Winter Doldrums

It was a difficult weekend for me. First, it was cold, temps hovering around zero both days and dropping into the minus teens each night. Skies were gray Saturday, but the sun shone Sunday. It wasn’t warm though, and Suki refused to go out 90 percent of the time I asked. How she can hold it that long, I don’t know.

I know this area isn’t the only one to suffer more winter woes. South of me, they are getting walloped with snow and ice, and the northeast is bracing for yet another huge dump of the white stuff. Even in Florida, it seems, winter is refusing to let go: my friend told me they hit 24 the other night in south Florida. That’s pretty damn cold for them this time of year. 

So yeah, the weather sucked. I didn’t go out, not even to start my car. I’m hoping the new battery will make up for me not wanting to bundle up and sit in a freezing car to see if it works. I’ll find out tomorrow, when the high will be all of eight degrees.

Saturday night, I had such a terrible headache, I went to bed at seven. I can’t remember the last time I did that, it’s been so long.

I woke at 1:30 a.m., got up, and edited until four before returning to bed. Sunday, the headache threatened but did not return.

The wolf story: I created a word counting sheet in Excel, and I am on track, despite everything. In fact, as I write this, I’m ahead a bit. I’m making every attempt to finish and release this in spring (our spring, not yours; it happens here around mid-May), so look for it then.

I doubled down on edits the first part of March, so work is taking a huge chunk of my time, and there is also the property management to deal with. Sometimes, I wonder how I get it all done.

My biggest problem this weekend? Depression. The cold is really getting me down, not only because it’s freezing outside, but there is not enough heat inside, either. The boiler simply can’t keep up in these temps, so I spend a lot of time under an electric throw on the couch, and turn the heater on and off because running it too long makes the heavy duty extension cord hot, which can’t be good. I worry about starting a fire. I’m writing this at my desk in the bedroom, and it’s goddamn freezing because it’s next to a window. Yes, even with plastic over the glass and a Japanese screen in front of it, the icy air flows in.

The best part of my days lately? Sorry to say it’s when I go to sleep. Being unconscious appeals to me because I can escape the misery of these frigid winter days and nights. 😦

BUT it’s all going to change when I finally move south, and I am determined not to be in Minnesota when winter comes around again. I keep telling myself: “last winter, last winter, last fucking goddamn winter….”

And I feel better. 🙂

So these are the good things: I’m alive, I’m healthy, I’m writing, I’m earning money, and I’m *this close* to realizing a dream I’ve had the last few years.

I took this the last time I was in Florida, in 2006. You’re seeing the view from under the drawbridge at Treasure Island. You can see the aqua water the area is famous for.


Below: I don’t remember what beach I was on. I’m guessing Madiera, across from one of my favorite restaurants, Crabby Bill’s on the intracoastal.

Who goes to the beach and reads? 🙂 Don’t answer that! WE DO.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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33 Responses to Winter Doldrums

  1. *hugs* darlin’

    Oh and I would totally go to the beach and read if I wasn’t chasing after my little ones.

  2. Helena Stone says:

    Winter sucks. You’ll get no argument from me on that one. On the upside, today was one of those days that make it possible to believe that spring will come again. It’s still cold (Irish cold, nothing compared to what you’re facing) but the sun was shining and walking the dog at midday I actually ended up having to open my coat because I was getting rather warm. It’s nice to see the snowdrops popping up as well as some rather optimistic daffodils. Now, if only the storms and rain could stop as well, I’d be happy again. But it seems that the polar vortex you are experiencing is causing endless amounts of wet and windy weather for us.
    I hope your weather will get a bit less extreme in the near future and your Florida plans all work out. We all need something positive to look forward to if we want to get through these dark months. Also, exited about the upcoming book. May isn’t THAT far away, so I guess I can wait.

    • 🙂 Things about Florida suck too. There’s always a trade-off. But I’ve had it with the cold and snow. Time to take on the poisonous snakes, ‘gators, and hurricanes!

  3. nordicgirl_2013 says:

    Big squishy hugs!

    Every year I have the desire to hibernate for the duration of the darkest months here up North, so I understand and know about SAD and Winter Blues!

    Re. the beach photo – I would go bananas after a few minutes if I didn’t have a book when I’m on the beach (for two weeks every Summer). Thank goodness for my ereader, no need to pack a suitcase full of books! 🙂

    • e-Readers are great! I have two.

      I’ve been fighting my inclination to hibernate. Too much to do!

      • nordicgirl_2013 says:

        If I didn’t have my day-job I’d for sure not venture outside between October and end February…. I’m hoping that with our days getting longer (more daylight) you’ll start to feel a little lighter even if it’s cold as all hell. I do notice a difference in my own psyche.

  4. Jaycee Edward says:

    Totally understand every word. It’s been a long winter. Thank goodness you’ve all been around to keep me entertained. Hugs, Theo. You’re on the home stretch. The time changes next weekend I think. That always least it does for me.

    • You guys have been helpful to me, too, letting me vent regularly instead of going postal somewhere. 😉

      • Jaycee Edward says:

        Don’t know if you have anything like this around you, but the Cleveland Zoo has a Rainforest. I like to go there this time of year. It’s hot and humid and GREEN. The moment you walk through the doors, you see and hear a gigantic waterfall and birds. And GREEN. The whole place smells all earthy, damp and mossy. It’s like a system reboot for me.

        • There are two places like that here. One: the Conservatory at Como Park. Green and humid. Two: the rainforest exhibit at the MN Zoo in Plymouth. First one is better ’cause you don’t have to pay to get in. Second one costs $15, but they also have dolphins.

  5. Allison says:

    ((Hugs)) Considering that this is the first time winter has truly bothered me I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. I worry that this is the just the start of winter being this way from now on.

    Congratulations on being on target for the wolf book, that has to be a bright spot even if there aren’t many others!

    Keep looking at those gorgeous shots of the beaches. There’s nothing quite like sun dappled water to make me feel warm and content. Next winter you WILL be walking on the beach and enjoying the warmth. 😀

  6. Karen H. says:

    Hey Theo, I don’t blame you for not going out I just got home and it’s -17 out there, I won’t even talk about ‘wind factors’ or ‘real feel’ let’s just go with ‘freaking cold’ even my little guy has gotten to the point where he scoots out does his thing and runs back in because enough is enough. Part of me hates the fact that if I look our a window right now it looks all bright and sunny and nice and then I step outside and it’s more like “Why you be teasing me Mother Nature? It’s not nice out here it’s freezing!” but it’s still better than a snowstorm, so I’ll take it. I hope your car starts ok and your week just keeps getting better and better. Take care.

  7. Lori S says:

    Congratulations on the job offer! I hope it is something that will be emotionally satisfying!

    Maybe a plant with a grow light by where you sit will help with the doldrums.

    • I do have plants in the apartment, which help. Being stuck inside day after day after day is what’s wearing me down. I feel like I’m turning into a slug; I miss my daily walks.

  8. W. Lotus says:

    I would read at the beach, but I’m usually too busy making photos or writing in my paper journal. 🙂

    I am very happy this will be your last winter there. I can hardly wait to read about you moving to the land of sunshine and warm days!

    • I can hardly wait to write about it, too. 🙂 Every time I cross into Florida, I pull over and take a pic of the first palm tree I see. Well, not every time, but often enough. And then I piss and moan about how horrible Highway 19 is, with all the strip malls and ugly stores and numerous stoplights. But I catch a glimpse of ocean and I’m happy to be back.

  9. Kmac64 says:

    As I sit here to write this, we currently have 8″ of fresh snow. We are not as cold as you up north, but it’s still 10 degrees, and it’s freaking cold. I completely understand your depression as I am fighting that myself very hard. Sometimes I wonder why I am fighting it at all. Just give into it would be easier and in some ways I guess I have. I cried for over an hour last night with a pitty party for myself. Of course today I paid for it with a migraine. Somedays? Idk………

    From the outside looking in, things seem to be improving for you and I couldn’t be more happy about that. Your shifter book seems to be coming right along, and that will be a treat for us, for sure. Florida is finally becoming a reality and not just a dream. Now, sounds like a great job may be in the works for you as well. I sit here many days wondering what it would be like to just pick up and go, no answering to anyone, no justifying my decisions, just go and do. Well, I guess I will see new things thru your eyes as you post pictures. 🙂

    Hopefully spring is just around the corner and warmer temperatures. It would do everyone some good to be outside, whether sitting on the porch with a book and glass of tea, taking some much needed walks, or just to stand and stare for no reason other than you can. Hang in there friend, we’ve made it this far, it would be a shame to give in now. Have a good week 🙂

    • *hug* Thanks.

      I’m better at night when it’s dark and I can’t see outside. That’s also when I put my work away for the day and find something to watch on TV. As I don’t have network or cable, that usually means a DVD I own or a rental from Netflix. Sometimes I stream.

      Lately, I’ve chosen films set in warm places. At night in bed, I think ahead to when I’ve moved. It’s my way of coping. I hope you have similar coping mechanisms.

      This will all be over in a couple of months. The snow will eventually melt. The birds will come back, the grass will turn green, and it might be warm enough to ride my scooter with the camera. I’m counting the days.

  10. Carole says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your shitty weekend but very happy, after reading the comments, about the job. Hopefully all goes well with that.
    I was driving out to the beach on Sunday with my daughter & I was saying ” we have to be so thankful for what we have. Look at how beautiful it is while people like Fen (yes, I talk about you like some long lost family member) have to deal with terrible freezing temperatures & poor Suki can’t even go out cause the salt burns her feet.”
    I hope you have a beautiful spring there, as you say it can be beautiful, & you leave there on a real positive note with lots of great pictures to remember it fondly. Here’s to a great week!

  11. diannegray says:

    A big congrats on the job offer, Theo! 😀
    I’m hearing you about the cold. Before I moved from the city back to the farm (3,000 miles away) it was the coldest winter I can ever remember. It was long and miserable and I absolutely froze. But the good thing is it doesn’t last forever and one day you’ll find yourself sitting in that warm climate relishing every second! 😉

  12. Yvonne says:

    I sympathize, that’s an awfully cold winter you’re having. Seldom happens where I live and when it does our heating systems are up to the task of melting the ice on the inside of the windows. Still, winter sucks in a bad way with grey skies and lots of rain. I’m not good at dealing with it especially since we hardly get real summers here, just more rain and grey skies.
    Glad to hear you got a good job offer that will allow you to live where you like so you WILL be able to get away from these horrid winters. I have no hope of escaping. Just look at those wonderful pictures you’ve taken and imagine that’s where you’ll be this time next year. The beaches in my home country are nothing like the ones you have in Florida but there’s no feeling like standing in the sand smelling the salty sea air,imagining what’s behind the horizon.
    Take care.

    • The weird thing is the beach doesn’t do it for me. I like the sand, I like the waves, I like paddling around in the water even though I know there are sharks nearby, but it’s mountains that make my heart soar and my spirit lift. I will have to visit them regularly, because I don’t know anyone who lives in a place with mountains or I’d move there instead. Well, as long as their winters were really short and usually mild, like North or South Carolina. 😉

  13. valjo44 says:

    Oregon has mountains……;)
    (And way less snow!)

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