Why we chose a snowblower instead of a snow plow

The property is 2.76 acres.  Enough that our “normal” lawnmower would not work.  We knew that we needed a riding lawnmower but after almost 38 years of having our own lawns, we had never had this much to mow.  Time for research.

There are so many options and some of the people we talked to knew less about the lawnmowers that we knew.  We wanted something that would last, was a quality mower and capable of mowing the amount of land we had. I wanted Dave to be comfortable and safe.

Dave was particularly interested in adding a snow plow and maybe a bagging system to pick up the cut grass.  We were drowning in information about features, horsepower and turning radius.  After several hours and several stores we were more confused than ever.

We stopped at Home Depot and looked over their selection.  I give credit to the young man who was helping us because he admitted he did not know some of the answers but he knew who would.  June came over and listened.

“Do you have trees?,” she asked.  I thought she was going to talk about mowing around them.

“Plowing your driveway will cause drifts, just as the trees will.  Consider a walk behind snow blower instead.”  She then explained how the snow would be thrown further away from the driveway and that we would avoid a drifting problem.  Melting would be spread over a bigger area and would not become the issue that large snow mounds would.

“But this is a long driveway,” my husband said.  Neither of our last two houses had a drive way, so I guess it is all relative.  We’ve always had to park on the street.

“My driveway is 400 feet,” June answered.  She had us beat.  She then explained how it was faster to fire up the snow blower than it was to plow the driveway.  Suddenly, a plow was off the shopping list and we made a mental note to shop for a snow blower in the fall.

lawnmower

“Try the zero turn,” she suggested.  We didn’t think we needed that much machine.  It mows faster, closer and is more comfortable.  Comfortable caught my husband’s attention.

“Take a seat,” June urged.  My husband’s eyes lit up as he settled into the seat and realized he could stretch out his legs.  David has bad knees so he quickly saw the benefits.  I knew if he ever needed knee replacement surgery, he could still mow the lawn using this machine.  There are no foot petals, everything is done with the handles.  Once he checked out the location of the cup holder, I think his mind was made up.

As soon as the closing takes place, the first thing we will buy is that lawn mower.

The first time

It was a Friday night May 3, 2013 and my husband suggested we go for a drive.  In my mind, I’m hearing, “I don’t have to cook, yeah.”

“I want to drive past a property first,” he says.  Here we go again.  We’ve been doing this on and off now for months.  We’ve never been able to find something within our budget, in a location that we liked, with extra space and that “just felt right.”  We’ve been doing a lot of driving around.

Most properties were too low and prone to flooding.  Some were too bare – no trees at all.  Others were too steep.  Needless to say, the hilly ones were not in NW Ohio which is generally flat as a pancake.  We were looking in Southern Ohio and North Carolina.  The location did not matter a whole lot, my main goal was to shovel the least amount of snow possible.  Since my husband’s heart attack in 2010, I’ve had to do all the snow shoveling.  I did not like winter before.  Now I like it even less. In a few years Dave would be retiring and I wanted to be settled by then.

We started looking closer to home when we realized a long term move might be the easiest way to make this work. The house we would buy would need work, the business needs to be in a stable environment. I don’t want to shut down business during construction. By doing the remodel in one house and keeping the business temporarily in the other, we can have the best of both worlds.

View of the house from the foot of the driveway
View of the house from the foot of the driveway

We arrived on the property and confirmed that it was empty and got permission to walk around.  The grounds were horribly overgrown but I could see that someone once loved this small piece of ground.  There were fruit trees, I wasn’t sure which kind.  I spotted berries, lilacs and some weed covered evergreens.  There was potential here.

aerial

All weekend we talked about it, beginning to imagine ourselves there.  Suddenly we realized that we both liked the property and we’d better make an offer before it got sold.  On Monday we made an appointment with a realtor and wrote up an offer.  By Friday we had heard it was rejected.  We were leaving town on Sunday so we prepared another offer that would be submitted the next week.  Before that could happen we got a phone call on Monday that our offer was accepted.

Then panic and reality set in.