“Winter Wonderland” is a perjorative term this week.

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From Zero to Winter in 27 hours.

The picture is beautiful. I love the way it looks. But I have to tell you the truth: I hate the way it feels. My beautiful, gigantic, powerful, sensational snow-blower bit the big one getting rid of this snowfall. And I’m tired from 4 hours + of trying to move it off paved surfaces.

You may not be victims of Winter’s wrath where you live (I have a surprising number of readers in warm climates (no, not that climate, silly)) who aren’t “snow saavy” and God bless them, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

This snowfall came after a week of warm temps. Which means the top few inches of soil were soft and moist. So, the snow comes down, melts on the roads and lawns and then the temp drops below freezing. The pretty snow turns to slush and then to ice. It’s very heavy. We call it “heart attack snow” up here – it kills off a lot of fat guys like me at my age. You go out and shovel and your heart takes a permenant vacation due to the stress. It also doesn’t “throw” from a snow-blower. It kind of… glorps. You’re lucky to throw it three feet. And that’s with a powerful machine.

Once it gets cold, which it usually does within a few hours, the slush turns to ice. And then the road follies start! Every intersection is an exciting place to exchange driver’s information with new people. And best of all, if you get 10 inches of new snow on top of the three inches of slush, you have to get rid of that somehow.

There is a theory that you need to do “space management” with the first few snow falls or you’re hosed. If you do not take the sidewalk and drive edges a few inches out from where the surface ends during the first snow falls, once you get another 30 or so inches the edges are so packed that they begin to encroach on the surface. It takes a lot of work to lift a shovel over that 3 feet of snow wall next to the driveway. So you shovel out wider than the sidewalk/driveway the first few times to give yourself some breathing room.

But, when it was warm like this past week, that means that my beloved snow-blower vomited turf when I went off-road. Green, leaves, dirt, etc., along with the snow. It’s just part of the deal and experienced winter snow management specialists learn not to wig out about it. But it looks bad and homeowners freak when they think you’ve destroyed their lawn. Not to worry: it always grows back in the spring.

Today, however, my neighborhood is frozen solid, around zero Farenheit, and there is dirt on top of the snow. My back hurts, my dog won’t leave the sidewalk to do his business (I even plow out an area for him, but he prefers the nice sidewalk for some reason.)

And more to come. I really hope they fix my snowblower quickly. I’m too darned old to shovel it all by hand. And until December 26th, I’m way too busy.

I guess snowfall is like all else in life: a mixed blessing. We need the moisture for the rivers and lakes. My yard was crunchy this year. But it is a chore when it’s happening.

What else in life is like that snowfall for you? Are there blessings hidden in a drift of dirt and cold misery? Can you see God’s hand at work and look past the broken snow-thrower? I often can’t and it’s something I’ve got to work on. What’s your challenge?


“Winter Wonderland” is a perjorative term this week. — 4 Comments

  1. We do our best at practicing space management–though a snowfall like this past one does make it challenging. Freeing the mailbox is worse than clearing the driveway as that’s all compacted plow snow.

    We’re blessed to have two snowblowers–make that (2) teenage boys. They may grumble, but they don’t break down as readily as the machine, and the only fuel they require is hot cocoa with generous amounts of marshmallows and whipped cream.

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