by Austin Vasquez Aguilar
photo copyright Seven Roads Gallery Inc.
"I do want to get rich, but I never want to do what there is to do to get rich."
Images of our recent snowstorm would be like showing an accident victim pictures of car crashes . In my quest for truth and the American way, the perfect non-visual image of the two day snow storm is this: The window in my office and first floor bathroom are cheap inefficient models we have yet to replace. The inner wood frame is covered by an aluminum storm/screen combo on the outside. For reasons only to be found in the addled dark reaches of the minds of the former owners, the windows are installed horizontally. Thus, one has to stand to be able to look out the window. Fifteen to twenty mile per hour winds from the north last night forced snow between the outside and inside windows. Looking on the bright side, I decide the snow will add an amount of insulation against the bitter cold and high winds forecast for Wednesday night.
The only thing dashing through the snow this morning is Mandy, our dog. Snow is an elixir to her. Last night I took her out for a short walk before bed. She lapped up the snowflakes, actually more like ice crystals, as we walk down the town road.
She leaps over snowbanks higher than my waist and surfs the deep unbroken snow in the front field. Somewhere below all that white are my gardens. When I see her briefly stumble, I see the image of the uneven grassy strip between garden plots three and four where on Good Friday I'll be sowing my potatoes. Good Friday. Only Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog on Gobblers knob can see that far ahead.
On a visit to the Amish for milk, eggs and flour, I try to sneak off after putting the milk and flour in the trunk of my Prism. The sound of a planer in the woodshop adds to the desolation of the wind swept ridegtop.A man with no upper teeth works a pickup truck with an attached snowplow pushing banks of snow out of the way. He doesn't smile. He just lifts a single finger on his left hand as he winds his way around the buildings. The Patriarch emerges from the woodshop hatless. His graying hair forms a wild fringe around the bald pate and beard. He motions with his finger for me to roll down my window. "Jackley's talking about pig futures going up to 90 cents," he says. "He's got hogs he wants to sell."
I get out of the car, parking it to the side of the driveway which the Amish wisely petitioned to turn into a town road. "Let's go into the shop where it's warmer," I tell the Patriarch. The discussion won't end at hog prices. It will cover raising chickens, discarding books from the library, the Green Bay Packers( a friend send his neighbor an e-mail suggesting the Packer's trip to the Superbowl saves the taxpayers a ton of money because Obama won't travel to Dallas to observe the Bears.