It is official. Peg and I have the fever. No, not that new-fangled COVID fever, but the original fever spoken of in Genesis, Cabin Fever. Why God could not leave well enough alone I do not know. After six days of hard work, He sat back, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good” (Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 31). I guess “very good” was not good enough because after one day of rest God noticed, … “[T]here was no man to till the ground” (Genesis, Chapter 2, verse 5). For all those Biblical scholars, such as my sister, who posit God is actually female, this is strong support for their position. A perfect world could be made more perfect if there were a man to do work around the Garden of Eden.
Of course, Adam could not just lounge around grazing on all but one of Eden’s delights and enjoying eternal life, God had to give him Eve so there would be someone to point out this perfect world needed countless repairs and maintenance, sort of like our little log cabin on the prairie. The week before Christmas brought COVID’s resulting Cabin Fever boiling to the surface at JPeg Osage Ranch.
I do not know how the perfect home Peg fell in love with three years ago magically transformed into a property that constantly requires immediate repair. All I know for sure is I am much more adept at leisure than labor and Peg sees it as her wifely duty to save me from that condition. After all, it was Eve’s sin that brought man’s punishment of work into our lives.
Starting with COVID’s first reported cases in December 2019, Peg and I have gradually adapted from a life of travel, interaction with friends and family, concerts, movies, ball games and dining out to a world with only one other person in it. We have each developed coping skills to handle what may be a life sentence of one-couple isolation. I have reasonably and considerately allowed Peg her own space to do as she pleases such as laundry, housework, juggling family finances via the internet and gardening; there’s that Eve legacy again. Peg on the other hand seems to have a visceral reaction to my approach which is to memorize cable news reports and change sweatsuits occasionally. Hey, I do not concern myself with her choices.
Two years of Cabin Fever finally erupted into full-blown crisis this past weekend when Peg noticed a tiny water leak in the bathroom. It would not have rotted through the floor for quite some time and that is what I politely told her. Well, her reaction was not fit for a column in a family newspaper. She demanded I turn off the fascinating program I was watching on archeological discoveries in the Bermuda Triangle and loudly said, “Do Something!”. Something turned into one full day of me attempting to understand the mysteries of plumbing then another two days of going without the use of the bathroom and waiting for a plumber who told us, “It’s hopeless after your input, now everything will have to be replaced. That will be $100 for analysis of the problem, $200 for parts and $300 for labor. Of course, that’s just an estimate; it will be more if you insist on helping.” When the plumber left, I calmly pointed out to Peg that for the price of a few wet rags we could have saved all the bother for some time. Again, her response was not printable.
So here we are in our own little Garden of Eden waiting for someone to cure COVID and perhaps return us to the halcyon days of yore. One positive thing is, since Peg is not talking to me, I can finish the entertaining program I’m now watching on the mating dances of fruit flies without interruption and without Peg’s demand that something must be fixed, “Right Now!”.
By the way, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and that you and yours have a COVID-free New Year. As for Peg and me, I can only wish for at least an occasional maintenance-free week or two during the long dark period between the Super Bowl and the start of the 2022 football season.