Country Life

Whenever it snows, my neighbor hooks a plow to the front of his truck, plows his driveway, and also plows ours. Because it’s neighborly.

He’s doing it right now. At 2am.

The man really likes his snow plow.

I think this is kind of awesome.

28 Comments on “Country Life”

  1. Tell him he could come to my place in Utah. Driveway isn’t as long as you but I am quite lazy and all the snow is a pain.

  2. Agreed. And it can also be city life. At my former residence, one of my neighbors had the military-industrial size snow blower, and he’d often put on his big quilted camouflage onesie and do the whole block — common sidewalks and individual houses’ walks — at 4 or 5 in the morning. The sound was very soothing and I miss it. (I’m sure I also neglected to thank him enough).

  3. Well, if you had a snow plow, wouldn’t you like it?

    (A friend of mine bought a tractor a few years ago. Uses it every single chance he gets. ’cause he likes it just that much. ;))

  4. I do have a snow plow. I don’t like it much, actually. It’s small and is a pain in the ass to attach to my lawn tractor, and would require me freezing my balls off while I scrape my driveway. I’m delighted to have my neighbor use his instead. We’ll pay him in beer (which he consumes after he’s done).

  5. I kind of miss the sound of snow plows. They were all over the place in New Hampshire. Here in Missouri, you get them… Well, almost never, where I live. Our subdivision doesn’t have any snow plows itself, and so we have to wait until someone from the city comes to plow us out. Which happens about two days after the snow has fallen. This wouldn’t be such a big problem if the area I live wasn’t very hilly and our car very light. We can’t even make it up the hill right beside our house (which isn’t very steep).

    @1: Your driveway must be very short, then. ;) (Sorry, I HAD to. It was just SITTING there in my mind, waiting to come out. Hee.)

  6. You Too?

    I’ve got the drunk guy next door with the Muffler-less truck at two AM most nights.

    At least he just pulls in and turns the key off right away. Usually.

  7. I pay my maintenance people to clean the snow off for me. =) Not only are they worth every penny, but they even come knock on your door and ask you to move your car, so they don’t plow you in, in your parking space.

  8. Scalzi, you know if you wear pants when you swap out the blade on the lawn tractor you’d be running less of a chance of ending up like poor little Zeus, via cryogenics. Just sayin’.

  9. So he likes to plough your drive in the middle of the night?

    Be afraid – be very afraid……….

  10. I have two neighbors who do that for me. One of them is an elderly gent well into his retirement years, who pushes a snowblower up and down my driveway whenever the guy with the truck isn’t around.

    I feel like I owe him big time.

  11. Lucky you! 2AM? Awesome!

    My old next door neighbor used to do this for us, too. We paid him in cookies.

    Long ago our neighbor did this for us one winter and then in the spring his grandson’s pitbull jumped the fence and destroyed a ball my 3 year old daughter had been playing with mere feet away. I called the cops as it was the last in a series of camelback breakings. Consequently, next winter there was no more free plowings. Fine. I needed the exercise.

    My current landlady whom I love otherwise needs help with snow removal. She’s gotten notices from the city(!) and brushes off requests to not have the driveway become an ice rink. I think I’m gonna have to talk direct-like and or get out my own shovel.

  12. My uncle from Indiana refuses to go to Florida in the winter because he might miss a snowfall at home and the chance to play with his tractor/snow plow.

  13. I pay these two Cape Verdean kids $100 to do my driveway (like yours, it’s extensive), but I also make sure that they get a hot lunch.

    They key is to hire them to KEEP your driveway clean. That way, they come back if it keeps snowing…. after a few storms, they started working it so they’d get two meals out of it…but my driveway likes the attention. A couple of extra steaks are cheap when it snows for 18 hours in a row, like it did yesterday.

    If you have an extra $25, they’ll make a huge snowman at the end of the lawn with all the snow they move. The kids love it.

  14. We didn’t realize, when we moved into our house, how valuable it it to have a short, unshaded, south facing driveway. Even in the snowiest years here in Colorado, I’ve rarely had to spend much time clearing the drive enough to get the cars out: I figure I’ve spent about five hours total shoveling snow in fifteen years.

    Solar energy is a wonderful thing.

    Also, my standard advice to anyone seeking to move to the country where it snows: make sure your road is on a school bus route, even if you don’t have kids. School bus routes get plowed.

  15. Also…

    A) You’ll really be Country when you are able to determine the exact time between the last mowing of the lawn and the first plowable snow. When that time comes- not too warm, but not too cold- you attach the plow blade.

    B) You should get a pic of your snowplow guy, and put it on the Internet. Blue collar guys get a kick out of that, and it might even be a free commercial if he has his company name on the side door. Then, you’ll have the plowed driveway hookup with the constantness.

  16. I live in Austin, TX; around here, ‘snow’ and ‘plow’ are two words you rarely hear in the same sentence.

    But when I lived in New Jersey I remember being awakened by the repeated ‘chunk…slide’ sound of the church lot across the street being plowed or the rumbly-scrapy sound of the big plows on the county road in front of the house.

    Of course, my response was always, ‘Crap. I’ve got to get up and shovel the (thankfully very short) drive and deal with a shitty commute.’ That’s definitely one thing I don’t miss about NJ.

  17. Shoveling a (moderately sized) driveway has its virtues too – if the houses are close together enough, shoveling snow is about the last communal labor activity. Ephemeral bonds form among neighbors pretending to hate having to shovel.

    Plus, it’s about the only exercise I get in winter.

  18. I grew up in West Virginia and every time it snowed, our neighbor plowed the entire street with his John Deere tractor + snow plow. He did it at ungodly hours of the morning so people could get up the hill and didn’t have to miss work. I love country people.

  19. Amateurs, Jim. They’re all amateurs. I’ve seen your set up, and I could go out back and take pictures of mine in order of snow load

    Up to 1 ft – shovel
    Up to 2 ft – snow blower
    Up to 4 feet – dozer
    4 feet and up – front end loader

    We’re very popular come breakup, because we can use the bucket on the loader to scrape down the cake on people’s driveways. Who wants to walk through mucky slush when you don’t have to?

  20. I’d rather have Massachusetts-level snowfall and no chance of Sasquatch Attack, but you two just keep on enjoying Seward’s Folly.

  21. Clearing out my driveway is one of the major reasons I left Indiana to a point way South of the Mason-Dixon line. I need to worry about snow once a decade. I truly do not have to worry about the helpfulness of neighbors. That is the way of the South. I assume it is also the way of the East and West and North, but the South is much warmer.

  22. Huh. All you people south of the 49th parallel amuse us northerly types. Up here in Edmonton, we get two kinds of winter: The snowy, mild kind, when it only drops to about -20 C, and the bitter, freeze-off-your-nuts blowy kind, where there’s hardly any snow, but it gets to about -60 C with the wind chill.

    We had that one this year. Only about five days where there was actual snow to shovel (maybe two, three feet in total) but jesus, when the wind is blowing, that shovel can fly.

    And greetings from Soviet Canuckistan, by the way.

  23. We’ll pay him in beer (which he consumes after he’s done).

    That reminds me of a cool way to meet the neighbors. When handing out Halloween candy keep a cooler of beer nearby. When a kid comes with his/her Dad (usually waiting patiently in back) give the kid the candy and tell him/her “give this to your Dad” as you pass out a beer. Make sure the beer makes it to the Dad (really important if you don’t want to give the very WRONG impression).

    A guy did this trick to me when I was the Dad and I’ve done it since. Mostly you can’t offer it to the Moms because they think it might mean something else but guy to guy it is really cool.

  24. Brad,

    Up here in Edmonton, we get two kinds of winter:

    You have phone service there? And the internet?