I have been known, on occasion, to dig my heels in over the wrong issue. When this occurs, I often find that I am in a situation where I am pushing myself beyond my safe physical limits. This past Monday, I found myself in this familiar predicament of starting a project which common sense would tell me to avoid.
Scott woke up with the stomach flu which had rendered him down for the count. I sat in my living room watching the snow pile up on the driveway, fretting over its removal. I became hyper-focused on the fact that we were not going to be able to drive to the hospital should something happen. I hate feeling vulnerable, so I decided to take hold of the situation.
Although I have had no experience driving the John Deere plow, I had full confidence that I would be able to figure it out. After all, how difficult could it be? I am an educated woman who is fully capable of pushing snow off the driveway. I bundled up and headed to the garage to conquer the plow.
Starting the machine was my first obstacle. I am embarrassed to admit that it took me at least 10 minutes before I had the engine humming. Apparently the steps need to be completed in a precise sequence in order for the mower to start. Satisfied that the hardest task was behind me, I inched the mower/plow out of the garage and prepared to clean the driveway.
It definitely took me awhile to get the hang of the operating the plow, but before I knew it, I was creating a wide swath of clean asphalt. I am sure that creating some sort of pattern in my swipes would have been beneficial, but I wasn't agile enough with the machine to make that happen. Instead of plowing in an orderly pattern, I adopted the "if I see snow, I'll try to push it to the side" mentality. It worked, but it certainly wasn't efficient or pretty! At one point I was feeling so proud, or perhaps cocky, that I stared serenading myself with the theme song from "Bob the Builder" as I pushed the snow out of my way.
Unfortunately my snow removal attempt was not without a few mishaps. The pedals to go forward and backward are nearly identical and I continually confused them. In an attempt to go backwards I pushed the wrong pedal, accidentally plowing down our previously neatly stacked wood pile. To my dismay, my heirloom hydrangea bush was also the victim of a similar pedal mishap. In the spring I will have to reseed a portion of my front yard which is approximately two plow widths wide. Thankfully Mr. Bill has a forgiving heart, because I also have to reseed a large section of his side yard. Those pedals really should be differentiated better!
After two hours and some collateral damage, the driveway was clear of snow. I felt the surge of adrenaline which comes from accomplishing a new task as I triumphantly drove the plow down the driveway towards the garage. Unfortunately I managed to drive the tractor off of the asphalt and into the woods, stranding the machine in the high snow.
It's a good thing that I had plowed Mr. Bill's driveway because he was able to come to my rescue and tow the mower out of the woods. He only asked for one thing as compensation: a promise that I was done plowing for the day. After my adventures behind the wheel, I was happy to oblige.