I woke up this afternoon about 1:30 PM after working all night on Tuesday. More than seven inches of snow had fallen since I went to sleep at 6:30 AM and it was still falling! Faaalling Faaaaaalling. The mid-west was getting late January’s worst-of-the-winter storm.
This is an annual event in Ohio that most of us dispel from memory each Spring, only to be startled anew the next January when the old woman plucks her geese again. “Far better she should shear her pig,” I think each year, “even to within a whisker of its life – great cry but little wool.”
I knew I would have to go out and clear our driveway yet today, and help out several of the neighbors as well. I have a snow blower, so it is not as daunting a prospect as shoveling by hand, yet it is cold labor and I did not want to go.
I thought of the engulfing silence always created by cold and falling snow and how I would soon dispel it with the tremolo of Briggs & Stratton. I looked out the front window of our house and imagined myself as the pig in a watercolor by Wyeth, James. “Winter Pig” looks out on that same engulfing snowy silence from her front window, which is also the front door of her sty.
And then I remembered the bottle of Baileys Irish Cream that my daughter had given me at Christmas. Baileys in your coffee is a winter treat few pigs, even those fondly recollected in the images of Jamie Wyeth, find themselves in the circumstances to enjoy. I had been saving the last little bit of that bottle for the right moment. This was the right moment.
I had just enough Baileys left to embellish two last cups of coffee. I made one cup, and called up “Winter Pig” on my PC to enjoy with my coffee as I suited up in bibs and boots and all the armory for snow removal. Sufficiently clothed, fortified, and enticed by the prospect of a post-removal final cup when victory was mine, I attacked the snow.
Thanks again, Stephanie, for the Baileys!
With love, your victorious Father.