We are stuck at home and we are getting bored.
Everyone has been worrying about coming down with a high fever when what we’re really coming down with is cabin fever.
I certainly do not mean to belittle staying home and doing our part to flatten that COVID curve, but I knew we had to do something when we settled down to watch “Gunsmoke” – and we’d already seen it.
Think about it. Twenty years of “Gunsmoke.” A total of 635 episodes. We must have watched most of them in the eight weeks we’ve been staycationing.
It was time to find something else to do besides binge-watch Netflix and MeTV.
When I Googled “what to do at home during COVID-19,” I was intrigued by one site, “30 fun things to do at home,” until I read it.
A few samples: Have a costume night. Throw an indoor picnic. Have a Christmas party. Film a newscast on your smartphone. Have an indoor scavenger hunt. Learn yoga.
Yoga? You get the idea. I won’t bore you with the 24 other half-hearted ideas.
Everybody I know had been going a hundred miles an hour in multiple directions and, suddenly, eight weeks ago, it all changed. Having a “spa night” just was not going to lower our cabin fever temperature.
And then I saw the story of the Cedar Falls couple – that is a mid-sized town in northeastern Iowa – that decided to do something creative about their own cabin fever.
Like most of us in our own towns, they had driven around Cedar Falls, but they hadn’t driven everywhere in Cedar Falls. So, they came up with a journey that would get them out of the house while they still followed all of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s guidelines. You know, no personal breathing on strangers!
They called it their Great Cedar Falls Road Trip. Got a map showing every street in their 41,000-population town and began their journey – 226 miles cruising every street in Cedar Falls. And they never got out of their car.
Think of it. 90,000 residents in Kingwood. Around 30 square miles. Of course, touring Kingwood means you would spend a good chunk of time circling the hundreds, maybe thousands, of Kingwood cul-de-sacs. And the street names. Oh, the street names. Cool Creek Court. Coral Haven Court. Crimson Berry Trail. Crimson Maple Court. Crimson Valley Court. And that is just the “Cs.”
You could live here most of your life and never be able to remember the name of the street a couple blocks away. Mountain Aspen Lane, Mountain Lake Drive and Mountain View Drive just are not memorable.
The Cedar Falls couple dutifully marked out every street they drove. Thanks to my newly Lasik’d and lens-implanted eyes, I cannot see up close and I would no doubt mark off Scenic Mountain Court when we had really driven down Scenic Woods Trail.
And, yes, those all really are names of streets in Kingwood.
The Cedar Falls couple spent eight afternoons driving 226 miles and they never left the city.
I know a Great Kingwood Road Trip sounds overwhelming and maybe silly, but once I read about the Cedar Falls couple’s road trip, I realize we’ve lived here since 1994 and we’ve never visited the Creekwood Nature Area or River Grove Park or East End Park. I have always wondered what is on the south end of Mills Branch Road just beyond Northpark. We always turn left on Mills Branch at West Lake Houston on our way to the Grand Parkway.
Whenever we travel towards Porter on Mills Branch Road, I have wondered what lies ahead on Dogwood Lane and on Hueni Road. Love those names.
So, if you see a red Cadillac SUV sporting a Jayhawks license plate suspiciously driving up and down your cul-de-sac, do not call the cops. We are simply on the Great Kingwood Road Trip.