Snow Blow Love: Winter Reflections

Last winter, we finally caved and bought a snowblower.

Up until that moment, I had only disdain for those mechanical menaces. They were for the weak, the pampered. No, I preferred the exercise of shoveling — the peace after a storm, the winter quiet interrupted only by the manly scrape of a shovel on concrete. Sure, it took longer. It required physical effort. But so what. I liked it, I told myself. It brought me closer to nature, closer to the elemental Viking Quality of life in the Great Northeast.

According to experts in the field of psychology, this is what is called a massive rationalization. In other words, complete bear scat.

Because I’m telling you I love my new Sears snowblower more than I love most of my own children. No cords to pull, it has an electric starter. Plug it in, push a button, starts right up. Vroom! The concussive cacophony of hearing that heavy-duty, four-cycle monster roar to life, rattling the window panes, echoing off the walls of my garage like store-bought thunder . . . it stirs the soul and sends testosterone roiling through the veins.

I am transformed! I am like a demi-god risen from Norse mythology, guardian of Midgard, son of Odin. Brandishing my new snowplow as if it were the very hammer of Thor, I will clear a mighty pathway down the driveway!

Okay, sure, I’m not happy about my friend, Paul. He one-upped me by purchasing a blower with heated handles and a headlight. Who the hell plows in the middle of the night?! Heated handles! A perk for the coddled. For softies. This is exactly what Tom Brokaw has been talking about. We aren’t the greatest generation. Not even close. Why? Because of people like Paul with their chubby little fingers like pink sausages who need electric, heated handles.

Sigh. I wish I’d thought of it. Sometimes my digits do get numb.

Truthfully, I want a snowplow that makes hot chocolate. Not the boutique kind you get in Starbucks, where it takes twelve hours to get a cup. I want the hot chocolate you get in diners where they push a button and presto! out it comes. (And yeah, I want whipped cream with that. Why are you even asking?!) I want this hot chocolate maker built directly into my snowblower. Or at least as an optional attachment. That way, I can beat Paul and warm my fingers.

Mostly I’ve learned that owning a snowblower is about power. And noise. Making a blessed racket! Being a real man behind a loud machine, hurling that white stuff into the sky, screaming to all the world: I AM MAN . . . HEAR ME ROAR!

(When you write children’s books for a living, believe me, you need this.)

But darn, it is nippy out here. My toes are freezing. I’m sleepy and this wool scarf is scratching my neck. It hate that prickly feeling. I hope I don’t get a rash. I feel itchy already. Can’t I just go inside for some soup? This machine is kind of scary and dangerous. I could easily lop off a hand. How am I supposed to TiVo and eat pretzel nuggets with only one good hand?

I should have slept in and waited for the wife to do it.

Hey, you know . . . I wish I’d thought of that sooner. Lisa would actually enjoy the peace and the beauty, the winter quiet. I’d be doing her a favor. For Lisa, it would be like yoga. Bend, lift, throw could become her new mantra. A Zen exercise, a Way to mental health and wholeness. She wouldn’t be shoveling, she’d be . . . centering.

Think of the huge chunk of change I could have saved. Instead, I blew it on the blower.

I wonder if it’s too late for a refund?

“Oh, honey . . . ?”


  1. Ah! My comrade in snow throwage. May we never not have our snow blowers again! I think we might have the same one, even. That hand-loppage drawing is both excessively graphic and side-splittingly chuckles.

  2. Why must taunt me with it’s unpostage of comments?!!

  3. Jimmy says:

    Matt, sorry about the blockage. Even my comments weren’t going through. I wrote that post with you and your new blower definitely in mind. Yes, I loved that hand-loppage graphic.

  4. Karen says:

    I just got a very nice new car with heated seats; I’m hardly in a position to make fun of your friend, Paul, with his heated handles. šŸ™‚

    Love the line,”I am Man, hear me roar”. Here’s hoping you have many more snowfalls this winter so you can use that mighty machine of yours!

  5. jimmy says:

    That’s a Helen Reddy reference, “I Am Woman.”

    “I am woman, hear me roar
    In numbers too big to ignore
    And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
    ’cause I’ve heard it all before
    And I’ve been down there on the floor
    No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

    Oh yes I am wise
    But it’s wisdom born of pain
    Yes, I’ve paid the price
    But look how much I gained
    If I have to, I can do anything
    I am strong (strong)
    I am invincible (invincible)
    I am woman!”

  6. "King of Snowblowing" says:

    You will never catch me…..hahahaha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.