Monday, January 19, 2009

The Mystique of the Snow Blower

I have never yet met a man who didn't melt at the site of my snowblower. When I pull that shiney, red contraption out of the shed and begin working on the driveway, I can sense a ripple in the force. The collective ears of my adult male neighbors perk up. I'm able to make two, maybe three, passes up and down the driveway before one of them comes out suited up in their snow gear.

"Why don't you let me do that," he might say. From a distance, this would look to a passerby like a gentleman helping out a lady neighbor with a cold, wet and possibly dangerous chore. But up close, I can see the desire in his eyes. This is no mission of mercy. He wants to get his work-gloved hands on the throttle. He wants to pull-start that little engine. He wants to squeeze the hand controls to engage the auger. He wants to turn that crank to redirect the snow fountain as he marches up and down the driveway with the speed cranked to six.

But I play along. I reply, "Oh that would be nice of you." And I watch him try to hide his glee as I step away from the red machine and show him the controls. He tromps off behind the snowblower and I pick up a shovel to get to the tight spots. I always smile to myself, feeling a bit like Santa Claus and Tom Sawyer all at once.

I also feel a little bit disapporinted. Sure, someone else is doing my chores, but running the snowblower is amazingly satisfying work. I love that damn thing. I love the way it sounds. I love the way it smells. I love the way it shoots snow out of the front. I love how you can push it through knee-deep snow and end up with a path. No other machine does so much work with so little effort. So, truly, I hate to hand over the controls, but I do anyway. Who am I to hoard all that fun to myself?


  1. You're the only person I know who could make a snow blower sound sexy.

  2. You should write a book, "Zen and the art of snowblowing" or "How my snowblower and I solved world peace"!

    You know how a man's mind works all too well Flan.

  3. You are so right. By any chance is your snowblower a Craftsman? We got one last year (on sale!) that is the most amazing honking piece of snow removal equipment I've ever had--6 forward and 2 reverse gears, and the hand-crank snow chute you describe. Ahhhhhh.

  4. Spooky: Thank you!

    Skyler's Dad: I'm thinking if it snowed in the Middle East, we wouldn't have most of the problems we are currently facing. And yes, having studied men in captivity, I have a good working knowledge of how they think.

    Bugs: I do believe it's a Craftsman with 6 forward and 2 reverse. Ahhhhh, indeed!

  5. can I borrow it for the driveway and environs of the Manour? I won't need to put it into the boot of the car, I'll just snowblow a path from your pad down to ours.

    Mmmmm.... snowblowers...

  6. A snowblower? Yes, I want one. I enviously watch my neighbors as they effortlessly blow snow from their driveway onto mine. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

  7. I am completely anti-snow blower.

    What does that say about me?

  8. I'm guessing, Grant, that you've never used one before. Or you're a girl.

  9. oooooh, I want to try it too! I love snow, I love working in it, playing in it, shoveling in it, blowing in it, any-
    wait a minute....that didn't come out so right...