Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Abdominal Snowman

For those who think they would like to live in the beautiful, white stuff called “snow,” I have a house to rent you for a winter.

I’ve enclosed a photo of my dog trying to figure out why his toilet is covered in snow. Earlier in the day, he turned into a “gopher dog” and disappeared by tunneling under the snow. He’s got far too much energy to be stuck in the house all day, but, while he loves to lay out in the stuff, he’s a mess when he comes in and I have to give him a shower. The snow hangs on him in grotesque white balls and I’ve found the shower is the best solution.

As for Gayle and me, you can see what’s involved in getting out of the garage to get the mail, go to the store or go sight-seeing. Consequently we don’t get the mail. In fact, we can’t go anywhere.

Power outages come and go, the TV dish fills with snow, taking the garbage out requires a sled (I use the lid. It works like a sled) My computer has gone off and on so many times that it now has a nervous condition. I’m hoping it’s not Parkinson’s.

Gayle and I spent last evening reading books by candlelight. We had no electricity, consequently no heat, no TV, no computer, nothing but candles.


When we designed the house, I tried to avoid the 80# snow load requirement because of the addition cost, but the county wouldn’t okay it. Now I’m happy to have it. In fact, I’d be happier with a 100# roof.

I remember seeing the movie, “Roots” and wishing I had a slave. Fortunately I have a wife. And, as any good slave-owner, you want to take good care of your slave.

To give you an example of my sensitivity, I have to brace myself with a few shots of whiskey just to watch her suffer outside in the storm shoveling snow. I make sure she’s bundled up and her pants are wrapped to keep her legs dry and I even let her come inside every hour for a gulp of hot coffee. Since I don’t want her to suffer, I don’t let her stay inside for long. One gulp. That’s it. Going outside again would be a shock to her system if she adjusted to the warmth. I try to be kind.

I tried to find my old football shoes with the mud cleats, but even if I found them, they wouldn’t fit her. As a consolation, I just tell her to be careful and don’t slip and fall.

I let her use a small shovel so she won’t hurt her back and I keep the porch light on when she works at night. We still have our snorkel gear from our trip to Bora Bora, so it’s helpful for her to wear that rig when the snow is over her head. I gave in to her request on that one, so I do try to compromise.

I’m a little concerned for her when she tries to climb up on the roof to clear the snow. I agreed to hold the ladder for her, as long as she didn’t take too long climbing up to the roof. I think there’s enough snow around the house to break her fall, but I’m not sure.

The above scenario is pure fantasy. I’m the idiot trying to shovel snow with a bad right knee and a ripped Achilles tendon on the left ankle. Anyone reading this should feel sorry for me. If you do, then support our local ranchers with a donation of chili beans. One can is all they ask.

They have been feeding their cattle beans all summer in anticipation of a cold winter. The theory is that methane gas from bovine flatulence contributes to global warming and there are a few country roads here that you want to keep your window rolled up when passing through. But it doesn’t work. I think the government has been lying to us. Is that possible? I know it’s hard to imagine. We know Al Gore is honest. Right?

Anyway, if you don’t hear from me, you may have to wait until the spring thaw. Just look for the snow shovel handle and dig like mad.

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