Thursday, January 1, 2009

My New Best Friend




As a transplant to New England, I can still recall my amazement when introduced to a few of the items that are somewhat unique to this region. Ever heard of a frappe? How about candlepin bowling? And what about a tonic? I learned about those within months of moving to NH, but I had to wait until I became a homeowner to learn about my topic du jour - the snowblower.

You see, in places where snowfall is measured in feet, and where the snow doesn't entirely melt between storms, clearing your driveway with a shovel isn't really practical. Unless, of course, you have a really small driveway or are looking for a really great workout. Over, and over, and over..... So man invented the snowblower, which takes all that snow and blows it through the air into a big pile at the side of the driveway, hence the name snowblower. The basic snowblower looks a lot like a roto-tiller, the operator walks behind it and it blows the snow. It may or may not be self propelled.

We picked up a basic model when we moved in the house. About a year later I asked Kilowatt to show me how to use it, and quickly learned that this monster and I were incompatible (the snowblower and I, that is.) It was heavy, loud, and had such vibration that it made my arms go numb -- for a couple of days. So for ten years I was totally reliant on Kilowatt to clear the driveway. On the rare occasions where Kilowatt was not home for a storm, I fell back on the trusty snow shovel and All-Wheel Drive. In other words, just shovel enough to get the car in and out of the driveway.

Our New Year's present 2008 was a new snow blower. Since our lawn mower was kind enough to die the same year as the snow blower, we replaced both with a combination big lawn tractor that includes a snowblower attachment for the winter months. We justified it by the fact that I would be able to operate this one.

Fast forward to today.... Kilowatt is out of town for a few days, and Mother Nature gave us 8 inches of new snow as a New Year's gift. So I bundled up and off I went. It was a balmy 9 degrees this morning. Periodic wind gusts brought the wind chill well below 0. Did I mention I'm a wimp when it comes to cold?

The snow was light and fluffy. I started on our second driveway and it seemed no matter what direction I turned that little blower thingy, the snow was blowing right back into my face. The good news is that this little machine is fast, so it didn't take me too long to become totally encrusted in snow with a clear driveway. I shoveled the steps, and headed back indoors. As I approached the front door, I could see my reflection in the glass -- and now I know what the Abominable Snowperson looks like!

Okay Mother Nature, now I know how to work this thing -- could you wait a few days for the next storm? Kilowatt will be home this weekend!

1 comment:

hulagirlatheart said...

Oh, I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that much snow. I would be curled up on a fetal position behind the couch waiting for spring. However, I would enjoy watching YOU clear off the driveway with that gizmo.