Snowblower Conks Out, Neighbor Comes Through, I Get a New One

Like everyone else in New England, I watched the approaching storm with trepidation.  I did the mental checklist in my head, preparing as best I could, getting gas for the snowblower.  I was confident I would be ready with my 1970s vintage orange Ariens.  We looked out our window at the street light, our regular snow checking vantage point, and as it poured down sideways, we settled in for the night.  The next day I went out to get snowblowing. Tugging on the starter cord, I couldn’t get it to cooperate.  It only caught once, and the sputtered to a stop. Then, crank, crank, crank, sh*t!  I cranked and cranked until I decided with disgust to give it a rest.  After a while I came back to find the starting crank so slack that I knew it had broken.

By this time Mary was already cleaning off her car and demanded to know how she was going to get out of the driveway.  I weighed my options, watching neighbors all around me busily using their working snowblowers to clear their driveways. I mustered up the courage and finally asked one of them to help me, and soon we were carving clean lines off the sides of the drifts.

It was time to once again go to Craig’s List, and I quickly found a nice looking model for sale in Dalton.  With the truck now working, I headed there on Sunday for a glorious ride on Route 9, stopping once at a store where snowmobilers were gassing up and buying nips of Southern Comfort and six-packs of Busch for the ride.  Once I got to Dalton, I tested out the 7 horsepower Toro and it worked like a breeze.  Last night when I came home I carved the sides of the driveway a little wider and even made a path through the lawn. I’m glad to be back prepared…although today’s forecast of rain is bleak and slightly ominous with every roof in the Valley covered with two feet of snow.

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