One-Liner Wednesday – My Father’s Advice

We had our first snowstorm of the season this past Saturday. During the night, after about five inches (12.7cm) of light puffy snow fell, the storm changed to freezing rain. The result was a compressed pile of heavy wet snow with a nice crunchy top.

Since we had to leave the house at 8:00am on Sunday, I started snow blowing a few minutes before 6:00 am. Fortunately, my snow blower has a headlight and a cup holder. By ten of eight, the job was done, and the editor released the hound. A few minutes’ worth of play and we were back inside. My wife asked how my back was (it had been bothering me earlier in the week). I said it was fine:

“I let the machine do the work.”

“How unlike you”

She was joking but the statement is true enough, I can still hear my father giving me that advice every time I used a hand or power tool. I’ve passed that advice onto our daughter, but I still have to repeat it silently to myself. The snow blower will chew through just about anything Mother Nature lays down, but it’s hard to simply walk behind the machine without pushing or otherwise trying to help.


This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

The gallery includes pictures during the storm and during / after the clean-up. Click on any image to start a slide show. And, there’s a little Maddie video at the bottom.

83 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday – My Father’s Advice

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Judy. When I saw that there wasn’t any snow in the way of that door, I had a big smile on my face! Maddie isn’t too hard to dry off. Irish Setters don’t have an undercoat (no winter coat) so it really is just a matter of drying her hair. Her feet are always clumped with snow. Sometimes, we dip them in warm-ish water, but usually, she finished what the towel can’t dislodge. Self-cleaning :-)

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It’s human nature that we want to help everything along…because we can. Your first snowfall was pretty, but there is danger in the crusty, crunchy, heavy snow. Glad you took it easy.

    Thanks for the Maddie video and photos. That is my Wednesday smile, which I shall take to work with me.I may take a page from Maddie’s book and frolic around the office (sans the expected 5-7″ of snow).

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    1. Maddie’s book also requires a nap. I’m glad you are starting with a smile.

      It is hard to not try and help. But it doesn’t work. The machine goes at it’s own pace. I can speed it up but it doesn’t help to push.

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  2. As much as I am not a winter fan, your photos really capture the beauty of the season.
    The photo where you mention the cloud cover, it looks like everything is sandwiched between snow….above and below!

    Love those shots of Maddie having the time of her life. I cracked up watching the video of her running through the snow everywhere but on the shoveled path! 😄

    Our dog has the dreaded undercoat and has to be towel dried and then blow dried. Wait. What? Did I hear you say she’s spoiled!! Lol. —-Ginger—-

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. Maddie is a pretty quick wipe with a towel, but we have to be careful that she doesn’t stay out too long. She’s been out there shivering, but still wanting to play. We drag her in, dry her off and she cuddles for warmth.

      No surprise that you spoil your pup. Who doesn’t :)

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  3. That first significant snow is always fun, isn’t it? We had to take Cody to my daughter’s house to play in her yard, but Cody loved it! Since I’m now the one at home all day and hubby is the one going off to work, I got to clear the 8 inches or so that we got, and since I don’t know how to use the snowblower, I had to do it with a shovel. Must’ve been out of my mind to buy a house with such a long driveway! But it’s good exercise and didn’t kill me (I did it in sections and rested in between). Regardless, when we get the 2 to 3 feet next time, I’ll leave it for hubby to deal with after work.

    PS – I never heard of a cup holder on a snowblower. Here in Buffalo, most people would have a beer can in there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha – laughing at the thought of the beer. Next light snow, ask for snow blower lessons. It’s fun. I did try to teach my wife, but that did not go well. She does have a lightweight electric snow-thrower that works pretty well and she likes it.

      I like that you took Cody somewhere to play :)

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      1. I could learn to use the snowblower, Dan, but I figure if I have to push something, I’d rather push a 4-lb snow shovel than a 70-lb snowblower. With the shovel we have, I can just push the snow across the driveway to the far side, I never have to lift it, so it’s really not that hard.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Frank. I have a favorite shovel and I love it when there’s just a little bit of snow and I can push it around. It’s a challenge to work out a pattern that lets me push and not have to life. Still, I do like firing up the machine ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always had a strong back until this summer. I’m going for an MRI hopefully Friday. It’s not getting better and pain medicine barely dulls the pain. Never had anything like this before. Hope you’re better soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep, sometimes you have to let the machine do the work, however much you might want to “help”. Otherwise, you might as well be shoveling, and let’s face it — a shovel is a lot cheaper than a snowblower. At least Maddie is having a good time out there!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think your tendency to want to help tools do their work is akin to my belief that if I watch the pot of water it will boil sooner; watch the dryer spin, it will stop sooner; watch my husband nap and he’ll wake up sooner. It doesn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your snow photos are very pretty. I can say that because it’s your snow – not mine. My snow is ugly 😉

    I only have one experience operating a snowblower and it didn’t end well. My father had to ran down the road to rescue me being dragged behind it. That’s a long way of saying that I know operating a snowblower is NOT EASY. It appears however, you have mastered the machine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good advice, but we have to listen to it.

      All of our dogs have loved the snow. They play until their feet are balls of snow. Then they come in anc chew the snow out of the paws and then they’re back at the door. Crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m jealous of your snow, Dan. We had a few tiny flakes blowing around today before they turned to a misty sort of rain, then went away entirely. But it’s cold and windy (welcome to the Chicago area), a good day for being home tonight watching some hockey. :-)

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Maddie looks so happy playing, and chasing her ball in the snow.

    I LOVE that blue hour image of the yard with the little tree you were planning to decorate, and the image that’s nearly black and white of your tree covered in snow.

    6am seems so early and cold to be out snow blowing. It took 2 hours to clear all the walkways!
    That’s a job on Sunday. Is the blower very loud?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. Maddie could not be happier than she is after fresh snow. The dog is simply nuts about snow.

      I might have been the first one out, but I wasn’t the only one getting an early start. The blower is loud enough, but we are only 2 miles from the airport, and we can hear their snow-removal operation at work, so I don’t think I woke anyone up.

      In addition to our driveway and sidewalk, I do my neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway (he’s 92) and I do the sidewalk for the woman next to him. Her son plows her driveway, but the sidewalk has to be cleared (law in CT). That adds about 30 minutes to the job.

      I finish up in our back yard, but that was about 7:30. Then Maddie comes out – that’s noisy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! You’re a wonderful neighbor. That’s a huge gift! Nothing like taking up the trash, and recycle bins which I do for a couple of neighbors and it takes very little effort or time. You’re a gem!

        Once plowed how often do you need to plow your walkways, driveway, and sidewalk? Every snow?

        On a week-day that could play havoc with the work commute and getting there on time. Clearly I have no idea how to live where it snows. :)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The woman down the street is a recent widow. Her husband used to do our sidewalk if I was traveling, so it’s easy to help her. The man next door will eventually do his own sidewalk and driveway, but it’s so easy for me. His driveway is very short, and he’s 92 – I just couldn’t…

          The sidewalks have to be cleared within 8 hours of the end of the storm, so it’s not too bad. Our town isn’t big on giving tickets, but they can. It’s a big deal for school kids walking to the bus, or for people like us who are walking a dog.

          Driveways can be left snow covered, and some folks do, but eventually that will cause them problems. I learned the hard way that it needs to be cleared after every snow, but timing is an issue. If you clear it before the storm ends, and it turns to freezing rain, you’re in trouble. The ice clings to the driveway like glue.

          Most of my coworkers were late today. One woman was early, like me. My father is responsible for that. “Get up early so you have time to shovel before I leave for work. And, I’m leaving early so I can still get there on time.” – I’ve been doing that since I could lift a shovel, there’s no hope for me now.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Maddie’s winter wonderland looks like fun for all :)
    It microstormed today, the wind went crazy and howled a moment, and then some snows, but it didn’t stick and I think it whooshed right on by!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a family member who makes work hard on herself. I don’t even think she knows it even though I and others have offered suggestions. She plugs away at most thinks she does and then wonders why she’s exhausted.

    Maddie looks like she has a terrific time in the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is why we buy tools, to make hard jobs easier. It’s funny, though. I see coworkers who make the same mistakes with Word and Excel. I used to have a coworker who typed numbers into Excel, added them on an adding machine and typed in the total!

      Maddie just loves the snow. She can’t get enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. If you don’t laugh at Maddie’s antics then there is something seriously wrong with you. Her enthusiasm is contagious. ;) I hope this is not any indication that we are heading into a LONG winter. Yes the snow is pretty at first but …. it really starts to annoy after awhile. Anyways, take care of your back, Dan. I’ve been nursing mine today and hope by tomorrow I’ll be out to get some good pics. Too sunny today for pictures IMO. It is SO hard to get the right light meter reading in glaring white snow. LOVED your gallery so I thank you for sharing it!! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why you have a headlight, Kirt :)

      The snow, particularly the first snow, is pretty (although Maddie likes them all).

      I don’t normally start that early on a Sunday, but very often during the week, I am out before sunrise. If the storm has ended, and the plows have done their work, there’s a very small window of time to get ahead of the traffic. We got more snow on Wednesday. I was able to push it around with a shovel, and still leave by 6:15. I got to work a little before 7:00. Many of my coworkers spent two hours in traffic.

      If I can work from home, I’ll wait, but if I have to get to the office, I have to get an early start.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. One of the rare occasions I’m on my “reader!” Of all the one-liners here my favorite is “I was going to decorate that tree today” Don’t you hate it when nature beats you to it:):) Although I hope it’s a bigger tree you are going to decorate (probably more likely your daughter, or wife – you don’t have to answer that:)) A merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

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