The vibrations from the snowblower moved up my arms into my neck. Then crawled down my back and settled in my feet, Pushing the sound and movement back into the ground so it could make its rounds again. Sputtering and choking the machine moved slowly, with me at the helm, though the slush and snow towards the front of the driveway.
I stopped and looked around for my dog; he was off near the pond his head buried in a snowbank as he tried to flush out a rabbit.
“Hey stupid,” I pulled off my right glove and placed it in my left hand. Then I tried to straighten my knit hat, which sat crooked on my head and covered my eyes and not my ears.
Uriah looked up.
“Go kill a rat!” I ordered, and pointed to the left, towards his kennel.
Instead he grinned, a wide doggie grin and started madly digging.
I put back on my glove and held onto the right handgrip, which rotated the auger. My left hand controlled the self-propulsion controls.
Once more, I started the snowblower on its slow tedious path towards the road. The auger pulled in chunks of slush and ice, then pushed it though the impeller up and out of the discharge chute. It should have been thrown out wide onto the side of the driveway. Instead it sort of ‘crapped’ it out, which is what will happen to the blower if I overtax the motor.
My hat slipped back over my eyes, and my feet slid on the icy slush, still I followed what I thought was the line of the drive. But, when I looked up, then back. I saw my path was a drunken line.
At least it was warmer outside than I thought, just on the other side of thirty degrees. A heat wave!
Uriah came up next to me and sat his butt on the cleared section of blacktop. I stopped walking.
“What?” I smiled at him, “Oh! I see you came by to take over for me, right?”
He wiggled and barked at me, then looked directly at my pocket.
I took off my right glove and put my hand in my pocket. I pulled out the small square-ish stone I had placed in there yesterday.
“You don’t want this.” I held out the rock so Uriah could sniff it.
He sneezed and looked disappointed.
I slipped the rock back in my pocket and pulled out a milk bone, he jumped up and barked. I tossed the biscuit towards the pond. Slipped back on my glove, and started the slow, walk with, Chopin’s Funeral March Sonata, stuck in my head. I didn’t turn around to see if Uriah found the biscuit.
I was forty feet from the road when the winds hit. A blast of cold air pushed me slightly backwards. I steadied the blower and moved forward.
The farm field across the road looked white and grey. Winds whipped up the fallen and falling snow and threw it at me.
Dark brown tree branches were coated white with the frozen snow. As the winds moved around the trees, they sounded like a thick glass full of marbles being shaken.
I pulled my scarf around my face and over my nose.
Patiently, I waited until the cars on the road had passed by. Then I stepped out onto the edge of the driveway. I tried to clear the mound of packed snow that the snow plow had dumped on the end of the drive. I glanced at my black mail box it was covered half way in ice, and slush. It was standing! It was a good day!
Every time I spotted a car, I pulled back and waited. The drivers in this area seem to think bad weather means drive faster and pass everyone, even in the no passing zone.
That’s the reason my mailbox ended up in the ditch -multiple times last winter!
I took off my right glove again, and straightened my hat, yet again. I watched as the winds pick up more force and shove the snow into drifts on and across the road.
I live on a stretch of road called, tornado alley. I can literally watch the winds as they gust across the road. Right now, that heavy wind was near the northern section of that road. It moved like a horizontal tornado.
I could see the line of winds pushing across the fields; Old Man Winter with his cheeks puffed out, a twinkle in his eye laughed like a madman.
The cars passed. I started my slow walk back down the drive, as my face froze, and the winds played tag with the blowing snow…Picture from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morozko.gif