On The Edge

February 21

Will bacon cure the winter of my discontent?

J.P. Devine mulls a snow-filled, “Downton Abbey” draggy winter and wonders if it’s worth getting out of bed.

It may come as a surprise to my three friends and 27 readers, but I have decided to spend some time searching for inner peace.

I’m told this is a surefire way to cope with my mother called the winter blues, caused by the past four months of Soviet style winter. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Maybe, I’m just bored with the problems of very rich British people on “Downton Abby,” and trying to figure out how to get the garbage down to the street without breaking my neck.

To add to my woes, this winter has been more than prolific with snow. There are two doors I cannot get out of because of the drifts. I could jump from the bedroom window unharmed because would only land in six foot drifts. But this would result in snowburn.

Snowburn can be painful. My young, beautiful, rich skiing friends, who love their winter and never get depressed because they have so much money and expensive skiing clothes, tell me that they get snowburn when they fall down while skiing up at Sugarloaf. But then they go sit by big log fires and drink tequila shots, watch real skiers fall down and get serious snow burns at Sochi, and feel better. Besides, my windows aren’t that high. Nobody ever died from just stepping out of a window into a drift.

The best part of my winter blues is the strong desire not to get out of bed in the morning, knowing that it may be the last time in the day when I will be as warm, and have as many lovely dreams. My dreams have been really great lately since I started taking my statin pill later at night.

I love my bed and my electric blanket. When I go in there at midnight, there it is, the little electric eye glowing in the darkness. It talks to me. “Come on, little J.P. come and let me fold my arms around you.” I love her.

She, who is always up first, tries to wake me by making noises in the kitchen or making something that smells good. Bacon or burnt toast usually gets my attention. Even then it has to be accompanied by hearing very loud remarks to Jack the sheepdog:

“Mmmmmm Jack, isn’t that good?” or “Do you want another bite of mama’s FRENCH TOAST, JACK?” This rarely fails. But on very cold dark mornings, it takes the smell of the French toast plus the bacon and the words to Jack.

Some of my friends seem alarmed by my reluctance to get out of the car when I’ve arrived somewhere.

I just sit there staring out the windows through a veil of softly falling snow sleet or icy rain. I just sit there. The car is my friend. It’s a womb of warmth. I know I have to shop, eat lunch, deliver the cleaning, pick up the mail. I don’t care. I’m warm and hypnotized by the swish of the wiper blades, the hum of the heater. And when the sun is warm and washes over my face I tend to fall asleep, but not for long. If I’m parked in the lot at the market or in front of Starbucks, someone always comes up and taps on my window and wakes me. They seem to think I’ve been overcome by carbon monoxide fumes, or that I’ve been drinking.

All of this seasonal disorder has led me to discover the latest trend towards “mindfullness,” which is all about living in the moment, sitting in silence, meditating, practicing yoga and “mindful eating.” This practice involves holding each bite of food in the mouth and savoring the flavor until, I assume, it grows mushy and full of saliva and difficult to swallow. I’m cool with that.

Someone, one of those well meaning people who tap on my car window and wake me up,told me that there is going to be a seminar held up at Sugarloaf soon, on mindfullness. There will be videos and snacks and a practice called “aimless wandering,” where one just walks around and observes stuff. I’m down with that. I wander aimlessly around the house observing stuff all the time, like the thermostat that she keeps in the low 60‘s, and the snow mountains outside the windows that keep growing larger. Excuse me. I’m going to see if there is any bacon left in the fridge to hold in my mouth.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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