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a break in the cabin fever

February 20, 2011

Four weeks ago, I mused about  the handful of Sundays,  usually five, that

comprise mid-winter.  Today is the last one of those this time around. To-

morrow the last third of this challenging season begins.  When I lived in

Kansas, this final lap of winter was by far the hardest part of the year for

me.  Cabin fever ran high, but all I could afford as a getaway were suntan

lotion ads.

I got in the practice of having a “Phuque Winter” party the last Saturday of

February.  I’d crank up the wood stove, and friends dressed in shorts, tank

tops, bathing suits and softball uniforms would toast marshmallows and

weiners as we chanted “No Mo’ Snow!”  Two marriages and countless

couplings resulted.

Up here it’s different.  Winters are generally milder than in Kansas, although

family and friends still living there tell me climate change has warmed up

that season even as it makes summers even more unbearable.  I don’t need

a getaway, anyway.  I’ve gotten away from what I needed to.

That still leaves the slight problem of entertaining one’s self until the snow

melts and the outdoor fun gets serious.  March Madness, the college bas-

ketball kind, is creeping closer.  The University of the aforementioned

Kansas gives me reason to believe it will go deep into the tournament.

The Giants have started spring training.

But still, we’ve got a few weeks to fill some time.  Jude and I started last night

when we had fun at a get-together at Sam and Em’s.  There were nine of us all

around a table laden with a superb cassoulet, salad, cheesecake, home-baked

bread and store-bought liquor.  Em did the Gumboot Dance from a recent local

theatre adaptation of “Mamma Mia“.  She played Sky, a guy.  (A guy named Guy

played Bill.)  Sam regaled us with a story about how he and a friend, fortified by

huckleberry wine made by another neighbour, made 150 or so snowpersons

on our road from the results of a plowing after a big storm.

As we were leaving, Em mentioned that she still owed us some eggs she had

bartered for two bales of straw from us.  The hens were a little broody, she

explained.  Would we accept some bacon from pigs she and Sam had raised?

To me, bacon for eggs is like an upgrade from a suntan lotion ad to a day in

Hawaii.  I love the economy out here.


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