Day 4 — It’s snowmageddon where I live.
29.5 centimeters of snow has fallen. The snow began last night, stopped for a few hours and then began in earnest this morning and continued through the day.
I spent most of the day watching neighbours fight the snow. Several began shovelling early this morning and repeatedly cleared their walkways and driveways.
Our house is on the curve of a winding crescent. Snow filled the street by mid-morning. Almost every vehicle that was not equipped with 4 wheel drive got stuck trying to get around the curve. Snow tires seemed to make little difference.
The guys next door managed to get two cars stuck in front of our house as they tried to drive down the street. With difficulty and many loud profanities, they shovelled at the wheels, rocked the cars back and forth, spun the tires, and finally got both cars back onto their driveway — three hours later.
29.5 cms is a lot of snow!
All day I watched the snow build up and enjoyed the winter wonderland while wrestling with the dilemma of snow clearing.
Usually snow clearing is not my job and usually we don’t get this much snow in our area.
Part of me said it was wise to wait until the snow stopped falling and the other part of me felt that getting a head start on this ugly job was better than waiting.
Admittedly, I was also amusing myself as I watched cars get stuck and the shenanigans involved with the efforts of others as they fought with cars and snow.
At 3 pm I decided to clear the walk, the front steps and driveway.
When I stepped outside I sunk to my knees — a good indication of the depth of 29.5 cms for those readers who, like I, learned the Imperial system of measurement and are still faking it with Metric.
Undaunted, I got a shovel and cleared the snow from the garage door. The snow was deep and dense but fortunately the temperature was low enough that it was not too heavy. Nonetheless, clearing this amount of snow would be a challenge.
Snow blower or bust
I decided that it was time to use the snow blower.
Usually I shun that noisy apparatus with its gas motor and the fumes it emits but the amount of snow was overwhelming. So overwhelming that a truck with a snow removal blade on it was stuck in a driveway down the street.
I took a good look at the snow blower and decided that the first step would be to check for fuel. Tentatively, I opened the gas tank and found that it was full! I muttered a thank you to my husband who must have thought about a storm before leaving to warm himself in the tropics.
Then came the real test. How would I start the thing? I turned the switch from ‘off’ to ‘on’ with no result. I remembered something about priming the motor and found a button marked ‘prime’ but pushing it did nothing.
I was about to give up when I noticed the snow blower manual on a shelf and decided to read it. Glory be! There were step-by-step instructions (with pictures) that included activating a choke after pushing the ‘prime’ button.
Once I did this and gave a good tug, the motor started. I pushed the snow blower into the knee-deep snow but nothing happened. It was not grabbing the snow.
In frustration I turned it off and dragged it back into the garage. I was about to give up.
As I was going inside I noticed another neighbour blowing snow. He was holding a bar below the handle and that seemed to mobilize the rotor that grabbed the snow.
I went back at it. Turn on the machine. Push the prime button. Activate the choke. Pull the cord. Pull the lever up toward the handle.
Bingo — it started blowing and right into my face! I found the lever for the snow funnel and moved it so that the funnel blew the snow ahead of me.
Two hours later, covered in snow from head to foot, I had the driveway cleared.
As I finish this post, the snow has finally stopped.
About 4 more cms of snow has fallen, covering the driveway and the walk again. That small amount will be easy to clear with a shovel — not that there is any purpose to further snow clearing as our street is plugged and until the City gets its ploughs into the small suburban streets there will be nowhere to go.