Dear Sidney

Jan 26, 2023 | Dear Sidney

Dear Sidney,

This is my first winter living on the mountain full-time. I haven’t seen the sun for a week. I’m retired and don’t need to get up and out during a rainstorm. I’m reasonably self-entertained. I enjoy scrapbooking and am an avid reader. I’d like to take the dog for a walk, but it’s darned awful cold and wet outside.

My dilemma is that I’ve taken up a very debilitating habit – brandy. Brandy spun in a snifter until warm, snuffed just so, and then sipped or “down the hatch” as my deceased husband used to say. Yes, OK, I’ve been watching Turner Classic Movies, wherein every scene includes a swish of golden-brown alcohol, a stogy and Humphrey Bogart.

Is this a customary occurrence during the winter months up here? That is, abusing alcohol while binging on old movies and neglecting my scrapbooking table? It’s up and in my way, and I just keep bumping into it.

Shameful in Crestline


Dear Shameful,

Welcome to life in the forest, where the bears are on the wagon in hibernation and the power can go off at any time!

I did a bit of research on the topic of alcohol use in the good ole US of A during the heyday of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the masses experienced cabin fever. A study quoted by Kaiser Permanente, which they insist on emailing to all members in order to sway them to change their ways, states: “Drinking among mothers of children under the age of 5 went up 300 percent by the end of 2020,” so you’re in good company.

It’s been recorded that women are now drinking more than men and, because I assume that you do not have the responsibility of caring for small children on a regular basis, I say enjoy your brandy and Bogart and be careful not to trip over your dog.

Because no one should drink alone, I do advise contracting with Life Alert, if you can afford it. You’ll have a GPS around your neck and a rubber bracelet on your wrist. You will never be alone!


Send your questions for Sidney to [email protected] or by snail mail to Dear Sidney, The Alpine Mountaineer, P.O. Box 4572, Crestline, CA 92325.

This advice is intended for entertainment purposes only. No animals were harmed in the writing of this column.


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