Pardon me while I ramble a bit. If you want a short read, just skip to another topic.
For years I used my dad’s snowblower to clear all the neighbors’ driveways and sidewalks, as had my dad. After a combined thirty-two years use it died due to lack of replacement parts. So eleven years ago I bought a new snowblower. It will chomp through packed sleet as well as deep snow. I call it The Beast because it weighs 99 lbs.
The past few years I’ve had to quit clearing everyone else’s driveways as pushing that weight very much has gotten too hard for me. I’m not old but I’m not young anymore. At age 67, with two forms of severe arthritis, a bum knee and hip, asthma, and lifelong heart murmmer I found that reverting to shoveling by hand a little at a time easier, especially for moderate snow. Minor snow I just let melt and evaporate on its own. Major snow I just can’t safely handle anymore darn it, beast or no beast.
Well, I tried firing up The Beast a few days ago in preparation for winter. Nope, wouldn’t start. Assumed it was stale gas despite having stabilizer in it. I asked a young neighbor who is a car mechanic for help, offering to pay for his time. He wouldn’t take any money, bless him.
Even after changing out the gas for fresh fuel it wouldn’t start. Turns out a piece controlling the choke is broken. But he managed a temporary work around and got it running. Parts for it are available so it can be fixed.
Just pushing The Beast from my garage across the street to my neighbor’s driveway reminded me how heavy and cumbersome it is. So after a bit of thought I offered the young man a deal. I’ve given him and his wife the snowblower in return for promised future help clearing snow for me and for the elderly couple who live next door to them.
Yes, I could probably have sold the machine on FB Marketplace or through an ad in the weekly community newspaper for almost what I paid for it a decade ago, given what much higher current prices now are for similar new snowblowers, and I definitely could use the money but I’m wary of having strangers come to my home given that I live alone. The young couple I gave it to both work and both are also in the National Guard. Plus they have a young baby to raise. So letting them have the machine which he can use to make a bit of money clearing snow makes sense. I’ve traded the machine for future services. Besides, there is more than one way of paying forward helping other people.
I’ve also finally spent $20 for a new very light weight snow shovel/pusher for moderate snow. My dad’s old flat shaped steel snow shovel is older than I am, has a very worn jagged edge I’m tired of filing a bit smoother, is cumbersome and heavy, and has the handle coming loose after seventy years. The new one is curved for rolling up pushed snow, made of plastic with a steel edge, and made in the U.S.A. It won’t last like the old shovel has but should be so much easier to use.
All this so I can get the car in and out of the garage to drive to work on snow days. I’m slow and limited in what I can physically manage but I’m stubborn and refuse to lose.
Okay, done rambling for now.