Friday, January 15, 2010

Poor Pig. Poor Daddy.

Why did he cover the pig back up? Because, even at that age, he was a wise man. When he saw the snow had melted away from her body, he knew the cushion of air between her and the snow acted like a thermal blanket. If he would have dug her out, she would have begun to shiver -- and then he would have had a problem. To wait until she felt like coming out of the drift was the best decision. She survived to have a liter of 8 little piglets.

To the east of our house was a 40 acre field. Beyond that was Shumaker's pasture and down the hill was their house, barn and outhouse. When he was satisfied that all was well. He started on foot through the drifts and blinding snow to the warm and cozy coal burning stove in Shumaker's front room -- and to the loving arms of worried young wife and lonely little son. He could have followed the fence of the 4o acres along our drive way. Then he could have turned east along the fence beside the road. That would have brought him to the farm yard he sought. When he ran out of fence, the kerosene lamps in the window might have led him to the house.

Instead, he made another decision that might not have been so wise. He climbed through the barbed wire fence beside our house. Then started in a straight line from our house in a south easterly direction. It would save time and distance to reach the fence at the southeast corner of the field, go through the pasture gate and follow the fence along the road to the farm yard and the lights of family love. As he went the drifts would not have been so deep as in the road, but the wind was still furious. He kept in mind that a man lost in the dark will automatically walk in a circle to the left, so he continued to make adjustment for that. After a lot of very long, tiresome walking he finally came to the fence. It was in front of him, just as he had planned. It was the southbound fence on the east side of the 40 acres. He had missed the corner by a little. So he turned to the right along the fence. After a while he reached the corner, but there was no gate. Where it should have been was a metal sign wired into the fence to prevent runoff water from cutting a ditch. It was a sign that must have once been posted along a highway. He had been walking in a circle to the left all the time.

Fortunately for our Daddy, a week or two before, he had gone for a walk through that field on a Sunday afternoon and came upon that sign. Now he knew where he was, at the north end of that field, not the south. Now wisdom came to his aid again. It took a great deal of time to correct a very serious but sincere mistake. He followed the fences as guides laid out for his progress toward food, family, warmth and rest. He hadn't thought he was lost. How cold and tired he must have been. How he must have reprimanded himself. I don't remember how long all that must have taken. It surely must have been an awful night in a very awful storm.


  1. These are all so very good. I knew the part of the story of Daddy getting lost then discovering where he was. I didn't know about all the rest of the story. Keep up the good memories and writing.
    Love you, Donnie
    I am sending this through Sherri's address.

  2. Testing to see if my new address works.