Snowblower bliss

I finally broke down and bought a snowblower.
Two weeks ago, after the town had plowed in my driveway for the second time, without even getting my vehicle out of the driveway, I decided that the 30 years of debate on acquiring a mechanical snow shoveller were over.
Now I can readily admit no one buys a snowblower at the end of January. In fact, part of the dilemma is that once you reach the end of January, you realize that winter is almost over.
You only face six more weeks of snow and the days become milder, allowing the snowbanks to slowly recede.
But the Public Works crew spurred me to action. The banks on the street were too high to lift the snow to the top with a shovel.
I had used my scoop to break down the plowed-in snow and had pushed it into the middle of my side yard. However, those piles were coming up to waist height and pushing snow uphill is as bad for you as lifting shovels of snow over your head.
A mechanical device was called for.
My wife teased me that in buying that snowblower, the only action it would get for the rest of the winter would be collecting dust that settled on it in the garage. I fully understood her teasing and really expected that we would not have any more snow this year.
The new snowblower would ward off any snowy weather until next November.
But we were both wrong and it has been put to the test twice so far this month. The grader has filled my driveway with hard-packed snow and the blower has inched its way through the 75 cm drifts that have been left behind.
Living on Second Street East, we are fortunate that in any snowstorm, our street will be plowed at least twice. And the town crews work hard at trying to move the banks as far back against the curb as is possible.
The first plowing moves the snow off the travelled part of the road way in each direction. The second one moves the snow back for cars to park on the street.
Needless to say, both clearings fill in your driveway.
In an average year, Fort Frances residents can expect to receive about 180 cm (71 inches) of snow that arrives over 58.9 snow days. But over a normal five-month season, with compaction and melting days, the snow does not appear to be that great.
Our biggest one-time snowfall occurred in the first week of March in 1966, when well over 60 cm of snow dropped on the community.
Historically, we receive the largest amount of snow in January.
During the winter of 2008-09, Fort Frances had a record seasonal snowfall of 319 cm of snow (125.6 inches). The 1992-93 winter, meanwhile, saw two monthly records established for snowfall.
January of that year received 82 cm (32.3 inches) while the community was blanketed with 111.5 cm (43.9 inches) in December, 1992.
Our biggest February snowfall total also was in 1992, when the area received 82 cm (32.3 inches) of the white stuff.
We could be on track for a new record snowfall year.

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