Beware the Snowjoe

Beware the Snowjoe

I guess I was wrong about the snow-preventing properties of our new snowblower.

I figured shelling out a couple hundred bucks on our “Snowjoe” was enough to keep Champaign-Urbana snow-free for the rest of the winter. Not so. Apologies for my optimism.

It arrived in the middle of our last snowstorm in mid-January, and excitement was high.

The first news came via an e-mail from my husband: “Snowjoe has arrived!”

Then came his phone call, from Sears: “How much is too much to pay for an extension cord?” (Apparently something above $70.)

Then came the frantic phone call, from home. He had not only run over the extension cord connecting our outdoor Christmas lights (at least it wasn’t the $70 cord), but the cord had wrapped itself around the blower, which then shut off.

OK, I said, picturing 200 dollar bills shredded into nothingness. Try to unwind the cord from the blower, and maybe it’ll run. Unplug it first, I added. (You never know.)

Luckily, it worked, and he happily plowed our driveway and sidewalks.

To be honest, I’m thrilled to have this machine. We have very nice neighbors who kindly snow-plow our front sidewalk during almost every storm. We’re on a corner lot and have, conservatively, 125 feet of sidewalk, plus the driveway. Recently someone began plowing another section of sidewalk for us.

To all you Good Samaritans, I give a hearty thanks. I’m glad we’re in a position to help others now.

I didn’t use the snowblower this morning to dig out our car. I thought the snow might be too icy, and it just seemed easier to shovel.

We had parked it on the street Tuesday night because my husband got stuck trying to pull into our driveway, and the snow drifted overnight.

I was dreading the job, but my neighbor was outside digging out her pickup and clearing a path to the corner. We have a slight hill at the end of our side street, and she was facing the wrong way, so she figured she’d back out onto John Street rather than try to turn around. (We are on the second-day priority list, in terms of city plows.)

So I decided to help. Her boss (!) also showed up, and it ended up being fun. Sort of,

After an hour, I quit and went to work. My husband, who’s working at home today, is in charge of clearing the driveway. I advised him to use the Snowjoe.

Can’t wait for the next phone call.

(For more snow stories, or to share your own, check out Patrick Wade's blog today!)


Photo: Yes, that's me, digging our our car this morning. Darrell Hoemann/News-Gazette




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algon wrote on February 02, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Julie, you are such a trooper! You really should have sent your kids out there; it'd be a good use of energy, seeing as they could possibly power your entire neighborhood with their general excitement about life. I had to rely on my sweet co-worker to take me to work today because IDOT feels the need to shovel snow INTO my driveway!

Julie Wurth wrote on February 02, 2011 at 2:02 pm
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I have drafted the 10-year-old in the past. I think he'll be out helping us today (although his energy level seems to lag once work is involved....)! Sorry about your driveway -- that is frustrating. One of my co-workers got a ride in from a colleague, too. Lots of Good Samaritans out there today!