Monday, March 30, 2009

Out Like a Lion

Last night Susan made a delicious supper of schnitzel, spaetzle with dill, and rotkohl. My recent turns in the kitchen for Scandinavian Saturday must have stirred up in her the urge to cook some German food, and it was great! While we ate, the snow fell; and later as we slept, the wind picked up as the snow fell; and this morning, as the snow fell, we heard media announcements that area schools (including the university) were, once again, closed due to severe winter weather . . . in the spring. Unbelievable.

This afternoon, as the snow fell, Susan and I went out to start clearing away snow (she with shovel, I with snowblower) so that we will be able to exit our house tomorrow. Have I mentioned that the snow continued to fall throughout all our snow removal efforts? At the same time, the temperature was so mild that the snow touching the concrete of the driveway and sidewalks and the pavement of the street was melting even though buried beneath many feet of snow above it. This made for nice weather in which to play in the snow, which our daughters and the neighborhood kids did, tunneling through the drifts and creating pathways and building snow homes, etc.

Unfortunately, it made the task of snow removal more difficult. The slushy snow clogged up the snowblower, requiring me to stop regularly to use a screwdriver to chisel the ice buildup out of the chute. The wet snow was too heavy to throw very far, so I couldn't direct it exactly where I wanted it and ended up resnowblowing previously snowblown snow from various sections of the driveway--and once-snowblown snow is more compacted and harder to resnowblow than virgin snow. Also, anywhere that anyone stepped in the snow--to turn around a snowblower, to maneuver a shovel, or to bound across the yard to play with friends--turned into icy snow that was all the more difficult to blow once I got there with the snowblower.

Oh, and the snowblower broke. Well, a bolt broke from the right side of the shaft for the impeller, causing it to stop turning. I had to hunt for another bolt and nut the right size--and found one in my collection of leftovers from over the years, thank goodness! By the time I got the snowblower up and running again, our neighbor across the street came over with his snowblower and asked if I would mind if he started at the far end of the driveway to help me clear it off, meeting me in the middle. I did not mind! We made good progress in good time.

When we had finished, I thanked him and told him that I owed him some fuel, a meal, some beer, etc. He said, "Nah, that's what neighbors are for." I said, "Well, welcome to the neighborhood!"


  1. We would have been out there LOTS longer if our neighbor hadn't helped us out -- this is a great neighborhood!

  2. I don't have a snowblower yet. Thankfully haven't needed one. No serious piles of snow since I've moved into my house as of yet.