Overnight the temperatures had dropped 20 degrees, and by dawn the weather had grown in the ferocity of a minus 10 degrees blizzard.
As the farmer prepared for work in the frozen landscape as seen through the frosted window of the mud room, he smiled at the recollection of the shy girl in the gingham dress and he standing before her toeing clods of dirt.
“Did she want a kiss or not?” he had wondered.
That question had been answered nearly 50 years ago when, eventually, he had proposed, and she had said “yes.”
After pulling on insulated overalls and stuffing his feet into muck boots, he folded down the flaps of his cap, pulled on his gloves, and stepped out into a world gone white.
Trudging through the snow toward where his tractor sat in a field, he hummed the chorus line of a Methodist hymn, “I Shall Be Whiter Than Snow.”
He brushed the snow from the metal seat and climbed aboard.
“C’mon Old Faithful,” he whispered as he cranked the four cylinder engine over. Sure enough it fired up, and the familiar clicking of the tappet clearances and the throaty knocking sounds began before settling down as the oil began to circulate through the crankshaft.
“Good girl,” he muttered as he checked the oil by tapping the gauge. Pleased with what he saw, he eased the tractor into gear and began a slow trip back to the barn.
Once inside, he drained the gasoline, topping off the fluids and prepared the tractor for its next planting season. Outside, the snow accumulated as he worked throughout the day.
As he had closed the barn doors, turned and began to make his way back to the house, he saw a familiar sight – the warm, golden light which streamed from the windows, marking the place where warmth and wife awaited.
And as he walked, he considered again the beauty of the untrodden white snow.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.