I have temporarily defeated Gaia. The storm dropped a foot and a half of snow onto Castle Frostbite, but Mr. Snowblower was made for those kinds of conditions. It blows the fresh new snow a good thirty feet, and it’ll barely slow down even when the white stuff is piled twenty inches high. The waist-high berm of compacted snow at the bottom of the driveway, thoughtfully put into place by the Publick Workes elves and their mechanick contraption, was a bit more tricky to remove, but I prevailed in the end.
They say that winter storms drive up the occurrence of heart attacks, because people overwork themselves shoveling snow. I have no trouble believing that. It took me about an hour to clear the property (driveway, parking and turnaround spots in front of the house, mailbox, and alternate parking at the bottom of the hill) with a self-propelled 9HP two-stage snowblower that carves a 28″ wide path into knee-high snow right down to the gravel. With a snow shovel, it would take me a day or two to move that much snow, and I’d collapse from exhaustion and/or a cardiac event halfway through.
Technology is your friend. I wonder how they ever managed to clear their driveways in neolithic times…
I’ll tell you this: if they ever pass legislation banning personal snow-removal equipment powered by eeeevil combustion engines, I’ll start selling bumper stickers that say “You Can Have My Snowblower When You Pry it From My Cold, Wet Hands”.