Snow blowers are truly wondrous things. The first year we bought one it didn’t snow enough to use it. The second year the same thing happened. It was like the toothache disappearing when you get to the dentist’s office—the snow disappeared when we bought a snow blower.
After that it did get some use, but since Christmas it has really been used. We don’t have that much snow to plow, unless you count the path from the shed out back to the front sidewalk. Of course this is from my viewpoint inside the house looking out the window.
But then there are the neighbor’s sidewalks Bill clears. I thought he was being a good neighbor, but then I caught him looking longingly at bigger, more powerful, and more expensive snow blowers. I prayed the snow would stop before he found a new one he wanted to buy. It didn’t, but the Lord provided. The stores sold out of snow blowers.
Way back in the good old days, we had a grand assortment of snow shovelers at our house. Our boys looked forward to snowfalls because they could make money shoveling. They knew they were not allowed to accept money from our neighbors for clearing their sidewalks, but they really couldn’t help it if the neighbors just insisted on giving them a little something.
One time the third son couldn’t wait until it snowed. He was up and out early with the snow shovel. When he came home, he informed me he sure was glad the neighbor forced him to take some money for shoveling their walk because now he could repay his older brother. It seems he’d scratched his big brother’s bike and had to pay to get it repainted.
Our second son decided he’d better check out the job his brother had done. He was gone quite a while. When he returned, he demanded half of the pay because he had to finish up the job his younger brother had only half done.
Then biggest brother went to check out that job. He came home later ready to demand half the money from the second brother because he had to clean up after both of them. The middle one cheerfully handed over the money before he was even asked. “I’m sure glad to get that scratched bike paid off,” he told his oldest brother. The oldest one just shook his head and said, “I think I’ve been had.”
I even shoveled snow one night many years ago. A blizzard came in after Bill went to work. The boys had shoveled the driveway out just before they went to bed. About an hour before Bill was due home I looked out to see the big snowplows had plowed the whole thing shut again. It’s a wonder the snow didn’t just melt as I shoveled madly to get it clear again, so my husband could get in the driveway after a long night’s work.
As I reentered the house with a cleared driveway behind me, I heard the unmistakable roar of the snowplow. I watched in disbelief as it roared by filling the opening with a mix of snow and huge ice chunks.
By the time Bill got home, I was on the phone complaining mightily to someone who had answered a telephone at the highway garage. For a long time after that the state trucks raised their snow blades when they passed our house. Now both the city and the state snow plows go by our house shoving the street snow and ice up on the sidewalk and into the driveway.
I would be the first to commend them on the great job they do clearing the streets. I don’t know what we’d do without them. But, there has to be a way to clear the streets without blocking the sidewalks. When we ask they tell us to let the snow plows do their work and then clean the sidewalks. But the sidewalk cleaners say that after the street ice is plowed onto the sidewalks, the regular snow blowers can’t move the stuff.
Hmmm. Maybe Bill does need a more powerful snow blower next year.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate on March 12, 2003.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.