Cabin Fever: Adjusting to Life in My Hometown

(Following is my column, which appeared in the Tues., July 31, edition of the Devils Lake Journal where I sell ads and write stories.  For more info about my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota, visit

I have been living in Devils Lake for about four months now and haven’t made too many outings to other North Dakota locales. Maybe that’s why I’ve recently been experiencing acute cabin fever, a term that is generally reserved for winter months. In fact if you google cabin fever, wikipedia says something like it means being cooped up in a small space for an extended period of time with nothing to do. FYI – it’s also the name of a 2002 slasher movie about “group of five college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus.” Yikes!

I’m not exactly cooped up. I don’t have an ankle bracelet on that would beep if I left the city limits. So I’m not sure why I have made so few road trips or why I’m having a bad case of cabin fever. All I know is that I am antsy to get out of town and visit some new surroundings and take in what they have to offer. One of my favorite television series ever, LOST, is airing from episode one on a cable channel. If you’re not familiar with the show, it was a sci-fi series about plane crash survivors stranded on a mysterious desert island who have lots of strange and bizarre experiences. Watching it again made me realize sometimes I feel like I’m on an island, and not because of all the water in the region! However, that feeling is really of own making, because unlike the Losties, I have a way to leave!

For the last week or so my Dad/Pops/Fast Eddie and I have been trying to put a new front tire on my bike, and I’ve been a little obsessive about it- very anxious to get it done. During a stroll the other night, I wondered if it’s because riding my bike is one of the things I did a lot of growing up here. I said before in addition to adjusting to small town living after big city life, you have to adjust to life in your hometown as an adult versus being a kid. Or maybe I think tooling around town on by bike would help alleviate my wanderlust!

I ran into an old neighbor the other day whose family lived across the street from our house when I was young. She was asking me how I was adjusting to small town life. So we chatted about it for awhile. She said although their family has lived here for many years, they enjoyed traveling and visiting other locales. She said Lisa “ you gotta get out town every once in awhile.” She is abosultely right. So as I write this column on a Friday afternoon, I’m planning to do just that!

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