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Button up your overcoat

Fiona Feltmans Bat Mitzvah project benefits the Sullivan County SPCA.


November 6, 2013

For something completely different, I’ve a song stuck in my head. Although I would like to think I’m “special,” this is not an unusual occurrence and most people have experienced the same thing more than once in their lives. If you’ve ever read this column before, you know that this syndrome is not new for me. Happens all the time. Being addicted to the Internet, I surfed for an explanation, and although theories abound, there is no single, definitive interpretation, but of course, there’s a name for it—“earworm.” My go-to source (www.wikipedia.com) defines earworm as “a catchy piece of music that continuously repeats through a person’s mind” and goes on to say that “the phenomenon is common and should not be confused with palinacousis, a rare medical condition caused by damage to the temporal lobe of the brain that results in auditory hallucinations.” Hmm.

Rather than believing that I have actual brain damage, I’ll assume (for the moment) that I’m suffering from the more common type of earworm and leave the fancy term for later. Meanwhile, the lyrics repeat constantly and there’s a simple reason—it’s cold outside. Waking up to frigid temps the other day, I glanced at the thermometer, (21 degrees), put a serape on the Wonder Dog and serenaded her on our way outside to warm up the truck. “Button up your overcoat,” I wheezed, observing the puffs of steam emanating from our breath, “when the wind is free, take good care of yourself, you belong to me.” Searching for the bright side, I grabbed the camera and snapped some pics of Jack Frost’s handiwork on the windshield and the surrounding countryside. As usual, I took comfort knowing that while life in the Upper Delaware River Valley might provide some weather-related challenges, there are stunning vistas all year ‘round and that I have the opportunity to document the ever-changing landscape. Thinking back and realizing that “Superstorm Sandy” had wreaked havoc across the region a year ago, I took a long, labored breath and soldiered on. “Better pace ourselves” I mused while planning my next move. “After all” I thought “It’s still apple picking time.” Sure enough, the musical demon raised its ugly head. “Wear your flannel underwear, when you climb a tree, take good care of yourself… blah, blah blah.” Officially, winter is still a long way off (December 21), but I got out the flannels, put the bed warmer on and made plans for visiting my first (gasp) holiday market (www.templesholomny.org) in Monticello, NY.