Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Blower Blues

For an old woman, getting snow off the driveway can be an issue. So, as an old woman, I've had to deal with this issue, and have done it in various ways.

The idea of a "lady" snowblower was hatched when my mother bought a small, lightweight Toro snowblower for her driveway. She was definitely in the "old lady" category at this time of her life, because I'm sure she got it in her late 70's. She was a very vigourous lady until her last year at 83 when she passed away. So the snowblower was passed on as a legacy. I got it.

It got many a workout at my one country home in the lake subdivision. It even worked better on my neighbor's "snow over ice" driveway, because it was the paddle type, which got down to the pavement better than the bigger auger type that her other neighbor had.

Then we moved to a house with a gravel driveway, so there was not use in even trying to use it there. We needed a blade, and had several to choose from. One for the tractor, and one for the brush mower. I think the late Mr. figured out the tractor one, but the brush mower one never was used. I gave the "lady" snowblower to my brother, who moved into my mothers old home after she passed away.

So when we moved from there, back to the city, our son inherited the whole mess (tractor, blade, brush mower, blade). He felt he owed us something, so he bought a monster snowblower from a friend for our new house with the 20 foot long driveway. This thing was so huge, you could have done Wal-Mart's parking lot with it! Way too much for our little driveway.

The first time I had a chance to use it, it was locked in my under-deck shed. Snow had been preceeded by about 12 hours of wind-driven freezing rain, so the deck door was tightly frozen shut by about a 1/2 inch of ice. We just let nature take its course until the stuff melted off. That year, several other snow events happened, and often my driveway miraculously was cleaned off by well-meaning neighbor children and family members.

The next year, things weren't quite as smooth-running, so I got the snow shovels out, with a very aching back as a result. One day, I decided to try to snow-blower my son gave us, and after a 1/2 hour of pulling the rope, I gave up. I called my son, and he said, "Oh yes, there is a little problem with the starter, you just jiggle this and wiggle that and poke a screwdriver here and there, and it will start". NOT HAPPENING, SON, YOU ARE TALKING TO AN OLD LADY WHO DOESN'T DO MOTORS!

Last year, after a couple bouts with the shovel and ensuing aches and pains, the frustration of trying to start the monster snowblower, I bit the bullet and bought another "lady" snowblower. Of course, doing this just prior to a predicted monster storm meant the price was high, but it got to my house before the first flake flew, and was quite easy to start, easy to use, and it did a good job.

This week, we've been hit by about 3 continuous days of off and on snow, sleet, freezing rain, little pellets that look like styrofoam beads. The stuff really started accumulating yesterday afternoon. Aha, I have a new snowblower! NO PROBLEM!

Confidently, I went out to start the snowblower up for an attack on this most recent snow event. It had been strategically placed near the front of the garage, easy to get to. The gas cans were close at hand, and so were the electic cords for the electric start. Confidence was soon dashed as the thing in no way would start up. After 15 minutes of cranking and not an inkling that the wonderkind machine would start, I gave up. I'll just wait until the spring thaw.

This has been a week of frustrations in many areas of my life. Cell phone wouldn't charge up, bookstore didn't have my students' books and wouldn't be getting them for weeks. Social Security wants to take away my pension, and I can't get into see the doctor I want to start going to until April. I was beginning to really feel star-crossed. The dead snowblower was just another frustrating effort that got me nowhere. Don't know what's going on that all of this is messed up.

Fates, give me a break for once!

1 comment:

NV said...

Here's hoping it all gets better, and fast! At least it STOPPED snowing. There was a point in the night that I didn't think it ever would.