Going to Extremes to Beat the Blahs

By Joy Winkie Viola, Town Crier columnist

Reprinted courtesy of the Weston/Wayland Town Crier

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’ve been on a roll since I retired nearly a year and a half ago. I’ve tackled one project after another and often had several going at one time. Even now I have a new piece of unfinished furniture to stain, and once again I’m chairing the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue spring auction and I have various household tasks I could and should do.

But I’ve got the midwinter blahs. In short, I’m bored. Just when all the snow melted and I had some enthusiasm for going out and tackling some yard work, another storm dumped a fresh load of the white stuff on our yard and dampened my enthusiasm for landscaping. Besides, it’s cold outside..

As I sit here at my desk writing, the afternoon sun warms my face and I begin to feel drowsy. The dog and cat are one step ahead of me. They are already napping in pools of sunlight on the carpet. I fight the urge to nap with them and pull out the folder labeled “When I retire..” In it is an assortment of clippings suggesting worthy endeavors for bored minds. One is a list of New Year’s health resolutions which appeared in Modern Maturity magazine two years ago. I scan the “50 healthy habits” and find myself attracted to #46 -“Never kill the urge to be silly.” I like that one and begin to think of ways to implement it.

Before long, my golden retriever, Electra, and I are in the car and headed off for an adventure. “We’ll drive to Natick,” I tell her (doesn’t everyone talk to their dog?) and check out that golden retriever wallpaper I heard about. I visit th4e wallpaper store and then head for Dover to investigate an antique/craft store complex I read about in the Boston Globe.

Somewhere on the other side of the Charles River, I make a wrong turn. I am now lost among Dover’s farms, horse barns and new developments. I stop at a gas station to get new directions, retrace my steps and now find Dover Center.. By now I am hungry, having forgotten to eat lunch. The Dover Market looks inviting, so I dash inside, buy a muffin and a cup of coffee, and return to the car.

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While Electra and I are enjoying our “picnic,” I suddenly see a good friend from Millis getting into the car next to me. “What are you doing in Dover?” we exclaim simultaneously. I jump out of the car to greet her, the car door slams shut, and there I stand – my coffee, my muffin, my dog, my handbag and my car keys – all are locked inside the car.

“Name?” the Dover policeman inquires. “Address? License number?” Great, I’m going to make the Dover police log .””Date of Birth?” Old enough to know better, I reply. My friend is giggling. The policeman is smiling. My dog is giving me strange looks. And I am feeling very stupid.

“What did you do today,” my husband asks at dinner that night. “I was bored,” I replied,” so I went for a drive, got lost and locked myself out of the car. “”That’s nice,” he replied,” “What are you planning for tomorrow?”