©2014 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
Cabin Fever Watch
It seems spring hasn’t hatched quite yet. It wasn’t bad out there today, just inexplicably dull. Weather on the way in, and all that. Is that new? Well, okay, mea culpa, I’ve been off wandering about, trying hard to ignore the weather, pretending my fuzzy Canadian toque is elsewhere, putzing along, waiting for spring and glaring at the yard and garden that remains covered with over 3’ of snow. It, the thick ‘whitescape’ out there, somehow, for reasons unknown, has totally failed to live up to the lovely green and warm images promised in the half-dozen seed catalogues received back in January. Go figure. Think about it, that strange polar vortex doesn’t count, who invented that anyway?
Spring fever hit extra hard this year, a few inches at a time, here there, every few days, flurries yesterday and again today—and being Canadian, it was a delightful -20C only a day or so ago first thing in the morning, in spite of what you may have heard to the contrary, such occurrences affect us only marginally. Yep. Wanna’ buy a bridge? Ocean-front swamp?
Serious weather events may come to mind, but I’d be the first to report any extraordinary or overly-exciting details, you understand, after
tolerating and suffering enjoying the coldest and worst Canadian winter in 30 years. It’s curious how one begins imagining -35C is weather “getting milder “…but compared to -45C, it all becomes relative, a distraction, a game, so —yes, we better give the old pompom on the Canuck touque an exhilarating shake and shed a few icicles from the beard, you get the idea.
Spring fever, also known as ‘cabin fever
“Get me out of here, I wanna go somewhere warm” kicks in quite naturally as an eye-opener after six months of winter —even for the toughest hibernating bear or frozen Canadian. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two, with toque, big beard, furry parka, scarf, guaranteed -72F boots, woolen mitts up to the armpits, —but yes, something or someone is quite happily offering you a turn on the snow shovel and the key to the big tractor snowblower sitting out there in the blizzard.
Cabin fever is a catch-all excuse we Canadians invented to justify getting out there and building snowmen, ice-fishing, curling, skiing, playing hockey, diddling about on snow machines, hauling in firewood, and procrastinating. Perhaps even for just staying in the warmth of a crackling fireplace to enjoy another hot toddy. That is unless the hapless old abode is buried in snow to the rooftops, that is, then minor Canadian
cursing whining cheering is allowable, even required to relieve the old trusses. Four-letter blue-air adjectives enhance the Northern Lights romantically dance across the sky as we shovel off more of the white stuff, waiting for July.
Escape from ice-bound paradise is possible, it happens, but only the rich, sunburned and winter-blessed types capable of flying off on vacation to sunny-elsewhere bother to go somewhere warmer than Canada. Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela. If the flight’s not cancelled due to snowstorms and ice, that is a given.
We get it. As usual, we get it. Cabin fever. We’re here for the duration. Put on the toque, let’s go shovel. We can do it, we’re Canadian. Wait, wait…it’s snowing again…wet, sticky snow. Well, sooner or later, the sun’s coming out. We’re sure It’ll melt instead. Cabin fever? There’s always relief. Just outside the door.
Is that Incoming I hear?