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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cabin Fever During the Polar Vortex

Most of us ignore the weather. It is something we noticed between house store office club car. There is no real event that takes us out of our safety zone. Our homes can withstand just about anything except a tornado and then it is down to the basement where we assume we are safe. So when something comes that restricts us to the home with schools and businesses closed then we are in a new world. Something akin to the colonists who had to revere the elements and ride out bad winters and broiling summers. We simply don't know how to stop though with our computers and phones and our incessant drive to get it all done.

The Vortex is about the only thing that has really stopped people. Get out the book. Take a hot bath. Sleep like the cats and dogs who know danger is just outside the door. Enjoy your kids, talk to your friends or parents on the phone because danger is just a window pane away. In this way we are like the mountain men of the nineteenth century who would ride out winters in their cabins or the gold prospectors who went to the Yukon to endure months of black cold. Jack London summed this up in many stories of men who for months could not venture far from their cabins or risk death.

And it is not a comfortable feeling. We don't think of the weather as life threatening. But this time it is. End up on the side of the road and start counting the minutes. Was that trip to the grocery store really worth it. Better to put on woolen socks get under a blanket and read by the fire. Better to check out for a while and know that we are a spot of warmth on a frozen planet in space. Our ancestors knew this and now so do we. At least in Chicago we do.

William Hazelgrove

Books by William Hazelgrove