Thursday, February 18, 2010


The weather turns around November 1st which means that we are well into our fourth month of winter.

Don't get me wrong, I love winter, especially if I can just hunker down and stay inside during the worst of it.

February, however, is the time when the psyche starts to say "enough already". Walls start to close in and it becomes more difficult to find a place to retreat to. After all there are just so many rooms in this house. Personalities start to grate on your nerves and like my friend Vee observed, clinking a spoon continuously, chasing oatmeal around a bowl will have you thinking dangerous thoughts.

The gathering last weekend was a wonderful break from the monotony. In my cabin fever delirium I do the math and realize that I've published 1,500 posts, between the photoblog and this effort. What could I POSSIBLY have to say at this point?

Someone once asked me, "What's your inspiration?" I'll admit I'd never given that much thought but five years of therapy taught me how to break down the wall between my conscious and sub-conscious self, giving me access to answers.

"My deadline," I blurted out.

It was the truth. When I started the photoblog back in 2005, I made the commitment to post a photo everyday. A deadline is the only sure-fire way for me to make sure something actually gets done. The added bonus was that, under a deadline I sought out inspiration.

This morning cabin fever is on my mind and therefore has become my subject du jour.

I'm reading a book called "Faith and Betrayal" by Sally Denton. Using her great-great-grandmother's journals, she chronicles that woman's journey across the United States in a wagon, one of the earliest pioneers to move west.

I'm always stunned to think about these women living in cabins no bigger than my kitchen. Her husband and children all huddled together as winter storms raged outside. Many lost their minds (literally) with the loss and isolation taking their toll.

At last Saturday's gathering I spoke briefly about the isolation that has traditionally been the challenge of rural women. The internet has leveled the playing field and allowed people living in remote areas to connect with the rest of the world.

I'm a little worried about my frame of mind lately though because for amusement I've taken to watching an Amaryllis grow.

I'm imagining Little Shop of Horrors.....



Leslie T said...

Oh my goodness, have you named her Audrey? I do hope that we don't start to hear about people in your neck of the woods disappearing.... ; ) I'll be scanning the headlines. : )

Becky K. said...

Pretty soon we will enjoy the coming of Spring. I, too, am very ready. This has been a very snowy winter on the East Coast.

This was a great post, by the way.

Becky K.

Jayne said...

Haavae you read the book Giants of the Earth? (Maybe it's Giants in the Earth). Anyway, it's by Rolvaag, and it is about a pioneer woman who goes mad over the course of a winter, stuck in a tiny cabin. I think you would like it. I recall being very struck by its realistic descriptions. Her mental state changed ever so gradually that it was difficult to detect until you compared her state of mine at the end to what it was at the beginning.

Jayne said...

Ahem, that typo must be addressed: I meant state of mind (not mine).

Anonymous said...

That's okay there is something magical about watching a dry bulb turn into a beautiful flower.
Yes, like all your posts, this is a good one!

Vee said...

Is there anything wrong with that? Because if there is...

This is the funny thing, Suzanne, about those pioneers. Why do we always ascribe to them all the characteristics associated with courage and grit? I NEVER think of them having a nervous breakdown. I think of them as having the fiber of giants. So you've provided me with something new to think about...

Now enjoy watching your amaryllis grow and do share the bloom please. I'm watching a Christmas cactus take over the world and a poinsettia continue to bloom when I want it to croak.

Nezzy said...

This Ozarks farm chick's son reminded her yesterday that it has snowed every day for a month. That's not good for someone who has to get out and do chores every blessed day. Did I mention I'm soooo not a snowbunny! We have another winter storm movin' in tomorrow. If ya'll see spring...send her my way....please!!!

From the hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa, ya'll have a wonderfully blessed day!!!

Anonymous said...

Suzanne....I am always interested in the books you are reading. I just finished a 1954 published biography of Susan B. Anthony. Like you, I am amazed at the fortitude of our ancestors. On a trip west many years ago, we stopped at a rest area in Nebraska. Great photographs were hung on the walls showing "sodies" and many of the families that homesteaded the area. Harriet

bv said...

once again, you put a smile on my face and remind me how great it is to live where i do. at the risk of sounding like a show off, today i am planting spring flowers in pots and front beds. ( don't forget thou, we are subject to earthquakes here in paradise) also another storm is on the way.
bv who is drying out her webbed feet today

Debbi said...

I moved to the Middle of Nowhere from a large metropolitan area 12-1/2 years ago. The internets have absolutely saved my sanity. I'd be one of those mad pioneer women were it not for the electronic connection to the outside world. And although I bitch and bitch and BITCH about slow-speed access, I'm grateful to have it. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

For the first time in my life, I'm getting cabin fever, too. Now I understand why people get the blues and get all antsy during a long winter; we've had the worst one on record here in Texas.
Since this is my first visit, I've nosed around and made notes of several cute things I've seen here that I want to copy; hope you don't mind. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!