Wednesday, November 3, 2021

“You don’t have to be a Pusher…

to attend a Pusher Party.”

This is how my neighborhood party invitation began. Here’s the rest of the invite.

“Hi Nice Neighbor,

I need HELP! That’s why you’re invited to the Pusher Party. I’m not big or strong enough to push my camper into the garage for hibernation season. 

When: Monday, November 1st at 5 pm

Savory hot veggie Minnesota Soup will be on hand plus garlic bread guaranteed to keep the vampires at bay. Bring a bowl, spoon and appetite. Cold IPAs will be available too.

Dogs can assist if they understand the “Mush!” Command. Owners will have to supply the puppies harnesses though.

Three or four more humans should overcome the laws of physics involved.
Thx in advance,

With this neighborly 911 call for assistance, Sanctuary Too was docked into winter storage. 

Despite the lightheartedness of making a party out of a non-event, this simple act represents a verklempft moment (Yiddish for overcome with emotion) for me. 

 I named my Toyota Tundra and camper Sanctuary Too for a reason. In a world which seems to strive towards chaos, I’ve discovered campsites featuring silence, neighbors who are four-legged instead of two and sunrises/sunsets which leave me inwardly smiling. I can go days without speaking yet never feel lonely. While camping my life becomes simplified: eat, hike, read, write, drink IPAs then repeat. I sleep better too.

This temporary cessation of all the above makes me sad. But there’s another SAD going on inside of me. Seasonal Affective Disorder, AKA the “Winter Blues.” 

For those who are unfamiliar with this term, from the Mayo Clinic:

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” 

Going back to my Syracuse, NY college days,  I began to notice a loss of energy and enthusiasm starting around Halloween. I felt “off.” The notorious winters of Upstate NY didn’t help either. The long nights, gray skies, cold and snow only exasperated my malaise. By around Saint Patty’s Day in March, I’d usually snap out of it. I’d begin to feel awake and rejuvenated at the same time.

 I had no explanation on why this yearly pattern happened to me. It wasn’t until the early 80’s while reading a newspaper, I noticed an article, “Maybe you are SAD for a reason?” It was an informative piece explaining SAD and it’s signs and symptoms. I clicked off the list. “Yes, that’s me. Yes, that’s me.” It was an OMG moment. “I’m not totally crazy! There’s a name for what I go through! I’m not alone!” 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians 4-6 percent of our citizens suffer from SAD. (Lucky me). But there’s an easy remedy. A few mornings ago, I dusted off my light therapy gizmo. While most of my fellow Americans are asleep, I’m drinking coffee, reading the New York Times Morning Brief while soaking up the rays of my Happy Light. The half hour treatment fools my feeble mind into believing the days are longer. It smooths me out. 

Consider this a PSA on SAD.

Alas, long nights are only one facet of winter which I dislike. There’s the cold and snow too. To be honest, I fear winter. 

By mid-January I’m hoping my neighbors and friends will participate in a “Pushback Party.” Of course, there will be Minnesota Soup and libations on hand. 

By then Sanctuary Too and I will be ready to fly south for the start of another camping season. 

Stay warm and be safe,

If you are curious about what’s Minnesota Soup.


  1. That’s brilliant! Not only is your camper a popup but light enough to push? What do you have under it to roll into your garage? What is the make and model of your camper? I need to rethink mine, more unreasonable, expensive repairs needed. So disappointing! Also, I have SAD too! I think skiing and snowshoeing kept me above the abyss in Colorado! I need more daily purpose to distract me from the short days and lack of daylight. That light thing-a-ma-jiggy sounds cool! I’m glad it works!

  2. SAD is a component of my depression. All our new LED light bulbs shine in the spectrum of sunlight. Having a home with huge south windows is fabulous. I also find that eating dark chocolate helps.