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Waiting for spring

March 10, 2014
by Kathleen Mears
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In my opinion, this is the coldest winter in many years. In my area, we have had lots of snow, wind and subzero temperatures. When you bundle up to go outside, the frigid weather makes you eager to be inside of anywhere. It has been very wintry since the first week of January. Coincidently, that was when the residents had their last lunch outing.

Signs of cabin fever are everywhere. The staff members grumble when they hear a frigid or snowy forecast. We are tired of snow and the mess it leaves after its beauty dissipates. Last week, it warmed significantly, and the piles of snow melted. The next day, more than several inches of snow were forecast.

Residents who go out on their own (with permission) are unable to do so when the temperature is below zero. The only facility departures have been to medical appointments or outings with family or friends. Resident smokers go out several times a day. But on the coldest days, even some of them refused to go out.

My friend Beth planned to visit during the January thaw. We did not have one in January, however, and February's have only lasted one day each. Instead of going out to shop and have lunch, we have been e-mailing and sending e-cards.

Our resident "computer guy" says we need a 20-foot USB cable so he can transfer tropical videos from his laptop to the large screen TV in the dining room. Although videos of warm climates may lift our mood, they will not provide any needed sunlight.

Those of us who have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, know how shortened daylight hours and dreary winter skies affect our mood. We feel tired most of the time and really have to push ourselves this time of year.

Because we have to live in the moment, I took my own advice and watched a video of Hawaiian splendor on my computer. The waves crashing on the beach sounded wonderful.

Perhaps we can organize a picnic-style menu for lunch soon. Then we can pretend it is getting warmer, because it will eventually. Only 10 more days until spring officially arrives.


Kathleen Mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...