My little corner of the world has had a mild winter. December’s precipitation was abnormally low. Every severe January forecast either bypassed this region or fizzled out after dropping a mere dusting of snow.
Therefore, I was delighted to see flurries this morning. Legions of tiny flakes were falling and swirling and drifting. When the wind began to rise, the snowflakes looked like they were confused and running for their ice-bound lives.
Unlike last year, I didn’t have to do the Winter Wonderland Workout. My father, following the family’s grand tradition of being part-time mechanics, fixed and prepped my secondhand snow-blower in the fall. Today I took it on its shakedown cruise. After a few good pulls (and remembering to turn the clutch off!), it shuddered into life.
Now, I enjoy the hush of snowfall and tromping around in boots as much as anyone, but there’s something grand about the growl of a machine that does the clearing in 1/3 the time of shoveling. It’s also a lot less frustrating to see that I’ll be going out again in a few hours. By the time my cheeks burn and my nose feels like an icecube, I’ll be putting the snow-blower away.