Thursday, February 03, 2011
Marriage 301, Lecture 582: Snowbound, Part Deux
What we learned in our Very Important Post-Blizzard Snow Clearing:
1. If there are blizzard-force winds, including gusts up to 50 mph, it will blow the snow away from certain spots on your driveway and build drifts on others. If it would be better for the snow to blow on the south side of your driveway (right side in the photo) because you shovel it onto the 18" strip of garden next to your neighbor's house anyhow, it will blow on the north side, blocking your back door, which means you have to go out the front door, which also is blocked, but not by as much snow. The wind will not blow the snow away from the garage, which means that SH has to shovel a path to the garage to get the snowblower out.
2. We (I, really, as I am chief shoveler in this casa) are always the last people on our block to get our butts out to shovel. Which means someone else has usually already shoveled out the fire hydrant next to our driveway. Love. Our. Neighbors.
3. When you drive ten miles to the Sears parts store to pick up the Briggs & Stratton Shear Bolt .25-.20x for the snowblower, you should buy as many as they have in stock because when your husband finally gets to the garage and the snowblower and actually looks at it, he will discover that the bolt on one of the augers (ha! I know the technical terms! don't I sound smart?) has sheared (another technical term! Oh, I am so impressed with myself) and must be replaced before the blower will be effective.
4. Also you should get as many Briggs & Stratton Shear Bolts as possible because guess what we discovered yesterday? Snowblowers will not throw big rocks. According to my facebook friends, a snowblower will throw small rocks through windows, but a rock the size of two fists? Gets pulled up behind the augers and wedged between them and the drive train. Which shears another shear bolt. Which won't come out because the auger has spun and - um - well, now it's stuck. And the rock won't come out because it's wedged in.
And then SH starts to swear but he does not panic. He saves panicking, drama and The Song of Something Bad Happened for little things, like a tiny scratch on his car or burned toast. But when it comes to the Big Things, he just deals with it. Which is nice.
I asked him if he wished I had been the one to run over the rock and he said yes because then he could blame me instead of himself.
SH tries gentle persuasion to remove the rock. We try and try to remove the sheared shear bolt so we can rotate the auger so we can loosen the rock. Nothing works.
Then he has a brainstorm. He goes to the basement and returns with a hammer and a chisel. He chisels at the rock and chips away just enough to give room for the auger to move just enough so we can remove the shear bolt. Then he hits upon the really good solution: he hits the rock with the hammer, which, in addition to being incredibly satisfying, is also the right tactic, because the rock moves and voila! I take it out. He puts in the penultimate shear bolt, starts the blower, crosses his fingers and yes! It works!
The Song of Something Bad Happened.
4. It takes 3.5 hours with two people working, one with a snowblower and one with a shovel, to clear our driveway and our sidewalk. It takes 30 seconds for the plow to push snow poop (plow poop? plow poop!) back onto our driveway. It takes two people with shovels another 40 minutes to shovel, lift, and carry the plow poop away from the 5' pile of sludge on the non-fire-hydrant side of the driveway to a place where there is room for it.
5. No matter how many times you hear your beloved husband cuss as he slips on the icy driveway on the SAME EXACT PATCH that he just slipped on, it will be funny.
6. Even snowplows get stuck in blizzard snow. Almost everything closes after a blizzard because you can't get out of your house. Even UPS closed. I have had a few experiences with mail not being delivered because of PO incompetence, but I have never not had my mail delivered because of snow. We did not get our mail yesterday. It wasn't that we didn't have mail: Wednesday is grocery store mailer day. We didn't get anything. Nada.