Late Wednesday night it began to snow. It snowed all day Thursday, and it snowed all day Friday, and it is now Friday night and it is still snowing. We are not just talking about snow flurries. Or snow showers. We are talking about Lake Effect snow being dumped on us. This video describes Lake Effect Snow:
During this particular storm, our area was right in the middle of the worst of the snow. It’s like we had a big target over our area. EJ says he talked to people who have lived in this area all their lives who were amazed by how much snow we are getting.
This morning the snow was really piling up. I went out at 9:30 a.m. to snowblow the driveway, intending to go down the drive and back up and then letting JJ have a turn. I made it all the way down our long driveway to the road and had just turned around when the snowblower stopped moving forward. I noticed that a wire had broken. I was able to quickly determine that it was a wire that propels the snowblower forward when the handle is squeezed. I couldn’t leave the snowblower near the road, so I managed to pull on the wire with one hand to move the snowblower forward while trying to steer the snowblower with the other. It was difficult because the wire hurt my hand and the snowblower is hard to steer with just one hand. However, I was able to get the snowblower to the sandy spot at the first curve where it was out of sight of the road and also out of the driveway.
All day long I watched the snow pile up and pile up. I wasn’t sure if JJ would be able to get to work, but he cleared off his vehicle and didn’t have any problem getting to work.
Still it snowed and snowed. I wondered if EJ and JJ would make it up the driveway after work. EJ was able to get home. He is skilled at driving in snow. After a quick supper, he walked down to the snowblower.
Shortly after EJ disappeared into the night, Danny wanted outside so I took him out. After I let Danny back in, I decided that since I had my coat, hat, and boots on, I might as well walk down to see how EJ was doing. I could hear the snowblower. Well…He had placed locking vice grips on the wire so that he could hold it as a handle rather than wrap the wire around his hand. He had to hold the locking vice grips with his left hand, put his left arm on the left handle controls, and steer with his right hand as he snowblowed up the driveway. The lightbulb for the headlights had burned out, so he was snowblowing in the dark and blowing snow. Since I had a flashlight, I walked beside him and lit his path. We went up the driveway, and then back down. The snow was very deep–about two feet–and it was difficult and slow clearing the driveway. When everything is working well, snowblowing such a long driveway is tiring so I usually take a turn, but with the wire broken it was so complicated to operate the snowblower that both EJ and I knew that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the strength to use only one hand to steer while holding the wire with the other. In deep, deep snow. In the dark.
On our way back up the driveway, one of the blades stopped spinning. EJ said a pin had gotten sheered off. We continued up to the top of the driveway. He tried to clear JJ’s parking space in front of the garage, but then the controls got too cold and froze. So EJ put the snowblower away for the night. We could do no more.
Here are some photos of the storm:
We were exhausted and cold from working to clear the driveway for several hours. The driveway wasn’t as cleared as it would otherwise have been. I wasn’t sure JJ would make it through the uncleared drifts. However, he made it home ok. He said he just “gunned it” up the driveway. One good thing about living here in Northern Michigan is that he is getting more experienced driving in snowy conditions. Me? I don’t plan on driving until the snow all melts in the spring.