Ode to a Snowblower

When I first moved to Maine, I had very little real experience in dealing with snow using anything other than a shovel. I knew of snowblowers in theory, but I decided the bestthing to do for truly massive amounts of snow would be to get a snow blade attachment for my lawn tractor.

Big mistake.

That first winter was a nightmare. I discovered my lawn tractor didn’t have good enough traction to really push the snow very far, so I bought chains for the tires. When that still didn’t work, I bought wheel weights to try and dig into the snow more. No matter what I did, the snow just wouldn’t move. Once those snow banks were set, they became bitter piles of ice that weren’t moving without dynamite or a flame thrower.

So I went with the snowblower, thinking it had to get better. And boy did it ever.

We’ve been watching some family movies the last few weeks–gifts I’d made for Denisa for Christmas. And one of the things that’s stunned me is how little snow we had that first year. Don’t get me wrong–we had plenty of snow. But we didn’t have nearly as much snow as I remembered us having. In my mind, we’d had feet upon feet of the white stuff, but then when I saw the videos from that first year and compared them to what we’ve got out in front of our house now . . . I think we have more now.

Why don’t I feel like I’m going crazy with all the snow? It’s all about that wonderful snowblower. We get a big storm, I wait for it to end, and then I waltz out, start it up, and a half hour later my driveway is snow free and ready for driving. It can handle up to 18 inches at a time or so, and it’s really a workhorse. I love it.

Now, that doesn’t give me complete snow-immunity, of course. Both of my cars don’t drive particularly well in slick conditions. If money were no object, I’d love to get something with four wheel drive or all wheel drive, which would diminish some of the white-knuckled experiences I’ve had over the past seven years or so. But still, if I had to point to one thing that’s had the biggest impact on these Maine winters, my snowblower would be it.

I loves it!

(Even on days like today, when I had to go through 3 foot drifts with it. It takes multiple passes, and it’s harder to do than a normal storm, but it still beats a shovel.)

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