The snowblower that got away

Andy Walker
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Last year, my neighbour offered me the chance to buy a snowblower.

He is a mechanical whiz and he was given the machine as junk – likely by somebody like me who has no mechanical ability. He repaired it and offered me a good price on it. I was secure in the knowledge that if I did buy it, he would also be able to keep it going for me.

By the time he made me the offer, last winter was half over and it was pretty mild. I took a pass.  I just had to shovel a few times last winter so it didn’t bother me all that much. Now it is starting to look like one of the biggest errors in judgement I have made in a long time.

I don’t mind shovelling in moderation but day after day getting up when it is still dark and trying to get three cars shovelled out is just getting too much. Most days, my wife is already out shovelling when I get up since she tends to be an early riser and I would feel too guilty eating breakfast while she was outside working.

Since the calendar has turned a new page, I decided to try to find out some weather predictions for what is left of winter. I figured why not try an almanac. I chose something called the “Truly Canadian Almanac” ­- this is not meant to be an endorsement since I know there are plenty of choices out there.

This one had been sent to my work so it happened to be on my desk. I know you are sensing by now I wasn’t prepared to put a major effort into this, mostly because I was too tired from shovelling.

I wasn’t really happy with what I read: “A stormy winter is anticipated as disturbances race up the Eastern Seaboard.”  The predictions for the first half of the month contained words like “blustery,” “gusty,” “cold,” and “heavy snow” - in other words, more of the same.

I did learn some useful information. Did you know the snow doesn’t squeak under your boots until -15 and your nostrils stick together when inhaling when the mercury dips to -20? Makes you long for the days of a balmy 7 degrees, when fish head to the bottom of the pond to hibernate.

However, if we can all hang on, there does seem to be hope on the horizon. The “Truly Canadian” authors predict “relative mild” weather will dominate the region this spring and even some “pleasant” weather this summer, and a “mild” fall.

So it would seem some good weather news will eventually come our way. Unfortunately there will be a lot of shovelling between now and then. In my case, I will also be lamenting the snowblower that I let slip away that now seems cheap at twice the price.

That’s the way it is in real life.

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