When Cabin Fever Sets In

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By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®

Oh baby it’s cold outside! I shouldn’t be too surprised because after all it’s January in New England. A friend had been warning me all along that we were in for a rough winter, but I guess the warmer than normal temps last year at this time plus a few fake news articles I’d read indicating mild weather ahead kind of lulled me to sleep. I should have listened.

I’m not sure about you, but when it gets oppressively cold, I morph into an indoor slug and can stay in that vegetative state for multiple days in a row. Add in holidays, a fire in the fireplace, an occasional football game and heaping amounts of food that are really bad for me and things really turn south.

Our family headed up to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire over the New Year holiday to supposedly get in some early skiing, but since the mercury stayed well below zero we instead found ourselves sequestered in a relatively small condominium with a couple of other families. I’m not entirely sure what cabin fever is all about, but I think it’s possible I might have caught a slight chill. About the only time we ventured outdoors during our time there was throwing a pot full of boiling water off the balcony and watch it turn to manmade snow before it hit the ground. It’s actually a pretty amazing experiment, especially if you make a slow motion video of it on your phone, but you can only do that a few times a day before the wow factor significantly diminishes.

My son of course has been delighted by the terrible, awful, no good weather. Especially when the “bomb cyclone” hit the region last week. His two week school vacation extended to nearly three once the snow days kicked in. That meant catching up on more sleep days until noon.

In comparison to the many hard hit Boston suburbs, we got off relatively easy in the city with the storm.  The city will fine you for not shoveling your sidewalks, so the real challenge with nor’easters is where to put all that shoveled snow without creating friction with the owners of the automobiles parked in front of the house once they realize that buried underneath that bank of snow, their car awaits.

Happy New Year and may we all have reasonable weather going forward!