© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, snow, shovel, mittens, dog, Corky Porky Pie, write, pencil, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, Your LDS Radio, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
Everyone has their own method for shoveling snow. Some get out their blower, while others retrieve their shovel from the garage. I get out a ratty ol’ broom with bristles that are four-inch stubs.
It’s not that a broom is superior to a snow shovel; it’s that my dog, Corky Porky Pie, thinks the broom is a wild animal and loves to chase it. For every foot of concrete that I brush snow off, he kicks two feet back on. And my neighbors are treated to the sight of me swinging a broom with a stubby dog latched onto the bristles.
After twenty minutes, my muscles are tired. Sweeping with a twenty-five pound dog attached is like sweeping with a bowling ball—and just about as effective. Since Corky is too dizzy to hold on anymore, I put him in the house.
I think about quitting, but determination sets in. Despite the stitch in my side and the ache that radiates across my chest and down my left arm, I continue to sweep and push snow. Halfway through, I pull out my cell phone and consider calling for an ambulance but no … by golly, I’m not giving up.
I take a breather, and wonder if all this cold air is destroying my bronchial tubes. “Why do I keep going, when I could be inside eating chocolate cake and drinking hot cocoa?” I ask myself.
“Because eating cake for breakfast isn’t very nutritious,” I answer. It seems that me, myself, and I, are quite good conversationalists.
Back to sweeping I go, and the stitch in my side feels like an appendicitis attack, but I will not let the snow win. I am determined. I am sweeper, hear me roar.
An hour later, the job is done. My mittens have blisters, my nose is frozen and my boots are encased in ice, but I have triumphed. The front step is cleared. There are only two sidewalks and the driveway to go, but those can wait for another day. I feel like a returning hero … and my cake and hot cocoa are calling to me.
I’ve decided that there’s a big similarity between shoveling snow and writing. Everyone has their own method for writing. Some speak their thoughts into a recorder, while others type them into a computer. I use a pencil.
It’s not that a pencil is superior to other writing instruments; it’s that every room in my house has one. Furthermore, I don’t have to plug it in, turn it on, or check it for viruses.
Shortly after I sit down to work, my husband is treated to the sight of me twirling the pencil between my fingers and tossing it in the air, over and over again. It’s not that I’m practicing to be a majorette; it’s that I can’t think of anything to write.
After twenty minutes of staring at a blank page, my eyes get tired. My hand has a charley horse from writing words and then erasing them. The going is so slow that I feel like my pencil is filled with lead.
I think about quitting, but determination sets in. Despite the throbbing in my eyes, the numbness in my wrist and the pounding in my head, I go on. Halfway through, I pull out my cell phone and consider calling for a ghost writer, but no … by golly, I’m not giving up.
I take a breather and wonder if all this eraser dust is clogging my bronchial tubes. “Why do I keep going, when I could be eating Twinkies and drinking chocolate milk?” I ask myself.
“Because too many Twinkies give you hips like an elephant,” I answer.
Back to writing I go, and the ache in my wrist feels like carpal tunnel, but I will not give up. I am determined. I am writer, hear me roar.
An hour later, the job is done. My pencil has blisters, my vision is blurred, and my feet feel like they’ve been encased in ice for lack of movement, but I have triumphed. The first paragraph is written. There are only thirty chapters and a title to go, but those can wait for another day. I feel like a returning hero.
And my Twinkies and chocolate milk are calling to me.
What's playing in my head: Nothing, because I'm too full of eggnog for my brain cells to function!
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