Digging out… again!

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So… here’s my disclaimer: the only thing I hate more than snow is digging out from snow. This post is a blatant whine about winter weather by me, so feel free to click on through to elsewhere if you don’t want to read on.

We just got hit by two back-to-back snowstorms over the weekend with a total additional accumulation of somewhere around 15 inches. While I am sure that the snowmobilers and skiers are ecstatic about the potential for outdoor winter recreation, I personally cannot wait for the day the mercury hits 70 degrees again.

As you can see from the photograph of Jack in the front yard, we have ourselves a veritable winter wonderland to play in. As storms in Maine go, 15 inches isn’t that much. We usually get at least two or three storms of that size every winter, so it isn’t the amount of snow that I am whining about. My beef is with the public works snow plow driver, and what I have to do after he visits.

I know that the guy who drives the plow is just doing his job, and that without his efforts we would be absolutely stranded, but every time I hear him rumble around the corner I cringe just thinking about how high he is piling up the snow in the driveway.

Living on a corner lot is nice in the summer… we have a front lawn, a side lawn, and a back yard to play in and enjoy. The large perimeter of our property provides a really nice little sanctuary of greenery while still enjoying all of the amenities of living in-town. However, when the snowplow comes through it picks up and carries snow from all along that same perimeter, around the corner and along the side of the house, with the first opportunity to dump it being our driveway. Imagine how much snow a municipal snow plow can carry over a distance of about 250-300 feet!

I dread going out in the morning to see the extent of the dumping. Depending on how close he shaves the corner, our driveway can end up being filled with heavy, icy, and wet snow to a height of 6 feet, and more miserably, a depth of anywhere from 12-15 feet. I used to manually shovel this, but when we moved back to Maine about 8 years ago I broke down and purchased a handy dandy snow blower.

While snow-blowing the aftermath is a LOT easier than shoveling, it still takes a considerable time and effort to clear a path around the house and free up the driveway so we can actually escape. Unless I wanted to blow the snow from my driveway into my neighbor’s driveway, I can only aim the snow in one direction as I clear it. This has a cumulative effect on the whole process, because much of that same snow that I am moving from the driveway ends up on the sidewalk, from where it then has to be moved again. The process of breaking it up and then pushing it to another spot begins all over again, and as you can see from the image below, it gets quite deep!

This whole process can take me upwards of two hours to complete, so you can imagine my mood when I finally finish. Roll on springtime!

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7 thoughts on “Digging out… again!

  1. David Patterson

    A shear pin broke on one side of my snowblower this morning. Thanks for the reminder… better go get a couple extras. I wondered for a while why it was such heavy going on the right side of the blades! Luckily I had one spare left and was able to get things going full bore again. Still took me forever… time for a nap!

  2. The joys of living in Maine in the Winter :), it could be worse, we could have had what they originally predicted for this weekend – 40+ according to one “wither forecaster”

    Have fun, just think of all the muscles you are building with Maine’s natural exercise program ๐Ÿ™‚

    Harold

  3. David Patterson

    Hey Harold… isn’t it amazing how sensationalized forecasting the weather has become? It’s almost as if the outlet which predicts the most snow will get the most viewers ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. It snows?? In Maine?? Actually our friends from Bar Harbor were keeping us abreast of the storms and told us it hit harder up in Bangor than along the coast. Your gripe sounds like ours – the snow plow driver who gets perverse pleasure out of plowing in the driveway right after we have cleaned it out!

  5. David Patterson

    Ed… can’t believe I am saying it, but the snow is probably a fair price to pay for the wonderful weather we usually get between May and October, and living so close to Acadia National Park.

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