It has bugged me for a long time that Scott refuses to buy a snowblower. We have a pretty big, wide driveway and lots of sidewalk out front, but he insists on being "macho man" claiming he likes to shovel. "It's a good workout." Maybe so, but it takes a lot of time - time he could be using to do things he enjoys.
So. I took matters into my own hands yesterday after surveying the six inches of new snow in the driveway. I did some research on ConsumerReports.com and printed the "top ten snowblowers" survey. With my info in hand, I headed for Cal Ranch to check out the Honda brand. Nothing. Next stop was Sears to look at the Craftsmans. There I met a GOOD SALESMAN.
I have actually been wanting a snowblower for a long time - one that I could use myself early in the morning on snow that has fallen over night. I pictured myself going up and down the street cleaning all my neighbors' sidewalks. I'd like to return the favor just once to our next-door neighbors, the Pooles, who have pushed snow off our front sidewalk with their little plow hundreds of times over the twenty years we've lived here. With that goal in mind I looked at four different machines. I chose the smallest one - the one I thought I could handle. It had an electric starter which was my top priority since I've never been able to pull those pull things.
I could see the salesman wincing at my choice. He told me about how much his dad likes the bigger model and tried to impress upon me the need for a bigger auger and more horsepower. Then he talked me into going for a test run out in front of the store with that very model that they had for demos. I felt so stupid there in the parking lot of Sears and Smiths running a snowblower past the front of the store. But it did convince me that I could handle the larger machine...needed the larger machine.
Now is where the awesome customer service comes in. The salesman told me that I could buy a snowblower they had in the back - newly assembled - it even has gas in it, he said. You can take it home and use it right now. I'm kind of an instant gratification girl so I said OK, let's do it. We tried to load it into my car, but they decided (because of the gas) that they should deliver it. Mr. Salesman followed me home and unloaded the snowblower. (Oh, first he saw my neighbor next door on her little snowplow. She was actually stuck in a snowbank, so he went over and pushed her out. Customer service plus.)
He started the snowblower for me and I grabbed onto those big old handles with those big levers that make my small hands hurt, and I started blowing. My first time ever in my life running a snowblower. I was determined to get the driveway cleared off before Scott got home from work. It's tricky getting that chute to go in the right direction while trying to control the self-propelled snowblower (it kept propelling me) and going in a straight line. But I got the job done and felt downright proud of myself. I was so happy that I perched my camera on the garbage can and took a self-timer picture of myself. Then I headed to clear the front sidewalk and that went well. Wow, it was fast! I saw that my neighbor had missed a section on her driveway, so I decided to help out. About that time, I noticed that the snowblower smelled like gas and oil. Suddenly the motor sputtered and stopped. I had no idea how to start it up again. Rolling it back to the garage was the only thing I could do. It was a long walk. And I was worried that I'd ruined something.
I parked the snowblower in front of the garage and put a big red bow on it. I wrote Merry Belated Christmas on a post-it note (for lack of a better idea).
Scott got home from work and asked me who I got to clean the driveway and whose snowblower it was. He was satisfactorily surprised when I told him my story.
We had to go to the gym, so it was after our workout that we opened the instruction book and started the snowblower. It revved up, then stopped. Scott checked the gas and, I'll be darned, it was out of gas. Whew. I guess Mr. Salesman just put a cupful of gas in - enough to get me going. I was so relieved and so anxious to have Scott run the snowblower that I convinced him to add some lawnmower gas and check it out right then - in his shorts and gym shoes. I think he likes it!