Depression and Hibernation

Jackson, MI is the birth place of the Republican Party, much to my dismay. Though I don’t think I’ve ever known a Republican to actually live there, the place is overflowing with Democrats. It’s also my home town. At least I claim it as mine. If the truth were told, I have probably spent more time in Leslie a small town just north of Jackson.

We moved so much when I was a child that you could just play pin the tail on the donkey with the states of Michigan and Ohio and be hard pressed not to find a town I hadn’t at least spent some time in. I guess I must be the proverbial gypsy.

If I were a politically correct person, I would probably call myself a nomad, roaming from town to town, state to state and never settling in any one location for too long. Which brings me to today’s topic of nomads.

At Home is Snowy Twain Harte

You see my entire family lives in the greater Jackson area. My mother, still lives in Leslie, near my sister Linda. Teresa still lives in East Jackson, near my cousin Sue and my son Chris along with his wife Kelli. This is beginning to sound like the book of Matthew, better known as the "Begat" chapter. But we won’t go there.

The weather really does something to people and I’ve noticed it more this week than I ever have. We were hit with over a foot of snow last week and keep getting a little more each day. We were prepared for the snowfall, no big deal. At the first sign of trouble Shawn makes a pilgrimage to Sonora and picks up wood pellets for the stove, he stocks up on water and beverages, checking to see that I don’t run out of smokes and we wait it out.

The snowfall last week was incredible, we saw giant fluffy flakes, tiny snow whispers, and mini avalanches fell from the trees surrounding our home. I spent from 4 am until noon watching the snow ebb and tide. When the snow kept falling past 9 am and the mini avalanches grew more frequent and larger I began to get frightened. We live in the mountains, encompassed by huge pine trees. They could fall on the house, the snow could fall for weeks straight. It can happen!

I was married during the blizzard of ’78, when dairy farmers gave away what they could and dumped millions of gallons of milk they didn’t have room for and couldn’t ship. We had 12′ snow drifts along side all the roads. After the dig out, we thought we had built our own wall of China. I’m sure from a plane flying overhead it looked spectacular, like mice in a maze.

The past few days I’ve been feeling a little down. It crept up on me so fast that I didn’t realize it until today. It wasn’t until Shawn pointed out that it’s cold out, we are couped up in the house and we’ve had very little sun exposure. All I wanted to do was sleep and even when I awoke I was tired. Shawn lovingly said, "animals everywhere are in hibernation right now, you’re just trying to go into a state of hibernation."

The Daily Feed

I was so disappointed when I missed our daily feed. You see we have our own herd of deer. Twice daily they shuffle past Shawn’s office window, sometimes 5, sometimes 7, and occasionally even — an even dozen. We watch them cautiously watch us, as they pass through our yard to feed in our neighbors yard and beyond. You can set your watches by them.

After the snow, we realized that at least three of the does are very pregnant. Well you know I couldn’t stand it and started rummaging around for food. I chopped apples, carrots, lettuce and potatoes for them to eat. I even sent our neighbor to the store for more food (we couldn’t get out of the driveway). Shawn has taken dozens of photo’s from behind the window, while they eat. I can’t wait to get pictures of the fawns when they are born.

Winter Blues

Each year I get a call from my sister and my son claiming to be filing for divorce. The first year I actually took them seriously. I soon learned that this was their yearly ritual. Some people just can’t put things together. Winter can be tough on any relationship but if you are lucky enough to live in a place that actually gets winter weather, you are at great risk for depression or hibernation.

Maybe my ancestor’s knew something that we don’t. They moved from place to place with the weather, just as the birds do, travelling south for the winter and north for the summer. Life was hard back in those days and those who attempted to brave the harsh winters often didn’t survive.

Scientists have told us for years that suicide rates are higher not only around the holiday season but also during the winter months. Our bodies need sunlight, we need fresh air and exercise to keep us happy and healthy. Maybe if my family would move south for the winter they would fair better during those months of the year?

It’s 6 am, I think I’ll go feed the deer, it’s such a pick-me-up to watch them as they enjoy the delicious fruits and vegetables that will help them have healthy newborns this spring. I’ll be sure to post a photo gallery soon. In the mean time be sure to get outside and soak up some sun when you can and stay away from crazy family members or Republicans and Democrats who are suffering from the blues.

Have you checked your bird feeders lately?