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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • A day in the life

  • I feel like I need to apologize to my readers. Since mid-October I’ve had significant difficultly coming up with ideas for a weekly column.
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  • I feel like I need to apologize to my readers. Since mid-October I’ve had significant difficultly coming up with ideas for a weekly column.
     
    Usually I just wait for something funny, embarrassing or disastrous to happen in my life. It seems I never run short of those events. I could get run over by a bus today and, granted if I’m conscious and alive, one of my first thoughts would be, “Oh good! I’ve got something to write about this week!”
     
    And if something funny, embarrassing or disastrous doesn’t happen to me personally, Hubby is usually pretty good at filling in the gaps. Lately, though, he’s been rather quiet and subdued. Besides finding an unknown love he has for cats (well, at least one in particular) and his new man cave, he’s been living a rather boring existence right next to me.
     
    The kids were with us for a week over Christmas, but it was pretty ordinary. As they get older (Mason just turned 14 in December and Maddie will be 10 in April) they don’t say “cute” things anymore. They are like mini-adults expressing opinions on politics, crime, value systems and family structure.
     
    While I love the fact they have a mind of their own and they express their opinions freely, they are outgrowing the “cute” stage for column fodder.
     
    But still, I used to be able to look at something as mundane as washing dishes and come up with a 600-word column about it. So why, then, have I been recently suffering from a total and complete drought of ideas?
     
    I was worrying that perhaps my creativity had run its course – until I recognized the problem: For the past three and a half months, I’ve been hibernating. This winter has officially sucked all the life out of me, and it’s not even halfway done. Every day we’re treated to a menu of wind, snow and polar vortex’s.
     
    My only hope for survival has been to plop down on my couch, ignore the sub-zero nightmare of the outside world, and tick off the days ‘til May.
     
    My entire life has turned into: Wake up in warm house, race to warm vehicle and drive to work, race from warm vehicle to warm office, race from warm office to cold vehicle and drive home as fast as I can, sprint from cold vehicle to warm house, rinse, lather and repeat.
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    As it turns out, however, very little happens to me on my couch. I have become a lifeless piece of couch Jell-o.
    The only things keeping me mildly entertained during this long winter slumber is our cat, Roo. Normally, Hubby’s feline companion seems relatively unconcerned of our existence. Our relationship is simple: he is the landlord and we are the tenants. We pay rent in the form of food, water, and litter, and in return, he lets us reside in the house without a great deal of harassment or permanent claw scars on our bodies.
     
    But with us home all the time and lounging around all winter, he’s taken on a new attitude. When we walk into a room, the look on his face is clear: “You? Again? Really? Okay, fine. If you need me I’ll be in the next room destroying one of your fine collectables.”
     
    If you’ve ever thought that cats were furry little cuddle buddies, try having one nuzzle you at 3 a.m. with a cold, wet nose to the ear followed by an especially loud “Meow.” That fun little nighttime routine definitely has its intended effect if getting me out of bed at an ungodly hour to check his food and water dish for signs of emptiness is what he had in mind.
     
    December is gone and January’s bleakness is quickly fading in February. Not even a romantic holiday like Valentine’s Day can fix yet another cheerless month this winter.
     
    As winter settles in for the long haul, so does my hibernation.
     
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