2 – And the Ecstasy
If you want to live in the country where Olga and I live, you have to be hardy. We live in the bush, on a lake, in a big cabin. We might see a neighbour once a week, or once a month, or once a year. Some we haven’t seen for years.
But that’s the life we asked for. And if our driveway isn’t plowed immediately, someone is sure to investigate before spring. So that’s okay.
I had roped Olga into helping me split wood for the last coupla or three weeks. After all, if she’s fit enough to put up a car shelter and shovel walkways and hang out washing with her bare hands on freezing days, she’s fit enough to heave around fifty-pound chunks of birch.
However. I asked her to operate the electric controls while I heaved around the fifty-pound chunks.
First thing, on Friday, I had to shovel my way out to the shelter where Kia slept.
Olga said, “Why not use my electric shovel?”
Hah. A real man doesn’t use an electric shovel. Or a snow blower, for that matter.
However. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a real man. So I used the electric shovel.
What is an electric shovel? It is a useless piece of crap. At least ours is.
It would throw snow only forwards. So I had to clear a path sideways. Try it sometime. And everytime I pushed it into a snowbank (Eight inches of snow is a snowbank to an electric shovel), it stalled.
However, it was easier than the hand shovel. After two or three hours, I had cleared paths a few inches wide from the house to the shelter to the municipal road.
Then I reverted to the hand shovel. After another two or three hours, I cleared a path 3 metres wide from the shelter to the road. I’m not sure how long I worked because the sweat in my eyes made the watch-face blurry, but I burned up a major portion of the daylight.
Then I lay down two paths of wood ash from the shelter to the road and tried to drive the Kia out.
Hah. Got stuck only a dozen times or so. Kept applying wood ash to the tracks the front wheels had to follow. Ran out of wood ash.
But on the last try, the Kia gained the municipal road.
I made it to town. Cancelled search-and-rescue operations. Grabbed a bite to eat. Got loads of advice about starting a recalcitrant snow blower. And parked on the road when I got home around dark.
Next day, Saturday, son Rob turned up. He got the snow blower working in a few minutes. Showed me the trick that everyone knows about starting a recalcitrant snow blower. I’d talked to a dozen people who’ve lived all their lives in this country and they didn’t know it.
It just goes to show, I guess.
What? I don’t know.
I stored the Kia in the car shelter again.
I’m just so happy to have a snow-free car.