Cabin Fever

Yesterday was my first day back at work in two weeks, and I was curious how my coworkers spent their time during the blizzard. Half were ecstatic about the time off, loving the isolation and the enforced stay at home. The other half hated every minute of it, feeling trapped and anxious. I think that is called cabin fever.

There was a very funny article in the New Yorker April 11 by Ian Frazier about cabin fever and what it is like to go stir crazy. He used to live in a cabin in western Montana, and noted how socially awkward he became the longer he spent in isolation in the woods. He also noted that in 2018, a Russian scientist at a research station in Antarctica stabbed another Russian scientist because he kept giving away the ending of books. I am happy to report that none of my coworkers stabbed anyone, but of course they were only snowbound for three days.

Because of the way the snow blew in, there is a huge pile of snow on our roof on the front of the house, and the melting has caused enormous icicles to form right by our front door. You could stab someone with one of those, I suppose. It is a good thing that Husband and I both like being at home, and neither of us gives away the ending of books.

Have you ever had cabin fever? Who would you like to be snowbound with? Ever read much by Ian Frazier?

39 thoughts on “Cabin Fever”

  1. cabin fever is a blessing and a curse
    i love the womb you crawl into in cabin fever mode but the term implies you want out
    i gave both reveled in and gotten antsy in limbo waiting for release
    at it best it is meditation at its worst an inner itch that keeps me from enjoying to the max

    ian frazier is good
    the rez and siberia come to mind
    his style of writing is enjoyable
    he picks good topics

    icicles make a good whiskey drink for a friend in montana who does not go stir crazy in the weather
    he posted a photo the other day
    i’ll see if i can find it to repost

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Only times I’ve been cabin bound were because I wanted to be. I remember being confined, though, with a toddler for days on end in deep cold, and I do remember getting close to the edge – let me (us) OUT of here! I think it could be pleasant to snowbound with any number of friends – would be one way to get to know a person well.

    I regret that I haven’t yet read anything by Ian Frazier. (There are large gaps in my reading…) Where should I start?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Never had cabin fever, but I’ve only been truly snowbound once or twice. I don’t mind snuggling down with my honey for a day or two when the weather outside is frightful.

    Never read Ian Frazier (that I can remember).

    Little known mystery writer fact: Icicles make good murder weapons because they melt and leave behind zero DNA. 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna (who doesn’t know if the icicle thing is true but I heard it somewhere)

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I don’t mind being stuck inside for a few days, as long as I have plenty of books to read and I can get Pippin out for a short walk. After a few days it starts to get to me. I wouldn’t stab anyone with an icicle but I might try an icicle in a mixed drink, depending on where the icicle was before it was broken off. Warm dogs are always good companions when the weather won’t let you go anywhere.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    The worst cabin fever I have had occurred not during a snowstorm, which I usually find fun, but Winter/Spring/Summer, 2021 during the first pandemic social distancing and isolation. Then Winter 2021/2022, when there were not holiday gatherings or many social events, was brutal. We were invited to one November, 2020 backyard gathering with a fire when the temperature was close to zero. We all went, bundled up like the old Guindon cartoon characters, desperate to socialize. With our feet freezing as the minutes went by, we stayed because we were so tired of the cabin fever at home. Later that winter I watched 7 seasons—yes 7–of the Great British Baking Show. I had never before binge-watched anything to that extent but it was all there was to do, aside from walk outside.

    I have not read Ian Frazier. As a child I was fascinated by icicles and loved breaking them off where ever they froze. I am with Krista. A dog is a wonderful snowbound companion, as long as the dog can get outside to do its business. One year during a heavy storm we let out black and white terrier Coco out. She stepped of the front steps, disappearing into the white snowbank with only a rear black spot visible. She got her head out of the snow and looked at me with despair.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. There is another “impactful” storm predicted to possibly hit us here this weekend. Husband and I are flying to NOLA Thursday. We return late Sunday. I sure hope it is rain and not snow.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I enjoy Ian Frazier’s sense of humor. His gift for observing and writing about all kinds of people ranks right up there with Bill Bryson and Mike Royko.

    If irritability is a sign of cabin fever, I have it, big time. Just leave me alone, please.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Last week when we were all recovering and feeling good, just not back to work yet, I was enjoying sitting at the dining room table and just playing on the computer. I said to Kelly I could see myself being retired. And yet, in the back of my head, I know I’d get bored eventually. And besides, I know it’s not healthy to just sit like that.

    Don’t know the author.

    Since I added heat tape to the house eves, we don’t get the giant icicles… but down on the barn we get some good ones! You wouldn’t want to use those in a drink.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Well, I completely forgot about the cabin fever caused by the pandemic. I guess I was thinking short-lived cabin fever. That was brutal, to be practically house-bound for so long, esp. before the library re-opened.

    Since we new it was prolonged, though, it did make us get creative, get out for more walks, sometimes with other friends in the neighborhood, and think of different ways to be indoors – it’s when we discovered Schitt’s Creek, et. al., on Netflix, started playing Mexican Train, and reading aloud on occasion. I finally tried a few recipes I’d had for decades…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I actually did ok library-wise. Since they weren’t taking any books back, worrying about finishing before the due date became obsolete thinking. Of course, by the time they WERE taking actual books back, I had them all finished. Only time in my life. The waiting list was a little trickier to navigate. Since nothing was due, some books stayed out a long time. Empire of the Summer Moon took a year and a half to get to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced real cabin fever, although I will admit that the first day of pandemic (in my world Saturday, March 14) felt funny. Of course I could step outside the house but knowing that everybody was staying in place and that I couldn’t go to a store or a museum or anything felt weird. This only lasted a day or so. YA, dog, cat, my studio…. no problem.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. For me it’s the perception that I have to endure something, can’t go somewhere or do something that causes distress (I’d define cabin fever as being in that category). Once I realize that I have some choices or a little wiggle room, I’m fine.

      An example of this was about two weeks into the radiation treatments (years ago); I felt utterly hopeless and out of control. I didn’t think I could endure six weeks of those daily treatments that were making me sick and causing a lot of pain. I spoke with my oncologist about it. He assured me that the minute I couldn’t tolerate it anymore, I should say so, and they’d pause or stop the treatments. Although the treatments continued to be brutal and cause all kinds of distress, I made it through the entire regimen. Just knowing that I could pull the plug on them if I needed to made a huge difference.

      Liked by 5 people

  11. Down here, I get more cabin fever during July and August. It gets so hot that it’s just plain miserable to be outside….really any time of day. But, I’m not snowed in, so it’s definitely not the same. I can still go to other places with AC lol. Just many times, I don’t want to because, again, The Heat. Gross.

    Liked by 5 people

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