Cabin Fever

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You know how sometimes winter just drags on, and on, and by March if it’s still cold and gloomy, you just want to sleep the last few weeks until spring is finally blooming with tulips and lillies?

I’ve hit that point. I’d hibernate if I could.

Unfortunately, I’ve still got a while before spring reaches up this far north… and while we do lots of fun things on the weekends (cross country skiing, ice skating on the frozen lakes, snow shoeing, trying out every restaurant and bar and activity center besides the unwelcoming curling club…) the weekdays are a different story.

When Jesse is away at work Monday-Thursday, and going out is an ordeal in itself to put on all the layers and face the cold alone, it’s so easy to stay inside reading books and drinking cup after cup of tea.

Most days I’m content. I do my thing. I read, I write, I cook. The abundant solitude is surprisingly nice. Before moving here, I never spent whole days alone. There was always family and roommates and friends around, which is wonderful and fulfilling, but the obligatory solitude here has brought on a new kind of thoughtful productivity I didn’t know I needed to make time for in my life.

Some days are restless, though. Sometimes the winter gets to me, and the apartment is so small, and I feel sure that I have cabin fever. You know, those feeling bored and pent up, “get me out of here!” moments.

It’s not awful. I’m not suffering, and I don’t want to complain. Really, I’m good. But sometimes just, ugh, winter.

It’s these days of cabin fever when I most long to be, coincidentally, at a cabin. Instead of a high-rise apartment in a frozen city, I yearn for log walls and open windows, a wooden deck, mountains, trees, and that thin high altitude air thick with the scent of pine.

When we get out of here, I’m really going to enjoy the glory that is northwest summer: flannel shirts, cold clear lake water, campfire smoke, tall trees, lazy guitar strumming as the sun sets, trails to hike and roads to follow, and so much room to breathe.

This summer will be split between many places… Boise, San Diego, Kelowna, north Idaho and Washington. But I’m MOST excited to spend time at my family’s cabin that my great grandpa built. I’m the fourth generation to call this cabin mine. It’s my soul home. It’s where I feel closest to the eternal or what I imagine of it. I know more with each passing year and continued wanderings across the world how deeply rooted I am to the mountainous valleys of central Idaho.

No matter where else I go in the world, this will always be home, and I will always be drawn back to it.

It’s amazing to know a place so well. Not just a place, but also the cabin itself. The way the screen door slams shut with a squeak and bright thud, how the steel chimney cracks and pops when a morning fire is going and somebody’s pouring steaming water from that old brown kettle through coffee grounds. My whole family and all the friends who’ve spent time here know, even if unconsciously, that these are the quintessential cabin sounds. They’re the acoustic personality of the place. The hollow creak of the pine floorboards on the stairs, the whoosh and stick of the sliding glass door, the crunch of the driveway grit under someone’s shoes, the fragrant pop of sagebrush burning and a distant Poorwill singing as we try to spot satellites in the bright belt of Milky Way while our campfire shoots embers into the sky of combusting orbs and darkness.

These details are what I’m dreaming of these days. This is my cabin fever.


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