Thursday, February 20, 2014

Long Midwestern Winters

Story Illustration © Kim Behm
Above Short story illustration by Iowa-based artist Kim Behm, who teaches at Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo IA.


Richard Critchfield, Those Days: An American Album (New York: Dell, 1986), p. 156—

But the snow, the unchanging blackness and whiteness of it, the bitter cold, the ceaseless wind—it could give you a really bad case of "cabin fever" if you let it. Father [a country doctor] used to tell about finding patients in remote farmhouses, most of them women, who'd made themselves ill with depression and loneliness over the long winter. All the early settlers had tales of women on isolated homesteads going mad. Even our farm, just a half mile south and two miles west of Hunter, could get pretty lonely. In the dead of night the sound of a coyote—three short yelps and a long howling wail—can be just about the most desolate sound there is.