NOW its winter! We finally had a seriously serious snow storm, dumping 19-22 inches of snow at the Family TreeHouse. We got 12-15 inches a day or two after Christmas, enough for me to break out the Man-Toy (the 11.5-HP-28-inches-wide Ariens snow throwing beast that sleeps in the garage) for the first time, but it melted away and looked like the 4-6 inches of snow a season we used to get in Stuttgart – wimpy! But yesterday was a storm! It started snowing about 1:00 am (I was up so I saw it start) Wednesday morning. At 6:00 am we had 8-10 inches on the ground, and it just kept coming. I was able to tele-commute and work from home, so the van never left the garage, even though I had new front all-weather tires and new brakes installed last Thursday.
By 3:30 pm it was finally letting up, so I donned my snow-boots, hooded nylon parka, ski goggles and fur-lined gloves and headed out to do battle. The orange monster fired right up and took it all in stride. I was able to clear the 3-car-wide, 3-car-deep driveway in less than an hour. The plow-ridge at the end of the driveway was up higher than the snow blower opening, but the “drift-cutter” attachments did their job and I was able to cut through even the dense-pack plow ridge with relative ease.
After the driveway I cleared the path from the driveway to the front stairs, and Audrey shoveled the stairs while I tackled the plow ridge along the sidewalk across the entire front of the house (~80 feet), which continued into a pull-in clearing in front of the mailbox for the mail man. Last up with the beast was to clear out the hydrant on the edge of the woods across the street from the house.
The last job wasn’t for the orange beast; it was to shovel out the gas grill and dig paths to the bird feeders out on the deck. While out there I put the pocket camera on a tripod and took some time-exposure photos of the snow out on the “back forty” and beyond.
It looks and sounds like winter as I remember it as a kid now… five-foot snow piles at the ends of the driveways that make backing out a challenge, wind-swept shelves of snow leaning way off the roofs, dozens of cardinals and titmice and chickadees and LBBs (Little Brown Birds) clutching for dear life to the snow-swept feeders, the rumbling scrape of the giant city plow pushing the ridges back late at night. This is the way New England should be!