I was caught off-guard Sunday to hear we were getting more snow the next day. I really thought we were done with that here, and I hadn't paid attention to the forecast. Then Sunday night, I saw that we were dead center in the storm-track and could expect to get 6-10"!
And sure enough, Monday morning it was snowing. Not hard but steadily. Worse, it had started as freezing rain, so we had a nice later of ice down first. YUCK!
Well, at least it meant I would get a chance to use the snowblower. You may recall that after the previous 8" snowstorm (which ended in the morning) I awoke to find that someone had snow-blowed my driveway for me. I thought I knew who had. I sure appreciated the neighborly gesture, but I was disappointed to not get to use mine for the first time after having it sit around for 3 years. At least I did start it up and widen the driveway clearing by one pass on each side (and mostly hoping that the helpful neighbor would notice that I had a snowblower).
But while it was still snowing in the early afternoon Monday, I heard the likely good neighbor snowblowing his driveway, then a neighbor's, then another neighbor's, so I watched carefully. Seriously, I wanted to use mine, but I was going to wait at least until it stopped snowing!
As soon as he came to the foot of my driveway, I ran down to the garage, pulled my snowblower to the garage door and opened it. When he looked up, I smiled broadly and pointed to MY machine with a big "Ta-Da" gesture. He laughed and came up to the garage and we talked for a while. He admired my snowblower (and it is a good one - I did some careful research before choosing it).
I thanked him very much for doing my driveway previously, of course. He completely understood I was anxious to use my own for the first time. We talked for a while. Which was good, because I don't talk to my neighbors all that often. It's not that I'm unfriendly, its more that I spend most of my time outside in the fenced backyard. And I'm not good at standing around out by the street just "hanging out". I'm more the "you need help, just knock on the door" kind of neighbor.
It turns out he does things like snowblow neighbors' driveways because he's bored all the time. As he said "I watch TV, fall asleep, wake up, watch TV, fall asleep". Which may explain why he has so many "toys". He has 2 cars, a boat, an ATV, a jet-ski, and probably other mechanical stuff I haven't seen. In the Winter, he's trapped inside!
While we were talking, another helpful neighbor came by (with a snow plow blade on an ATV) and decided I needed the snow at the end of the driveway shoved to the sides before I could say anything. What had been light powdery snow became a 2' high block of ice... We both waved at him so he came up and we all talked more for a while.
Well, they were both wearing heavy Winter coats and I was out there in my shirtsleeves, so eventually I had to admit I was freezing AND needed to get back to my lunch (if the cats hadn't already eaten it). They both laughed and went along their helpful way. It was nice to talk to them both though.
Later, just before dark, the snow stopped so I went out and used my snowblower for the first real time. Wow, those things are great! I have to admit that it was actually fun. It really threw the snow well off onto the lawn, and with powered wheels, going back up the sloped driveway was a breeze. 6 passes and I was done. But it is SO COLD that even in my garage, the snow packed around the augers in the front hasn't melted yet.
But funny story: The snow surface all around my driveway is now MUDDY! You see, my asphalt driveway is 27 years old and I've never been one to re-coat the driveway every few years (if things are functional, I don't bother with them much). So grass as grown up through it in places. I didn't realize that the growing grass was creating humps of soil on the top. Things that happen very gradually escape notice. So when I went along the driveway with the snowblower, it cheerfully scraped the humps of grassy soil right along with the snow.
For right now, I would be glad not to have enough more snow to need the snowblower again this season!