Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Cabin Fever

On days like these — and they’re more frequent now since, you know, it’s winter —  Zen Mum is quite content to stay indoors and putter around. 

Putter around the kitchen. 

Lounge on the sofa and read. 

Lounge on the sofa and watch TV.

It really doesn’t take much to make Zen Mum happy.

Zen Master, on the other hand…

…well, he’s a different story.

On days like these, he gets cabin fever.

He hates being stuck inside.  He hates the cold.

So what do I do with a sulking, winter-hating, cabin-feverish, 70-year old bald-headed father?

I take him to Lowe’s.

He’s a man and it’s the right thing to do.

Among the tools, paint, wood and refrigerators, Zen Master is in 7th heaven.  He may not know how to pronounce some of the little gadgets, or even know what some of the itty bitty pieces do, but he’s in his game.

He could literally spend hours in the store.

Me, since I’m usually doing the driving and have the car keys…

…me, not so much. 

Now, if I were in Barnes and Noble, that’s a different story.

I wander a little bit behind him as he flutters about the store, shuffling up and down the aisles, picking things up and examining them like precious specimens of…whatever.

“How people think up these things.”  Zen Master would marvel as he puts on his glasses to look closely at a tiny little whatchamacallit.  “Wonderful imagination.”

“Ooh, what is this used for?”  He would ask me and point to another strange doo-hickey that I’ve never seen before.  I would read the little signs posted on the shelf, but that still wouldn’t answer his question. 

“I don’t know, Zen Master.” 

“What about this one?”  He would move on down the aisle of screws and hooks and grab something else. 

“Beats me.”

Oh, and wait until he makes it to the electric tools section.  He would do his little ecstatic happy dance.  And I make sure to take a couple of steps back when he starts picking up those sharp instruments.

“Um, maybe you really shouldn’t pick that up, Zen Master.”

“Uh, maybe you shouldn’t push that START button.”

When I’m finally at wit’s end, and finished giving him gentle nudges towards the EXIT, I finally shove him out of the store.

And he would be content and quiet on the way home under the gloomy overcast winter skies.

The things I do for family.

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