January 27, 2011

Blow the Blown Snow

For much of the time I lived in New Hampshire I had no snow blower. Seven years in an apartment building, the first couple of years in a house. I shoveled. And Shoveled. My poor new wife, moving from the south just a few months before, shoveled the driveway one day and called me at work to crow about it. Great, I replied. Shovel again in a couple of hours, I advised. What?! We got a lot of snow that winter, 120 inches. To her credit, we're still married, but we live in Virginia now.

A couple of years before we moved south, not knowing that we'd be leaving in the not-too-distant future, my dad bought us a small, 5 hp snow blower. It came in very handy the following winters, but as our final New England spring threatened to arrive we suddenly found ourselves ready to leave the area. Thinking, surely it doesn't snow any appreciable amount in Virginia, we sold the blower to a neighbor and later used the money towards a riding lawn mower. We have a lot of grass now.

A couple of years later we received our first one-foot Virginia snowfall. It took a lot of digging, up a long, inclined driveway, to clear a path. Lesson learned. A couple of years afterward we found an 8 hp blower on clearance at Home Depot and brought it home. We've received a one- to two-foot snowfall about every six or 7 years since, and several lesser, but wet and heavy snowfalls in between. We had one yesterday, six inches, just a moderate snowfall by New Hampshire standard, but we're fully Virginians by now and six inches is a good reason to stay home. Out came the blower this morning and without much more than a little sweat we had a wide path up the driveway, a clear mailbox and trash can, and a double-width path around the house for the dogs.

We intend to live here until I retire from my career and move further south, and I'm not convinced I'll sell the blower even then. They don't get much snow in Georgia, but when they do it's crippling. I'd be very glad to walk a blower down my driveway then and spend the rest of the day in a warm home, relaxing.

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