adjective Slang.

  1. Informal. restless or frantic because of confinement, routine, etc.: I was stir-crazy after just two months of keeping house.
  2. mentally ill because of long imprisonment.

icyI’d like to think the first definition is most appropriate to my situation. This brief period (it’s been just 24 hours or so) of being house-bound due to ice and broken tree limbs and spotty power outages cannot be equivalent to a long imprisonment, nor can the fact that I feel a little like challenging Nature to a duel be evidence of mental illness.

Speaking of stir, it has heretofore been my understanding that the concept of “stir-crazy” arose from the irrational behaviors that sprang from spending time in prison, or “stir.” The online definitions I’ve found thus far do not include, even informally, a definition of “stir” as a noun meaning prison.

This weather that has made me a prisoner in my own home/neighborhood has given rise to wishful thinking about places in which such weather would be unlikely.  Earlier this morning, my sister-in-law and I discussed such places.  Santa Rosa, California. McMinnville, Oregon.  The Weather Channel says the average December low for McMinnville is 34; for Santa Rosa, the average December low is 39. Those are tolerable. But so is the average low for December in Dallas; The Weather Channel says the average December low is 39.  They lie!  It’s 21 degrees here!  How could we possibly be so far below our average low?!

Hmm.  So, just now, I checked the weather for Santa Rosa.  The temperature there is 32. Tonight’s low is forecast to be 25.  Then I checked McMinnville.  The temperature there is 21 degrees and tonight’s low is forecast to be 15.

As I look out the window, I see trees glazed with ice. I see a white roof, and another, and another. I see streets coated with ice and sleet and refrozen slush. And I see evidence all around me of a conspiracy to keep me indoors. Early Winter is conspiring with Nature, along with the U.S. Office of Weather Control, to imprison me in my own home! I have news for them! Today, I will break free! It may be for only 15 minutes, but today I will taste freezedom!


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Nature, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stir-crazy

  1. I’m enjoying the time with my sister-in-law, but could just as easily have a great time enjoying her company on a road-trip to San Antonio or a 5-hour drive for lunch at Cooper’s BBQ in Llano! But that is not to be, so we stay inside (though I did make a trek out again awhile ago to marvel at my next-door-neighbor’s efforts to drive on 1/2 inch of solid ice! He could get no traction and could not even get his Chevy Suburban back to his driveway, so he abandoned it on the street in front of another neighbor’s house!

    I remember both Carla and Celia, though I was too young to remember much detail from Carla. I was in high school when Celia destroyed my parents’ house while we took shelter inside, under mattresses. The storm ripped the roof off, breaking every window in the place, and wrenching the house off its pier foundation.. After the worst part of the storm has passed, we were able to get out of the house; we spent a miserable night sleeping on wooden pew at a nearby Methodist church.

    I suspect a monstrous storm hitting Florida would do horrific damage; the efforts to evacuate might cause just as much injury, though, as the roads are not sufficient to move masses of humanity out of harm’s way. People in the center of the state, e.g., Orlando, might fare reasonably well…at least they won’t have to fear the storm surge…maybe! My advice? Arrange last-minute personal time off to use every time a storm poses a threat and leave before everyone else does!

  2. Juan says:

    I think that on the most part you’re lucky! You get to spend some focused time with your sister in singular conversations while kicking back in the warmth of your home, while outside the lawn and trees turn white with ice and snow – likely killing off those unneeded limbs, along with putting a check on the bug population.

    It is a sun-shiny day in the heart of Florida – Central Florida! We might see temperatures spike up to 84 F today – just right to kick back by my pool, have a glass of Chardonnay (Clos du Bois) with chunks of cheese and breaks of some crusty bread with cold shrimp. I’ll even BBQ a steak today, as I have one slathered with spices, balsam vinegar and olive oil.

    But such naturally good temperatures do not go without with critical thoughts over karma, my friend, and I’ll tell you why:

    For one, we are seeing a massive increase in flood insurance – or if not that, then many homes go denied affordable home insurance. Such an increase does not go without reason. Statistically speaking, Florida is due for a strong hurricane. We, after all, are a peninsula in the Atlantic almost asking for it – and insurance companies are well aware of statistical figuring. Of course, we are also experiencing some increased problems in sink-holes.

    Secondly, review the roadways of our sunny peninsula – not very good for escaping, should a hurricane ever make its way down here – and eventually it will!

    Thirdly, home are mostly built as if they were made for flat-lands. This is bothersome, because if I were serious about designing homes in Florida, especially near the water, I’d design them as homes on stilts – much like they do in Rockport, Texas.

    Florida is not Texas, or for that matter South Texas, where we could drive westerly to the Chihuahua desert if we needed to seek shelter from a hurricane. My friend, Florida remains locked into place by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, with little direction to go, except east. Can you imagine the thousands that would try to make their way out and up our limited highways? Bumper to bumper! Madness and chaos!

    Consider as well that many who settle here in Florida are retirees from the north (obnoxious Yankees), who have never experienced a hurricane. You and I were born and bred in hurricane country, John. We know what can happen. Remember Carla of 1961? Remember Celia some ten years later? I do!

    This is a terrible predication to make, but mark my words: Should a Type V or even Type III hurricane ever directly hit Central Florida, we may see thousands die. I actually worry about this.

    So kick back…..throw some of that tree-ice into your whiskey glass and count your blessings!

  3. Actually, I did wander around a bit; It’s like walking on a sheet of glass, barefoot, after having lathered my feet in oil. A tad slick. I wish I remembered where I left my crampons! 😉

  4. Teresa says:

    Why don’t you just put on your crampons and go outside?

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.