The snowblower blew and axle the other day.
It is nothing short of amazing that a 1” rod of super-manly steel can just cleave itself in two like a twig, but apparently it happens. The man of the house had just begun the blowing festivities when the left rear wheel fell akilter and lost all will to propel itself forward. When I arrived on scene, the beast was up on car ramps, and oh, I wish I’d have thought to take a picture. The rear housing was subsequently disassembled and the problem quickly diagnosed, what with the axle all up in there at such a mechanically unsound angle.
Now, you know how it goes… things rarely ever go wrong all alone, but drag their wretched little friends with them.
Once the blower was wrangled back into the shed, Scott set off for my parent’s house down the road a piece to grab the 4-wheeler and it’s attendant blade. He made it halfway there, and the puny ‘99 Avalon said No. The milkroad was not to be traversed by the likes of it’s skinny little arse. Back he came, to mount the mighty, mighty Yukon. I feel certain that Tim Allen was channeled as he blazed another trail through the snow, this time in 4WD, grunting all the way.
Soon the man was back, atop his tiny little snowplow, tearing it up at breakneck speed.
Until he came walking back down the driveway.
Seems the 4-wheeler was less than unstoppable as well. He’d pushed just a little too far out by the road, the front wheels sank into the ditch, and 4WD or no, nothing happened in the reverse direction. As we were trudging back out with floor mats and planks and divinely-gifted laughter, we could hear the township plow idling in the vicinity of our mailbox and our new ditchside fixture. His sparkly little lights shone through the trees. As we emerged from the woods with out accoutrements, Tyler the Town Guy was unreeling his winch and hooking up to my dad’s favorite toy. Again, where in the name of Frosty was my camera?
Good gravy. One little snow.
For your own future snowblower woes, know that you can procure exact replicas of the hunk of steel that fell out of our powerhorse for a mere $40 on trusty Amazon. Here’s ours, if you just can’t stand it and need one of your own right now. And in a week you’ll be back up and blowing snow with the pros. (If you actually clicked on that link, please refrain from telling me that my axle was only of a meager 3/4″ diameter, and not the full beastly inch I quoted above. I was simplifying. For the enjoyment of you. The reader.)
Today is the day that the machine will be carted off to the heated shed of my father and the new axle surgically reattached by a trained team of tinkerers. It is a big day.
The driveway has looked better, but we’ve managed to get in and out with minimal whining. Scott’s been borrowing the I-don’t-DO-reverse 4-wheeler when things get a little too greasy to navigate, and the unevenness that the plow produces is completely offset by the fact that all that snow is filling in our pothole plantation quite nicely. You can now come down our drive at a speed greater than ½ MPH without fear of putting your head through the roof. The final approach is a little bumpy, rutted and raked by knobbly tires, but you can think of them as rumble strips, reminding you to arrest the thrilling speed you achieved on the way in.
An unbiased performance review of the substitute 4-wheeler, as it stacks up against the 9HP Yard-Man:
My observation: That thing gets the job done, but it is not nearly as precise as the hubby likes. I never realized how meticulous he is about the state of the driveway until he was forced to clear the snow with a big unruly blade. It is much like if he was mowing the lawn with a tractor and haybine; A big job made quick, but an OCD husband also given a little bit of a tic.
Scott’s observation: “It does do the trick, but it’s over so fast.”
Efficiency be damned; the man needs his time behind the snow-blower.
And I will leave you with the first images captured of this year’s Ottinger Christmas Tree. From a real tree farm. I’m certain there will be more.
Stay tuned… The deck is about due for it’s annual snow-blowing, 3 or 4 months early.
If you need me, I’ll be by the tree,