Tuesday, February 3, 2015


One week ago I published a blog post complaining that throughout the month of January we had so little snow here in Maine that I wasn't able to bank the house.  

One week later and three major snow storms, the Goddess whose job it is to keep men humble has bestowed her satirical blessing.

We now have about thirty inches of standing snow and drifts that are deeper.   I normally wouldn't complain; but Her benevolence didn't stop there.

This morning I got up at daybreak to clear the driveway of the ten inches that had fallen over night.   The temperature was four below.   I pulled the snow blower out of the shed and tried to start it, but the engine would barely turn over.   I was not overly concerned, as the little nine horse has an electric starter.   I ran an extension cord from the back porch to the shed, pumped the primer, set full choke and hit the start button.    The starter motor spun, the engine caught immediately, but then a loud bang…   I shifted into gear, held down the auger handle and drove into a snow bank: the drive worked fine but the snow blower wouldn't blow snow.  

Back in the shed, at four below zero, I disassemble the fan belt cover and the bottom plate exposing the pulleys.    Sure enough, the auger belt had broken. 
By this time it’s after eight, so I call Sears to see if they have the belt in stock: no, but they can order one – which will take a week to ten days to deliver.  That would be no problem in July, but another snow storm is predicted for Thursday. 

I have to find a belt.  

In order to get the car out of the driveway I have to shovel a path to the road.    I make the seven mile ride on slushy, icy road to the auto parts store with the broken belt.   The young man at the store measures the belt with a tape measure and sells me a belt guaranteed to fit – except when I get home it doesn't; so, back to the auto parts store for a larger belt.

It is approaching noon by the time I get home, and I have skipped breakfast, so I decide it is time for a break.  My wife makes me cereal, toast and tea.  

An hour later I am back outside trying to mount the belt.   This time it fits.

I remount all the panels and everything seems to be working.  I still have the driveway to clear, and by the time I put the snow blower away it is four-o-clock and I am beat.   

As I stamp back to the house I think I hear faint laughter – a woman’s voice; but it has to be just the wind blowing through the trees. 

the Ol'Buzzard  


  1. Yep, it's your fault for complaining. :-)

  2. she said you did give her a good laugh..

  3. Yes, you plan and the Goddess just laughs and laughs...

  4. Snow blowers! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

  5. Seems there is always trouble with snow removal equipment unless it's a shovel and then the problem is your aching back. My problem is the hydraulics on the snowplow. I think there is ice in the reservoir blocking the hydraulic pump and it won't lift the blade. Thankfully my snowblower is still working OK. We've been lucky lately in that the storms have gone south of us dumping a foot or more in places like Chicago and Detroit and only an inch or two here.

    But it still seems like Groundhog Day in that it seems like I've been hearing the same forecast for over a month now!!

    1. Things always work fine until you really need them. More snow forecast for tonight.

  6. I bought a snow shovel and used it twice. Send us some snow. If it gets cold, our winter crops are done without snow cover.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."