Of course, all that snow on the ground late on Monday meant that I got to go out on Tuesday and clear snow. This time there was definitely too much to sweep away, and since I had gotten gas for the snow blower earlier in the week, I figured this was my chance to become acquainted with this gadget. I helped Christopher pick it up a couple years ago, but I'd never used it (I always opted for the shovel).
So yesterday morning I filled the tank and spent the next 5 minutes or so working on starting it--manually, with the electric start, and, finally, with a few appropriately placed "coaxing" expletives. Suddenly I found myself standing in the middle of the driveway with a roaring snow blower and no idea what to do with it. For practice, I shoved it back and forth around the driveway.
Here's what I learned during my first snow blowing session:
1) I found out that it's pretty near impossible to pull it backward through snow (snow simply builds up behind it).
2) I frequently reminded myself that pulling it backward while the blade was still running was STUPID and dangerous.
3) I discover why it shouldn't be pushed into the wind (and felt the wrath as the snow blew into my face).
4) I learned that getting too close to grass (or flower beds) results in nasty dirt and mulch kick-ups.
5) (This one is interesting!) I found that the more snow you're going through, the higher/farther the snow will go. I'd have thought that small amounts would do just as well, but there you go.
And, unfortunately, I found out this morning that the snow blower comes with an unexpected side effect: really sore forearms. Yep. I woke up this morning with an amazing aching that starts around my elbows and goes all the way to my thumbs. For about half an hour I was kind of freaked out by that. Then I remembered what I had done, yesterday, and realized what had caused the achiness.
Which leads me to the titular dilemma:
Is it better to deal with a sore back and shoulders from shovelling? Or to deal with sore forearms and hands from the vibrations of the snow blower?
I mean, it's nice that it's not my back, but I'm not sure if aching forearms are really that much better. I guess I'll get to make that decision in a few days when we get more snow...
Oh. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the full moon this weekend. I can't wait to see how that looks on the snow.