We are up to our ears in snow. This is not a new experience, but it is disconcerting because my snowblower broke down. I took it into town once to be repaired, a round trip of just under 50 kilometres, but after working for twenty minutes, it broke down again. Then my truck broke down, and I resorted to a snow scoop to make a dent in the fifty acres of snow – okay, I exaggerate – but it did feel like forty acres.
I called Daniel. Daniel is a neighbour – he lives only a few klicks away. He has a blade on his truck, which makes it equal to large-scale snow removal. He arrived promptly. Dan said, Do you mind if I look at your blower? I didn’t mind. Within thirty seconds he had it running.
He gave it a test run, monitoring its performance. He stopped the engine. Do you mind, he said, if I check it over? I didn’t mind. Over the course of nearly an hour he tinkered with this and he tinkered with that. He has a snowblower of his own, twenty years old, he said, and it’s like new. Mine is ten years old, a museum piece. He gave me tips on this and tips on that. He just had to pull off a cover and poke his nose into the gears. He leaned the machine this way and that. He flopped on the snow like a cat rolling on a pile carpet and eyeballed an arcane location. I believe I heard him purr. Finally, reluctantly, he released the blower to me.
Let me give you something for your trouble, I said. Nope, he said. You can do something for me sometime.
Sure. Perhaps I could pen a poem. Dedicate a novella to him. Or coin a phrase.
He sure showed his old English teacher a thing or two. What’ll the next snowfall bring?