in just about any endeavor and this is no exception.

Tonight I'm leaving in a rowboat for a tour around the country. I think we're going to travel along the coastline but I'm not quite sure.



This book will have a long way to go to compete with William Least Heat-Moon's, "River Horse", which was the best real-life adventure book I've ever read.

When I get tired of rowing I'll leave for the Sahara desert. "Skeletons of the Zahara" chronicles the tale of sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa, captured and forced to walk across the Sahara.



There's one good thing...... at least it will be warm.

The Farmer and I have had plenty of real-life adventures but sometimes it's better to let someone else to the work, such as walking for almost 900 miles. Thanks Bill. It was a great trip.

NOTE: Thanks also to loyal reader Barb, who knowing of the impending cabin fever sent me a terrific book written by her father.

13 comments:

Lori said...

I loved "A Walk in the Woods." I listened to it on tape while driving to/from work a few years ago. My favorite was when he decided the pack was to heavy and started throwing the contents over the side of the mountain. A great read! Good choice!

Ria said...

Bryson's travel books are often really interesting, and his language history books are fascinating, but I'm always iffy on his general humour books. I love his sense of humour and his writing style, but I've noticed that he doesn't do much research into the "facts" that he pokes fun of, which makes the humour value sink a little.

Still, for all that, I do like reading him. I recommend Notes From a Small Island, and Notes From a Big Country. The former is him traveling through the UK, and the latter is a collection of his observations on American life after returning there after years of living in the UK.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

I love reading, so many great books with so many great places to go.

nutmeg said...

I recently discovered the "continuation" of the Little House series on a trip to the library to grab books for my 9-12 year olds. I loved the original series so much, I had to get a few of these (by Roger MacBride... chronicling Rose Wilder Lane's life) and snuggle in for an evening. My kids and I now fight over them...
Truly delightful!
:)

Jenni said...

I read "A Walk in the Woods" last year and really enjoyed it. He slogs through quite a lot of facts and history which other writers might have made quite dull, but I found every bit interesting because of his humor and writing style. It's a book I would like to own and possibly one I'll by for my oldest son.

I've decided that this year we will "travel" to a few places by having regular dinners with food from another country. I'm going to try to incorporate some crafts, music, and other elements of the culture along with the food. Since the we are no longer homeschooling and I can't incorporate it into the kids' lessons, most of the effort for these will fall to me. (Teenagers are often not very enthusiastic about mom's projects.) I hope they'll enjoy it and learn something along the way. We're going to start with Haiti.

In the middle of America and lovin it....... said...

Tell us the book that Barb sent ya. You have me courious. I've read Bills book also love it. I like all his books and William Heat books are the greatest. I am reading Elmore Leonards books now. What a good writer and the story he tells. Why can't we get paid to read......

Lisa D. said...

A good book, whether true stories or fiction, have a way of pulling you along on the adventure. I love that. I love how it can take me to countries I will never see, and meet people I will never meet. I love that it can remind me there is so much more to the world than my little corner of it.

MelissaD said...

The first Bill Bryson book I read was "In A Sunburned Country" about his adventures in Australia. I was great and I've read all his other travel books because of that one.

And yes, what book did Barb send you?

Vee said...

You've introduced me to a number of books that I never would've given a second glance. I may have to stretch out a bit...my chick lit isn't working for me. Your humor is too fun..."at least it'll be warm." To that end, I hope reading about a forced march across the Sahara is a good read. Hahahahaha...

myletterstoemily said...

thank you for the book report. i love meeting new books, especially in the winter!

Anonymous said...

I tried to read 'A Walk in the Woods' and couldn't get in to it, maybe I should give it another try? I will have to check out the other two. Pam

Stuck on Sunflowers said...

I have cabin fever too. Is it spring YET????

Stuck on Sunflowers said...

I have cabin fever too. Is it spring YET????