January 05, 2003
New Experience

Well, we've gotten a lot of snow here recently. 20 inches on Christmas day, then an ice storm a couple of days ago, and another 18 inches following that.

We're buried.

It could have been worse. I mean, Kevin could have been out of town. At least he's here and could show me how to start the snowblower and everything. But the duty of cleaning the driveway was mine. Kev's sort of couchbound for the weekend, and not into heavy lifting (minor voluntary surgery -- don't worry, he's achy but fine).

Our driveway is long. Its the length of the house (which ain't short) plus the front yard. Then we have a parking lot at the back, between the house and the detached garage. It isn't a small project.

The backmost part was the easiest. Just passes across, with the huge 10HP machine rumbling and vibrating under my hands. I gained a good groove with it -- shift into 1st gear for forward, and 2R for reverse so I could pull it back quickly. Over and over until the driveway was mostly clean. I cracked Kevin's car open then brushed just enough to see out the front window and pulled it up into a clean place.

Then I took a break. The worst was yet to come.

Nigel called and offered to finish the job. But the snowblower is an awesome huge machine and was cutting through drifts like they weren't there. Last spring we bought one that was twice as big as we'd expected, but at 50% off we could manage it in the budget.

Now, I'm glad. Although its like the gods of winter have said "well you've got it, let's use it." Eep!

After lunch I went back out and started down the length of the driveway. It went smoothly, aside from the wind blowing cold snow back in my face, until I reached the end.

First I had to dig out our trash can. Friday was trash day, and because of the storm, we'd forgotten to drag the can back up. Yet... it didn't matter, they'd never picked it up. So there it was, lying on its side and buried by 18 inches of snow. It was bloody heavy. I got cleaned off, and dragged, still on its side, about a foot up the driveway. It took both Kevin and I to right it, and then he was able to easily haul it back up to where it belonged. But trust me, an ice-caked, full of wet trash, trash can is no light object. Thank the gods its on wheels.

Then I was able to break through into the street. I started pushing back in from that direction. I realized then that I was a rare person -- I didn't want to throw the snow back out into the nicely plowed street, so I was coming in and blowing it off to the side. I couldn't manage to do that if I went down -- coming back from the street was important to make it work.

The snow at the end of the driveway was heavy and thick. I would push the snowblower forward, letting the drive mechanism take it, and then when it hit the bank it would suddenly start to climb up over it instead of chewing through it. Next thing I knew it would be almost on its back, tipping over. I had to switch to reverse and haul it backwards, then rock it forwards again. The drive mechanism did most of the work, but I kept catching it so it didn't tip over. I figured I'd ache the next day, I didn't figure on how much.

When it was over, though, I'd done a good job and was proud of it. The end of the driveway (and all of it really) still had snow, but it was smooth and ready for driving. I really was happy with it. Hard work, but it felt good to be done.

Today, however, I'm paying the price. My shoulder feels like someone is shoving knives into it, along with the place right by the shoulderblade. I've tried heat for tight muscles, I've tried cold for swelling in the shoulders. Nothing works. Gods, I hate my body sometimes. Just lifting Ryan brings tears to my eyes, and there is little I can do. Laundry, the kitchen, the cooking... the kids... it all has to be done, and although Kevin is doing his best to help, he cannot do too much this weekend. He hurts as well, and I promised to take care of him. The storm was just bad timing. In another week or so, we'll all be better.

Assuming we don't get too much more bloody snow!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at January 05, 2003 01:52 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?