Friday, December 12, 2008

Arrival of the Snow Blower

"Hello?" I murmured, having rolled out of my snuggly nest of sheets and comforters and multiple pillows to answer the phone. It was around 6:30 and darkness still cloaked the world outside. I wondered if Dad was calling to say he was leaving the house, but smiled when he informed me that he was down the road, had obtained coffee for us and would be here shortly.

I walked downstairs in my pajamas, opening the door to the garage to flip the switches, illuminating my bulbs outside. Shivering when I closed the door, I turned on the television, found The Weather Channel (Dad likes The Weather Channel) and told Chienne her grandpa was on his way. Her eyes widened and ears perked before her tail began to wag with frantic anticipation. I sat on the loveseat, feeling similarly eager. I'm feeling better - still slow and shaky, but regaining my color and ability to function.

"Hi!" I greeted Dad when he opened the door but was firmly pushed aside by an ecstatic and overly large canine. When Chienne finally calmed a tiny bit, he handed me a lidded cup and we sat down to talk. His white beard has grown longer and I realized the happy anticipation we felt before his arrival was rather seasonal. He looks a bit like Santa.

"Are you staying overnight?" I asked, wondering if he'd left his bag in the car.

"No," he answered. "I just brought the snow blower for you. We'll get it put together and running and then I'll drive back home."

"But it's so far," I noted with a frown. I nodded when he said he liked to drive - he could listen to the radio real loud and slam on the brakes when someone followed too close and wasn't at home to hear Mom complain at him. I smiled and tugged on my jacket to follow him out in the garage, watching as he moved the giant box out of Mom's Jeep and ripped one side open to reveal the shiny machine.

We tightened some knobs to raise and secure the handle. We filled the oil and gas tanks. He taught me how to start it - turn choke to the left, move lever halfway between turtle and bunny, plug in, press button. Then when it starts to go 'blub, blub, blub' I am to turn the choke back to the right, unplug and push on the handles to start the snow-picker-upper blades and the self-propelled action. Then I jump, startled, and begin to chase the shiny machine as it moves along, merrily flinging snow.

"Remember to turn this handle," Dad advised as he moved the black plastic that controlled the snow that the snow-picker-upper blades picked up, "and pay attention to the wind. If you blow the wrong way, you'll get a bunch of snow in your face." Then, when I was at the end of the sidewalk, sputtering as bits of snow and ice bombarded my face, he walked over and turned the handle for me. I offered a grateful smile and continued on my way.

I bought him breakfast and listened to his stories while picking at toast with jelly. Then he drove me back to the house, departing after hugs and kisses and final snow removal instructions. I waved and acknowledged that I didn't realize how much I'd missed my parents until I'd seen Daddy walk through the door.

"I'll see you next weekend," I told him as we hugged goodbye. And, for the first time in my house with sparse decorations and few presents purchased, I began to grow happy about Christmas. My present is drying off in the garage.

7 comments:

saxifraga said...

Sounds like a nice day. Reading your posts about your family always makes me miss mine a little and wish I was closer to them.

Anonymous said...

Snowblowing sounds like fun!

"Hi!" I greeted when my father opened the door but was firmly pushed aside by an ecstatic and overly large canine.

"Greeted" is an obligatorily transitive verb. Hence, your sentence is ungrammatical.

post-doc said...

Saxifraga:
They're lovely, my parents. I sometimes forget and then wish I was closer (and had more time) when I remember.

Jenn said...

hmmm.... makes me miss home too. Maybe postdoc job will bring me closer? Happy Snow blowing!

seekingacademia said...

yay for a snowblower!

Mark van Tuel said...

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Nick said...

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- Nick :)

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