Friday, February 16, 2007

Synchronized Blowing

It does not matter how long it snows. It does not matter how much it snows. It only matters when it stops. Mere moments later, garage doors roll up almost simultaneously and the roar of snowblowers fills the air.

We all mow our lawns, but that can happen any day of the week. At any time. But blowing is a unified experience. We emerge from our garages and push our blowers up and down the driveway in a steady, zombie-like walk. Straight lines, one path carefully overlapping the previous one. Same pace. Back and forth. Stepford blowers. Moving in sync as if controlled by some central intelligence.

It is a bonding moment. As we reach the end of the driveway and make our turn, we nod and wave to the neighbor across the street, never quite sure if that is the 'him' or the 'her' underneath the down parka and hood with the scarf covering much of the face. He/She looks more like the Stay-Puf man than the neighbor who actually lives in the house.

Eventually the walks and drives are clear and we move back into the garage, moving at the same steady, unbroken pace with which we began. The garage doors roll down behind us, leaving the street in silence.

A passerby just minutes later would never know the precision performance they had just missed.

21 comments:

Veda said...

Hahaha!!!! That is uncannily true... What's funny is when one goes out past seven, shovelling a light dusting and all else is silent...creepy! Ought to be the other way around, don't ya think?

Here via Michele's.

margalit said...

In my old neighborhood, it was just like that. Everyone had a snowblower and they would all come out as soon as the first guy pulled the string on the started.

But now, where we live, we all hire "guys" to do the work for us. My driveway is 3/10 of a mile long, straight uphill, and it would kill to try and snow blow it ourselves. So we have our guy, and he comes with the plow and does the driveway, and then shovels the walkways. It's quiter and very convenient!

Michele sent me

Blond Girl said...

Hey Em. Michele sent me. I agree; in fact, back in Minnesota, my husband and my neighbor would tag-team snowblow together, since with four driveways all combined into a big pad off the alley, they could work together and get it done quickly.

The only disagreement I have with you is when you know there is going to be a LOT of snow (like, say, for two days straight), it helps to go out halfway through and snowblow to make it easier to move it all. In fact, I just posted on that myself yesterday. If you want to read it, just look for the entry with the guy in orange. Can miss it!

Chelle said...

LOL that is very true...thats how it works. This week we sw it after the season's biggest snowfall. I just never noticed that it really looks that way. Wow. Funny what to see from the words of others :)

bardouble29 said...

* Not sent by Michelle* (sorry just had to be different)

I have never had the experience of having so much snow, as to need to blow it...I feel for ya! We had a gorgeous 68 degree day here. (not rubbing it in or anything)

Em said...

I'm jealous of Margalit and her 'guy'! And I'm glad I don't have two days of the stuff to clean up like blond girl. And no, Barb, I'm sure you aren't rubbing it in (as you put on your shorts and t-shirt and go out in the sun! grrrr) LOL

Elle said...

ROFL!!! You know who I feel sorry for? The poor guy who doesn't own the blower, and is still shoveling away when everyone else has finished their driveways! You'd think they would team up and blow out his drive in 4 seconds flat.

May said...

This post sounded different from others I read here: more descriptive, more "literary" (although all are equally interesting).
I like variety.

liv said...

thanks for opening a window on something that is totally foreign to me: snow.

Teena said...

I'm glad we live in a condo and pay people to take care of us :) It's too cold to be out shovelling!

thethinker said...

Too bad I don't get snow. I've never gotten to experience anything like that.

Kati said...

LOL I can picture it, though I can't relate. We don't have a snow-blower, we don't have enough property/drive-way to need one. Our next-door neighbour likes plowing, in exchange for the odd loaf of bread or plate of cookies, and DH spends less than 10 minutes shoveling our "front walk". Hell, for lawn mowing we could get away with one of the old non-motorized, rotating blades, push-style mowers. And we wouldn't even need to sharpen the blades very often.

Awareness said...

How true!! A friend of mine managed to somehow get grant money from the Canadian Arts council to film a short doc on the snowblowing olympics! I swear......your description is similar to his......the absurdity of the activity prompted him to write a script and film it. His premiere screening unfortunately landed on a snow day......kidding! He had his "launch" a couple of years ago to hoots and whoops from the crowd.

Personally........I don't own a snowblower, but all the boys on the street do.......so I wait a bit until after the snowfall in hopes that one of them crosses the street to plow me out.....and THEN, I drop by with a bottle of wine later in the day to thank them for their efforts. It works every time.

oh btw, michelle sent me.

cheers.

Kismet said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my site and leaving such a kind comment.

I don't think I know a soul who owns a snow-blower, we just don't have that great a need here. We do get snow, just not much.

Enjoy the weather!


~K!

Carmi said...

Edward Scissorhands comes to mind as I read this entry. I wish I could be there to capture it with my lens.

Baron Ectar said...

Hey I think you forgot to come by my place - and I think I even pre paid - whats up doc?!

Catheroo said...

I loved the "Stepford blowers" part. I imagine you being accompanied by a symphony.

Winston said...

I remember snow-blowing days back in Pittsburgh. And Iowa. And Indiana. But I have not seen, thought of, needed, or missed a snow-blower since moving to Nashville.

Marie said...

I've noticed that my husband is one of the few to snowblow the sidewalk in front of the house. I wish others would do the same!! ;-)

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Synchronized snowblowing!

Very descriptive Em. I really liked this post.

Jazz said...

LOL... I remember my snowblowing days when I used to live at home. Here's to appartment living in the city!