Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Widow Maker

Saturday night saw a dumping of the most beautiful and hateful snow I've seen in years. We received seven inches (18 cm), blanketing everything in a clean, white layer. It was the first snowfall of the year, so there were no snowbanks yet and no salt or dirt build up on the roads. Truly beautiful.

It was also the heaviest, wettest stuff imaginable. I'm not sure how, but I think that a shovel full of this stuff was actually heavier than an equivalent shovel full of water. Great for making snow men and snow forts. Also great for giving people heart attacks and making early widows.

We have a snow blower, but it hasn't been started in two and a half years. Trying to remember how to start the darn thing took a bit of mental drudging. Remove kill key...check. Turn throttle to full...Check. Turn choke to full...check. Put in gas...check. Check oil...check. Ok. Pulled on the rope and...no go. So I tried again, and again, and again. Still no go.

Ahhh! That's right there is an electric start. So I ran into the house, grabbed our one 100' extension cord, brought it out and plugged in the snow blower. Push the button to do the electric start and it sounds like a cat is being put throw a blender on liquefy. This is normal. It really does sound like that. But after a minute of trying...no go.

At which point I notice a strange dark spot below my knee on my snow suit. Following it with my eyes, I see that the snow blower is doing it's best imitation of a peeing dog, with gasoline. Well at least I know why it isn't working.

I am not a big fan of small engines. Bolts get rusted shut. Guards and casings are difficult to remove, or in the way. No matter what I want to get at, my hands are too big or my fingers aren't nimble enough or I don't have the right tool. I always scrape up a knuckle or cut a finger. In short, they are very frustrating.

So I opted to shovel the driveway by hand. In retrospect, I should have taken the three or four hours to drive to the hardware store, get parts and fix the snowblower, because there is a lot of driveway and sidewalk to shovel. It wouldn't be bad if it were regular snow, but this stuff was like a shovel full of lead every time. It took pretty much the entire day to shovel, but we got through it. The snow blower still needs to be repaired and it's supposed to snow in the next day or two.

Yesterday the power company came and finished energizing the underground line. That means there is no longer a power pole in our back yard and we are officially running off of 200 amp, underground power. Now the electrician can really start rewiring. The old electrical panel has been removed and everything is running off of the new shiny one. Just another two weeks and he should be done (really).

We also handed over the keys from the rental place to the landlord yesterday. We are responsible now for only one house - The House of 42 Doors. This is the first time this has happened in two and a half years and it feels good.


Teri said...

Nice Blog :)

Pusher said...

Congratulations on being a one-house household! And cool that the electricity is all ready to go. Progress is such a beautiful thing.

Here's hoping your snowblower is up and running soon. I'm achy just from doing our short little walks, and our snow was drier than yours. I can't imagine tackling your whole driveway!