Cabin Fever, #1

Somehow, we’ve reached the middle of February: this is the period of deep winter, and its many juxtapositions. The sun shines blissfully all morning on the sleeping cats sprawled around my feet on the kitchen floor. The neighbors’ septic backs up; we meet in our nearby driveways, shoveling snow yet again, and he laughs, Not my best day.

The older daughter takes a highlighter to her textbook, determined to pass an EMT course, while the younger plans an elaborate visit to Burlington. Through my perpetual email, I wonder if she’s imagining Burlington as the spring paradise of blooming fruit trees rather than the gray pavement I see once a week.

My taxes are unfinished in messy pile beside stacks of overdue books from three libraries. I mean to invite over parents of my daughter’s new friend. I miss drinking coffee with my friend in Montpelier. In the basement of either the town hall or the town clerk might be boxes of legos for my young library patrons: a kid gold mine I need to spelunk. Somewhere out there is my next husband. When will he arrive?

This is February.

March will bring my library’s pie breakfast, when hundreds of people in town bake pies and carry them in both hands to the elementary school’s second floor cafeteria. Two live bands, endless conversation and gossip, coffee and more coffee, sweet and savory pies, and hundreds of Vermonters in snow boots. Pie breakfast is March’s small town brilliance.

The moon has nothing to be sad about….

— Sylvia Path, from “Edge”

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By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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