Everyday Gardeners

Plant. Grow. Live.

Old Man Winter

We had our first legitimate snow last night. My kids were excited beyond belief. I have to admit, I was happy to see it too. I grew up in California and snow was something you traveled to see. A tourist attraction, you might say. When I first arrived in the Midwest, my neighbors thought it was a little creepy that I was outside taking pictures of my own yard. But they know I was  a West Coaster, so they tolerated me. Snow isn’t quite as novel now, but I still enjoy it. Yes, it’s work to clear off the sidewalk. But I don’t mind so much, especially now that I have a snow blower. Tomorrow, they’re calling for near blizzard conditions. Seriously. Bring it on, I say! I have a blower!

First snow!

First snow!

Blowers aren’t cheap, but this was some of the best money I ever spent. Shoveling is seriously hard work, for those of you who aren’t acquainted with what it’s like to scoop 8 inches of wet white stuff for an hour. With a machine to do the work, now snow is fun again.

I was pleased to find the engine fired right up this morning. I hadn’t even tried it ahead of time to make sure it worked, which was dumb. But I got away with it. This time. I was confident, though, because I do one thing every year that seems to be the ticket to long engine life for mowers and blowers: before putting one away for the off season, let it run out of gas. That way, old gas can’t form nasty deposits in the carburetor while it sits. When you’re ready to run it again, just add fresh gas, and it should start right back up.

Changing the oil helps an engine last too, I understand. But after hearing my neighbor, “Wilson”, brag about how his old mower went 9 years without an oil change, I had to wonder. His old mower was  a piece of junk. He used a vice grip to hold the busted handle together while he mowed. For two years. I guess an engine doesn’t have to last forever. Just long enough for other things to start breaking first. Just to be on the safe side, I think I’ll stick with the oil changes. Considering how much a blower costs. And how much my back hurts after shoveling.

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