Tuesday, February 26, 2013

.....snow blowers

or, more specifically, how to use one....

First, I should remind you of my love/hate relationship with all modern technology and machines save my coffee pot, indoor plumbing, and central HV/AC.
I mostly do not like the thunderous noise and disruption these machines produce. 
My idea of the perfect modern inventions are the quiet click of a mechanical pencil and the soft whisper of yarn over those new-fangled circular knitting needles.  ;)

Problem: A hair dryer blasting in my ear at 8 a.m. does not a happy mommy make.
      Solution: don't use one...ever....even in winter....since middle school.....

Problem: A power tool being used to complete home improvement projects drives me up the same wall my poor husband is trying to fix.
     Solution:  leave the house and go to the library when DIY Jeff makes his Saturday morning appearances.

Problem: Living in the Mid-West, in the winter, during a snow storm, with a snow covered side-walk and driveway.  Also having a much anticipated afternoon meeting scheduled the same day as the snow storm.
      Usual Solution: Head to the back room of the house with my knitting and coffee while dh, ds, and dd fire up the monstrosity of a snow blower, wield our new ergonomic snow shovels and clear the walk, car and driveway in time for me to leave for my meeting.

Note: Today was not usual.   This morning there was not enough snow on the ground to break out the snow blower.  By noon there was. Since my dh was at work, I was left to make a very difficult decision. 
The drive and car needed to be cleared out.  There was no way around that.  I had committed to go to a meeting this afternoon, and was looking forward to attending the discussion group.  (At a history museum...yes, geek, sigh, move on...)
My dilemma: My ds is just a tad too young to use the snow blower unsupervised.
My second dilemma: I have absolutely no clue how to start the thing, which direction to point it in, or how to make it stop.
My options were limited. 
1) I could interrupt my husband at work to try and get him to coach me through the process. After he picked himself up off the floor from laughing so hard, he would then have the daunting task of trying to teach me something that I don't really want to do, while he was 12 miles away....hmmm...that might have been the safest place for him.....

2) I could wrestle the big red beast out of the garage, spend 45 minutes poking  and pulling on things, hoping against hope that I would accidentally hit upon the correct combination of levers, cords and valves....or irrevocably snap some key component rendering the beast less than useless for future storms...

3) I could google a YouTube video on how to start/use a snow blower.....on my dinosaur computer...that takes forever to load videos...and freezes up on the buffering.....and not get the video to play until May....

4) Or, I could brace myself with a fresh pot of coffee, layer on the clothes and hand-knit wool hats, scarves and mittens, yell at  nicely ask my children to join me in the great out doors, and quietly clear the car and driveway with the perfect, silent,  low-tech tools.....shovels and elbow grease.

Silent that is, unless you count the moaning and groaning of my dear children.  Cries of, "Mom, why don't you just ask dad how to use the snow blower?   or... "Mom, why don't you just google..snow blower...?"  or... "Mom, why don't you just skip your meeting?"

Not. An. Option.   I was going to a meeting to discuss historical topics.  With other adults.  Who liked history.  There might even be coffee involved.

I am happy to report that we persevered.  The drive, sidewalk, front stoop and car were all cleared in plenty of time for me to make it to the meeting.  By hand/shovel.  In the peaceful quiet of the freshly fallen snow.

I came in to check my smoke signals  e-mail, hoping to see some new information about our topics for the meeting.  Instead, I found a message that went something like....
Due to the inclement weather, the meeting has been postponed to next Monday.  We apologize for any inconvenience this new date and time may cause.

I left the kids outside.  They were warm. They were happy building a snow fort in the front yard. They were blissfully unaware of the catastrophic announcement that greeted me from the computer screen.

      It is snowing again.   Enough to make me think that we may need to clear the drive and car again.
By snow blower.
When my husband comes home.
And I am safely ensconced in the far room of the house with my coffee and knitting.....

'cause I missed the class on that.

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