Thar She Blows!

Upon moving in with my girls and, thereby, becoming a ‘family man’, there were some rather dubious responsibilities I had to assume.  Lord knows I’ve never been one for tools and appliances and stuff, so I wasn’t immediately eager to take on these new duties; but do them I must.  It’s just part of the whole domestication process I figure.

For example, in the summer there is the cutting of the lawn.  For this, I had to master starting and running the lawnmower (I still haven’t figured out the weed wacker).  Fortunately, with a little help and demonstration from Kelly’s father as well as a little regular prompting, I finally figured out how to make it go and cut the stupid lawn whenever needed, which, in Kelly’s opinion is, like, every other day it seems.  However, now that it’s wintertime and the lawn is no longer a concern, there is a much scarier and graver responsibility to master – that of running the snow blower.

Before now, shoveling snow worked just fine by me.  It was simple, just inch the shovel forward in a thrusting motion along the ground and toss the accumulated snow to the side and out of the way.  Easy, right?  Well, that ‘ol tried and true method of snow removal works just dandy along sidewalks and home walkways within city limits, but out here in the rural outskirts along Lake Erie, well, not so much.

One problem:  the snow blower scares me; like, seriously scares me.

I have no idea where this innate fear comes from and, even then, it could probably only be explained in a psychologist’s office with dolls, but it most certainly is there.  With those powerful blades churning, the scream of the engine and then the whole  threatening to cut off your hands if you try to clear out the clogs…yeah, no thanks.  When my father-in-law first started it up a few weeks ago, I felt like I might even get sucked up under those thick, squat wheels.  Fuck that.

So, fast forward another month where yesterday represented our first significant snow fall of the year and, let me tell you, we got a crap ton of it.  At first instinct, I shunned the snow blower in favor of tradition.  I broke out my trusty shovel and got to work in the evening.  ‘Who needs a blower anyway?’, I thought.  I’m fit.  I’m strong.  I can do this.  Hell, I’m going to ‘Stand and Deliver’ the shit out of this.  I’ll show ‘em.  That night I shoveled the driveway twice before bed and in the morning, it needed doing again.  This time, that whole ‘Can Do’  attitude lasted for approximately 17 minutes until my lower back started to ache and my shoulders screamed for the A535.  I felt like I had helplessly embarked on one of the ‘Ten Great Labors of Hercules’ and it sucked.  After 30 minutes or so, at exactly 10:19am EST, I admitted defeat.

To make matters worse, I was so spent from doing my own driveway that I didn’t have anything left to even attempt our neighbor’s driveway.  I felt like I had totally failed at the ‘Good Neighbor Test’ and it sucked.  Lesson learned.

Time to suck it up, I guess, and finally figure out how to use the damn snow-blower.  After all, it can’t be any more difficult than the lawn mower could it?  Of course, the Operating Manuel reads like some angry ‘New World Order’ manifesto, so I might need to enroll in a night course or something down at the college in order to simply figure out how to make it go.    Either that, or I’m advocating our moving to the Bahamas’ until winter is officially over.

God Help Me!

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  1. Hold on. Your father-in-law… Did I miss something?

  2. Nah, just easier and nicer (I think) than saying “the father of my girlfriend”.

  3. Jan

     /  December 29, 2012

    Beware! I learned a tough lesson. After snow blowing my own circular plus straight driveway, I decided to do my neighbour’s. He was coming back from vacation and might appreciate not having to shovel his way into his house.
    I had just begun when THWACK! The snow blower had hit something and the snow blower came to an immediate stop with some 95% of the driveway to complete. It was the Saturday,Toronto Star (translated that means “extra fat”).
    I wheeled the snow blower home. By this time, the newspaper was very wet, totally stuck together and freezing cold. To cut to the point, my Dad helped solve the problem. But it took him a month of drying the outside paper parts with a blow dyrer then using a cigarette lighter bit by bit to burn them off. It took hours and four visits until he was able to get all of the newspaper out of the blades.. Once again, I say BEWARE!

  4. Kelly

     /  February 8, 2013

    HONEY !!! I did it I did it I did it !!! I mastered the snowblower today while you were at work 🙂
    Girls rule !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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