True story. About 5 Christmases ago, I got swept up in the spirit of overly generous giving. I bought both my brother and father snowblowers.
Nothing too industrial. We do live in the DC area, which averages a mere 26" of snow per winter.
The idea came after I had purchased a humble single stage snowblower and split the $600 cost between myself and two neighbors. And when the first blowable snow arrived - a somewhat modest 8 incher - the pure joy of letting this machine do all the hard work for me was simply sublime.
So I wanted to give this gift to my hard headed family members who had for years scoffed at the notion of owning one. They thought - incorrectly - that such machines were for the good folks of Buffalo, Detroit, and Wisconsin.
How wrong they are.
Well, my brother decided that he would rather have the $600 re-directed to a kayak instead.
My father appreciated his machine, but with a smallish driveway, didn't seem to really relish having it.
So I ended up moving from my neighborhood (I left behind my $200 share of the blower, because asking for it back would have felt cheap and pathetic) and thus needed a blower for my now much longer driveway.
Dad let me re-posses his. Thanks pop!
So now here we are, in the middle of a DC area winter for a lifetime! A two-foot storm last Friday, and another foot yesterday. Whooo weeee.
My dad's snowblower is not made for clearing 2-3 feet of snow, but it still does the trick with some hearty pushing, and multiple "chews" of the snow berms. Without it, I would be complete fucked.
That's a French term for: "Dead."
I can't even imagine HAND SHOVELLING my driveway. And I simply don't understand why most homeowners here in the area don't own such a glorious machine.
Oh, I understand their argument. "It doesn't snow enough." Oh really? So what?
Only if you had to purchase a NEW $600 snowblower every YEAR, would that make sense. When you consider that a snowblower will last 10 years - EASY - then it is a $60 a year "investment" in NOT having a massive heart attack or major back injury.
Best money ever spent.
The last few years, I looked longingly at my dormant Toro snowblower in the garage. We got under 10" the last two winters. I so desperately wanted to take her out, and clear the driveway clean down to the asphalt with the greatest of ease.
Patience, my friend. Your time will come.
And so it has.
I write this Ode To A Snowblower not for your readers in Wisconsin, who already know that not having one is like a death wish. I write it for my friends here in DC.
Go buy one this winter, as soon as the current piles of snow melt a bit, and the Home Depot's get re-stocked with machines.
Don't blink for a second at the cost, and don't worry about whether you will get your "money's worth."
You may go another 3 years without really needing it. But when you do need it, you'll say to yourself: "God bless whomever invented this fantastic machine!"