Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Good shoveling makes good neighbors.

It started snowing here about 2 PM.  A light snow.  It has been warm here the last three days. Over freezing.  When the front moved in and the temperature dropped the roads became slick fast. I drove through Bozeman on my way to my friend Markle's house. He lives about three miles north of Bozeman at the foot of the Bridger Mountains.  He invited me over for steaks and wine on Monday.  To celebrate Christmas and toast the New Year.  I have a long story about Markle (what were the odds?) but that's for another time. Anyway, we knew the front was "supposed" to be here but the weather guy here in Montana is usually a day or two off if he's close at all.  Not this time.

I pull into Markle's house. There is at least three inches on the ground. Weather dude is calling for 7 or 8.  We have dinner and a couple of glasses of wine. It's time for MRM to hit the road.  The weather is turning even more sour.  The grizwagon is in four-wheel drive.  Roads back to the interstate are somewhat sketchy but I'm in no hurry.  The wind is howling so bad that I meet a plow truck going the opposite way on the interstate and it blows the snow from his lane into mine for a second or two.  Traffic is slow butI know my house will be in the same spot I left it.

I live in Belgrade which is eight miles west of Bozeman (and definately not in Billings, just saying) anyways we usually get half the snow of Bozeman.  I'm anal about keeping my sidewalk and driveway clean and know I will have to fire up Lola and plow some snow or at least grab Old Yeller and do some shoveling.  As I get closer to Belgrade I can tell that there is at least eight inches on the ground. No way am I shovelling.  Lola is gonna get some work. I live in a townhouse. It's a duplex. I share the driveway with my neighbor Casey.  I've done both of our driveways with Lola or shovelled every time this year save one. It's no big deal. He's a great neighbor.  He and his wife work hard and long hours.  I can clean it up in about five minutes with Lola (who is one of my four-wheelers if you haven't figured that out. Butch is the other one.) or if its not to bad shovel it in 20 minutes.

There is no way I'm shovelling tonight. Old Yeller will stay propped in the corner of my entrance.  Lola and me will have this done licketysplit. I pull up to my house and Casey has the sidewalks done and half of both of our driveways.  I jump out of the Grizwagon and we finish the rest up in five minutes.

"Casey" I say, "You never have to shovel when there's this much snow. I'll plow it out"

"No worries Chip. I've only shovelled once this year and I needed the exercise."

Me taking care of him made him take care of me.  A good neighbor indeed.  I've said before and I'll say it again. I'm the luckiest guy on the planet. As well as the most out of shape.  Feel like I wrestled a gorilla for a banana and lost.  I'm way out of shape.

6 comments:

Boxer said...

good thing you have your own "GPS" installed. :-)

I think I've told you this, but I've been to Bozeman (in the summer) and it's beautiful. I'm sure the snow is equally beautiful but I'm glad I'm where it's warmer.

Milk River Madman said...

You and Mr. Boxer need to come back and see it again. I'd point you both in all the right directions.

Buzz Kill said...

"...at the foot of the Bridger Mountains." That would be so coo to say...but not in flat old South Jersey, that's something you never hear. You and Chicky are lucky to live in mountains.

We got about 10" from this past storm. It started Sunday and while it was accumulating, I threw the old snow blower up on saw horses and finally replaced the auger and internal shroud. I've only had the parts for 2 months but it finally got to the top of the priority list.

I live on a cul-de-sac and a couple of the neighbors co-own a nice 12 HP self-propelled blower. They always help clear all the houses on the street (we have several elderly familys that can't do their own). Unfortunately, they went to start it and it wouldn't stay running. I looked at it and I think it's a fuel problem (broken line or flooding carb). I wasn't going to fix it in 20 degree weather (they have a shop they go to anyway).

So I got my blower out and did 7 houses worth of walk and 2-car driveways (thing worked like a champ). The 2 neighbors shoveled steps and around cars. The wind was blowing at 50 plus and we all looked like snowmen when we were done. I think I have the same kind of neighbors you do in the mountains.

Milk River Madman said...

Buzz, that's a great story and very good of you to plow. I will usually plow the sidewalks on my street and any others I can find. As long as Lola is fired up, just as well put her to use. Two years ago I put 60 miles on Lola plowing the neighborhood. Had to buy a new cutting edge in the spring.

Tanaya said...

We also live in Belgrade and have discussed moving to Bozeman because I don't always (never) enjoy the commute, especially because I am always late and in a hurry. However, our number one reason for not moving is our great neighbors and friends we have met out here.

I shoveled everything last night at 6pm and you can hardly tell I did it. This morning, the kid and I are going to get our exercise doing it again.

Milk River Madman said...

Tanaya,
That was a lot of snow last night. I had two more inches this morning in River Rock. I took one pass down Casey's sidewalk then mine so that at least there was a path.