Joys of blue-sky thinking

“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.”
The late great Duke Ellington had the right idea.
Sadly, I can pout with the best of them, but I cannot read, write, nor play a lick of music.
When I pout, all my energy goes into finding a piece of chocolate I stashed in the cupboard, which then leads to the blues because I always eat more of it than I should.
Hmmm, not exactly the kind of productive energy transference Mr. Ellington was talking about.
“I’d stop eating chocolate but I’m no quitter.” Now that’s more like me.
I’m grasping at straws here—wrapped in layers of wool sweaters and a side dish of feeling sorry for myself as another cold night passes through the walls of this old house and into my bones.
I keep thinking of what it would be like to do what my friend, Don, and so many others do this time of year—drive south until the butter melts.
Someday I will. I’m going to put a pound of butter on a plate in the passenger seat and see how far I have to go before it withers. Some day my time will come when I can blow the cold a goodbye holiday kiss.
But for now what I can do—what I do know how to do—is take a really, really hot shower. Lobster hot. It is my escape pod in the deep freeze of winter; my weapon against the blues that chocolate cannot fix.
I’m a hot shower aficionado. In fact, if lobster hot showers were an Olympic sport, I’d win a gold medal for Canada even at 53 years old.
I’d be an icon of the ages—the oldest woman in history to land a gold medal at the Olympic games. That would be me.
Even “Sochi 2014” champions could not ski, speed skate, nor snowboard their way to the center podium against my lobster hot showers and me.
I win.
The Winter Olympics always get me fired up. I ingested the gold medal Canadians Alexandre Bilodeau, Charles Hamelin, and the Dufour-Lapointe sisters earned from their Sochi performances and then I braved the cold weather and set off on my solo quest, chest puffed out, my Olympic-sized ego in tow, as I tore down to the frozen creek bed in thigh-deep drifts of unstirred snow, dreaming of my very own Snowshoe Olympics.
And then I got stuck about halfway to the starting line. Stuck like cement shoe stuck.
Suddenly I lay prone in the snow after throwing myself backwards in a “flip-out” fit mixed with hopes of wedging free.
I was stuck there long enough that my desire for Olympic greatness passed in favour of cloud spotting and a membership in Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s “Cloud Appreciation Society” (look it up, yes, it’s real).
The sun was shining, the sky was azure blue, and I saw a cloud that looked like my old dog, “Dot.”
“Clouds are for dreamers and their contemplation benefits the soul.”
No Olympic snowshoe race could beat that. I still win.

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