On the first day, the ice storm was fun.
On the second day, I wanted to sell my house and everything in it.
On the third day, I wanted to rent a jackhammer — if only to make my skin quit crawling from the nervousness of being stuck.
And on the fourth day, I wept with the forecast calling for more snow by the time this column prints.
I spent most of my time last week with one dog wrapped around my head, another wrapped around my feet, and the third staring longingly out the back door, wondering why his pasture became a skating rink.
Normally, I tell folks my favorite days are the ones my car never leaves the driveway, with carpools, driving to and from schools, extracurricular events and my own work and appointments.
But last week was ridiculous.
As much as I love snow and winter weather, ice makes me come completely undone.
Maybe it’s because of nearly two decades of nursing orthopaedic patients with ankle and wrist fractures.
From the ice.
Maybe it’s because the the last time I was in a fender-bender was because my car wouldn’t stop.
On the ice.
Regardless, by the fourth day of being stuck indoors, my family and I developed full blown cabin fever.
I tried all the ideas the internet provided to prevent it, such as sending the kids out to play in the snow, but they fell on their heads and came inside crying. I cleaned out all our closets. We watched movies. I cleaned baseboards. I shopped online. I called my carpet cleaner and begged him to come at his earliest convenience. I wrote columns and chapters and worked from home.
Nevertheless, by the end of four ice-bound days, I was restless, jittery, irritable, distrusting and downright rude.
The original phrase, “cabin fever” can be traced back to the 1820s, when an actual fever plagued people in Ireland who ate watery potatoes. By the early 1900s, the phrase was used jokingly to refer to boredom and claustrophobia from being isolated.
In April 2008, the popular television show “Mythbusters” tested the plausibility of cabin fever in Alaska, and determined it to be a real phenomenon. After being locked in a cabin with nothing to do, the show stated special effect expert Adam Savage, “exhibited all four common symptoms of cabin fever (irritability, forgetfulness, angry eyes and excessive sleeping).”
Hollywoodalso portrayed the effects of cabin fever in movies such as “The Shining” and in the “Simpsons” episode when Homer and Mr. Burns are trapped together after an avalanche.
I think last week’s ice storm most closely resembled the movie “The Day After Tomorrow.”
And the day after that.
On the upside, I learned how to hook up my computer to our TV and download movies. I culled a giant mound of goodies together for Goodwill and I ordered a Burpee’s catalog.
Maybe by the time the seed catalog comes, we’ll be ready to plant seeds, or at least think about it.
Maybe we’ll be able to see a blade of grass again.
Maybe we’ll be able to walk outside without fear of being impaled by a falling icicle.
Maybe, eventually, spring will come again.
Amy Sorrells is a Zionsville resident and writer working on her first book. E-mail Amy at email@example.com.