Chartreuse Ova

scrambled lamentations, psalms, parables and ramblings of a Christian mommy

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

I'm not sure what the spiritual lesson in this story is, but I'm sure there is one.

Living in Wisconsin means snow. Some years it is just a dusting now and then. Other years a few inches almost every other day. It is usually enough that Usually Darling Hubby didn't have to argue too long to convince me that a snow blower is a "need" rather than a "want" or even a luxury. Especially since UDH was the one clearing the driveway, we weighed his opinion of "need" more heavily.

We have had that snow blower (not quite as fancy as the one pictured) for several years. Still I'd never used it. Even this winter as the snows came regularly and UDH was heading off to an official office regularly instead of working from home and I more often became the designated driveway clearer, I would reach for the shovel rather than the key.

"Shoveling snow is great exercise."

"Shovels are better for the environment."

"And the pocketbook."

That was before the temperature plummeted and the wind chills became the main topic of daily discussion.

I think it was last week, I finally gave up. Fortunately much earlier in the month, UDH had provided a quick lesson on starting the monster sitting in the garage. Ya know, just in case we got too much snow to shovel efficiently.

There's the key slot that is not visible unless you stand with the machine to your right. Bend over at the waist. Dip the left hip. Keep your neck parallel to the garage floor. Then simply reach out with the key in the left hand. Easy! When you don't see the key slot, feel around for it, grumble, and eventually the key will find it's home. I haven't read the booklet that came with it, but I'm sure those are the exact instructions.

And then there is the choke setting dial and priming button and the electric outlet that must be plugged into the power cord that plugs into the extension cord. Oh and don't forget the crank to aim the snow chute. And the little lever with the cute rabbit picture at the top and turtle & "STOP" at the bottom. Oh, and a few other features that probably aren't all that important.

First Day:

"I can do this."

Step one is to get key from the drawer.

"Hmmm, key is not in drawer. UDH must have left it in the key slot."

Plug in cord to snow blower and into extension cord, turn choke dial, move engine speed towards the little bunny, push the prime button, push the ignition button...

Lots of loud noise but it never starts.

I feel like a failure and grab the shovel.

UDH comes home and I explain...we go out to the garage for a debriefing.

"There's no key in the key slot," he says.

"There was no key in the key holder in the drawer," I respond.

About five minutes later I find key in the pocket of the coat he used the last time he cleared the driveway...

Day Two:

Find key easily enough. Eventually locate key slot and insert key until it snaps into place. Go through the choke, electrical cords, and little bunny routines. Push ignition button. Loud noise.

It starts. Sorta. Smoke is coming from exhaust. The engine is sputtering. I try adjusting the choke a bit and then move the lever slowly away from the bunny. Nothing seems to even out the engine and eventually I push the lever to STOP.

Another failure. Another debriefing.

Day Three:

I'm quickly becoming "proficient" at this. The key, the choke dial, the cords, the little bunny, the ignition. Everything goes smoothly. Loud noise. It starts. I adjust dials and levers as needed.

I can't believe I've reached this step.

Crank the snow chute to aim snow out of driveway and into yard. Next engage the power to move forward. Right hand on hand grip. Left hand on hand grip.

I'm moving!

I'm moving way too fast!

Zip down driveway. Release hand grips before blower and I end up in middle of road. Fight to turn, reposition the snow chute. Engage power and hang on as I'm dragged back up the driveway. Release before being thrown into garage or shrubbery. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


UDH arrives home to clear driveway.

"I don't think I want to use the snow blower any more. It's too hard to control and it goes so fast I have trouble keeping up with it."

"May it was still in transport (fastest) gear from the last time I moved it into the garage," says UDH.

"What? You never said anything about gears and especially transport gear."

Another trip to the garage.

"This lever here, shifts the gears " he points to the back of the blower between the handles, " and controls how fast it pulls through the snow."

Day Four:

Hasn't arrived yet.

Pray for me.


Blogger Sally said...

If at first you don't suceed????
Great stories I needed the smile!!

10:28 AM  
Blogger zorra said...

Too funny! I'm the same way with our fancy-schmancy lawn mower.

(You know...I don't think I've ever SEEN a snow blower.)

9:56 PM  

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