have yourselves a cryogenic christmas.

It was the Sunday before Giftmas, and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

That’s because the mice moved out this weekend.  They left through the disused chimney.  They were carrying little Samsonite suitcases, and I distinctly heard them utter the phrases “…white shit…“, and “…moving to fucking Florida.”

Here’s the view from our kitchen window as of five minutes ago:

Sunday before Giftmas 2008 004

That’s my minivan, parked in the turnaround spot near the bottom of the driveway.  It’s been parked there for the last four days because I’ve not been able to get up the driveway to park in my usual spot next to the house.  This is after snowblowing the driveway, sanding it with ash, and having the plow guy clear a path to the house after the snowblower snapped its auger shaft.  (We have a gravelled driveway, and occasionally I pick up rocks with the auger.  This rock was just big enough to get wedged under an auger blade and jam up the works to where the engine torque just cracked the auger shaft like an octogenarian’s hipbone.)

Oh, well.  The snowblower is under warranty, the repair guy will be here on Wednesday, and the plow guy is scheduled to come and dig us out after the storm ends.  (We’re supposed to get another foot or so today.)  We have wood heat, I stocked up on eggnog and rum, the fridge and freezer are full, and the kids are warm and healthy. 

If you’re looking to buy a house in northern New England, just make sure that it either has a paved driveway, or it sits close enough to a public road that’s cleared by your municipality.  Under no circumstances should you purchase a home that sits a hundred and fifty feet back from a public road, and only features an uneven gravel driveway on a five-degree slope.  You will do fine most of the year, but you’ll be parking at the bottom of that driveway a lot once the snow starts falling in earnest.

But hey: that’s life in the snow belt.  Eggnog with rum for breakfast, anyone?

20 thoughts on “have yourselves a cryogenic christmas.

  1. Tony says:

    “If you’re looking to buy a house in northern New England, just make sure that it either has a paved driveway, or it sits close enough to a public road that’s cleared by your municipality.”

    …Or make sure you drive a Jeep? :o)

    Weather conditions were one large reason why, starting January 2007 I have not, nor will I intend to ever again drive a vehicle without a four wheel drive, unless it is a strictly hobby vehicle. What used to be dangerous or impassable inclemental weather is now called “fun driving weather” in our household.🙂

  2. Heath J says:

    You know, if you were closer to Ohio, I could probably help you get a lift kit and some 44 inch super swampers on that van… 😛

  3. Diane says:

    The foot you’re getting hit us Friday. Thankfully, I live in the city, and after last year’s record snowfalls and all the complaints the city received, they did a phenomenal job of clearing.

    Of course, they spent the rest of this year’s and most of next’s budget to do it, but at least we can get around.

  4. Jay G. says:

    I feel your pain, brother.

    I’m going out to shovel. For the FOURTH time this weekend…

  5. Ted says:

    Yow. I thought it was bad here, but you win. My snowblower is still operational, and teenage sons are still willing to use it.

    But hokey smokes, enough is enough.

  6. Robert says:

    This is why I like living in desert or semi-arid climates. We do still occasionally get dumped on, but it’s usually not something an hour with a snow shovel can’t take care of.

  7. theflatwhite says:

    On the bright side, think of how much worse it would be without global warming.

  8. 82 here in central fla today; took wifey shopping in lakeland, about an hour away, ran the a/c in the car the whole way and i was suitably attired…cargo shorts, polo shirt, and flip flops.

    i’ll trade ya…it’s december 21 for crying out loud, hard to have the spirit of the season…

    lotsa firewood, plenty of provisions, your loved ones safe and sound there with you…that scene out your window looks like a dream to me…easy for me to say, right? but you know what they say; familiarity breeds contempt.

    jtc

  9. keepbreathing says:

    Honestly, I miss the freeze.

  10. MarkHB says:

    Maybe trade snowblower for flamethrower?

    No… wouldn’t help the minivan’s paintjob, would it?

  11. brotio says:

    It’s possible (I hope so, anyway) that your snowblower has a shear pin to protect the drive shaft and motor from this kind of incident. I had a coal furnace that was auger-fed, and I usually had to replace two or three pins a year due to rocks in the coal.

    Because you have a gravel driveway, you may face this again after the warranty expires. I hope it ends up just needing the pin replaced.

  12. Sean Christian Hammond says:

    Ive just read 3 of your blogs and I am happily relieved to see an American still left alive in America.
    Seriously man, Ive been searching for years with only faint glimmers of light to guide me. Glimmers that usually turn out to be machine led’s indicating that someone was here once and forgot to turn the power off when they walked away.
    Thank you.

    btw, Cali has a vote concerning handguns comming up in Jan. Pray please🙂
    Merry Christmas

  13. dave says:

    “Eggnog with rum for breakfast, anyone?”

    Sure, but what’s the Eggnog for?

  14. George Smith says:

    Used to visit friends in the mountains of NH. He finally got a deal with is employer to plow out the work place parking lot. (Employer supplied the plow for his pick up.) Thusly equipped, he was able to ensure his own driveway was plowed out … gravel notwithstanding.

    Still … thanks, Marko, for the memories.

    Regards.

  15. ditto says:

    You might consider purchasing a old farm tractor with a blade.
    They are very useful for clearing your own driveway, paved or gravel. The neighbors will certainly find a reason for you to come over too.

    Other reasons for having a tractor:
    Plow for garden
    Haul wood out of the woods
    Mow large areas of grass
    Big fun pulling the kids around in the snow on their sled

  16. robnrun says:

    I second the shear pins (or the tractor with blade). Just buy shear pins ahead of time, if they snap and the drive isn’t passable, you can’t get them! (I learned the hard way). Depending on the equipment large nails can be used as temporary pins.🙂 Massey Ferguson/Simplicity makes a very nice lawn tractor that has a snowblower attachment. It means you don’t have to push the blessed thing uphill.

  17. Marko says:

    I have a bag of shear pins. When the snow gets wet, I usually lose a shear pin or two per session. This rock was just big enough, and in just the right spot, to jolt the whole auger shaft upwards hard enough to snap it.

  18. M. Philbrick says:

    All summer I watch with a grimace on my face how much gas goes into my SUV, and then a storm like this hits and I’m all smiles…

  19. […] or so — life’s good as long as the beer holds out. And I’m really enjoying Marko not coping with his summertime decision to move to a snow […]

  20. Mark says:

    Be aware warranties don’t cover rocks, be prepared to pay. Someone who knows.

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