Saturday, January 09, 2010

Housebound

Like much of this country and like Europe, this part of Kansas has been cold and snowy for three weeks now. Tonight and tomorrow will be our lowest temperatures, approximately -6. It isn't often that the cold weather remains here for longer than a few days.

There is something to be said for having a constant temperature of, say, 75 degrees, from one day to another. That certainty eliminates having to alter one's plans when going outside. I'm not ready to move to Texas or Florida or southern California, however.

I’ve been housebound for four days now. The idea of cabin fever seemed like a strange concept when I first heard the term. When I was young, I actually idealized secluding myself away from the world with a woman, much like Yuri and Lara at Varykino in Doctor Zhivago, not realizing how difficult it would have been finding drinking water and food, without making the trip in the brutal cold to Yuriatin. Since my wife and I are not yet teaching during the coming semester, we didn’t have to commute the past few days. We were lucky. Judging from what I saw on the television, the traffic on the freeways in Kansas City was often reduced to one lane, making it necessary for those commuters to leave the house much earlier in the morning. After these four days of remaining inside, I am looking forward to getting out of the house on Saturday to do more than shovel the driveway. I just wish it were possible to take a walk without risking frostbite.