March wrapping up. Leading us into the month of showers so we can have flowers in May. Bright spots. The reward for making it through another winter in Northeastern Lower Michigan.
It was fun when I was a kid. We played in the snow until our clothes and boots were sopping wet and our fingers lost feeling. From morning til night, it was indeed, a winter wonderland.
It wasn’t as tough when I was a younger man. I could throw snow like nobody’s business. Never tiring. Even enjoying the act of lifting over and over again. I would set beers on the bumper of my pickup truck. Shoveling, like anything else, went hand-in-hand with drinking.
Today, older and weaker, I shiver at the thought of having to shovel again. I hope it doesn’t snow anymore this year. Not that I shoveled all that much, anyway. Brooke did most of that. I had the easy job—snowblowing.
As always, we divide and conquer. She doesn’t want to mess around with gasoline, choking, priming, and an extension cord, a clogged chute, deflated tires, and broken shear pins. But I don’t mind it. Even with all its peccadillos, the old Huskee still makes quick work of deep snow, and most of the time, the heavy stuff.
After 15 years, I have come to know that machine pretty well. Top off the gas every third use. Twelve pumps of air per tire each outing. Place it fifteen paces away from the outdoor electrical outlet so the extension cord doesn’t hang in the snow. Push the primer eight times. Adjust the choke. Hold the start button three seconds. Move the throttle closer to the bunny than the turtle, unplug from the outlet, and we’re off.
Once we’re at it, there’s no stopping us.
Except for the slushy mounds that city snowplows layer at the end of our driveway.
It’s been a couple of years since I had to replace a shear pin because I have learned our limits. And so, after Brooke has cleared the main sidewalk to the house, the front and back steps and porches, we meet at the end of the driveway to tackle the big mess. Each of us with a shovel in hand.