If it isn’t the truck, it’s the plow. If it isn’t the plow, it’s the truck. For the first few weeks of January, the truck has been running great and pushing snow like a champ, that is, until this past holiday weekend. With the three day weekend, I worked at moving heavy, slushy snow from the easement. One night as I worked, the plow truck became stuck in the slush on my driveway while in 4 wheel drive and tire chains on all 4 tires. I dug myself out and continued ignoring the omen. Within less than five minutes of my new found liberty, the plow blade fell off its mounts and into the snow. Six hundred pounds, an eight pound sledge, two small pieces of 2×4 wood, 2 ball pin hammers, flash light, a wife with extreme patience behind the wheel and at the plow joystick, the use of leverage, and the my mad mumblings similar to Ralphy on the Christmas Story; I managed to reinstate the plow blade back on its mounts and back into business. But, not without my plow blade being forever named Scut Farkus.
The next day I began to plow gain and proceeded to make headway removing the slush that is impassible for our PT Cruiser and almost so for our 4 wheel drive Suburban. That is until; the plow blade fell off into the slushy snow again. Same grunting, spitting madness to lift and reset the plow onto its mounts; this time it only took forty-five minutes verses the two hours the night before. I miss interpreted the problem and bought a $15 clamp to temporarily fix the plow and get it into action again. Fifteen minutes of plowing, the blade fell off its mounts again. At this point the third time is the charm to make me realize something is seriously wrong with this thing. Turns out the solid inch metal rod that holds the blade in place on one side had broke inside its mount. Each time I mounted the broken piece, it was blocked by the other broken half hidden up inside the mount far enough to not notice. I tried to drive the broken piece out of the mount, but it was mistakenly welded into the casing.
At this point, I know that stubbornness can get me only so far and that is mounting the plow blade a fourth time. Thinking about lifting that 600 lb. blade again gave me the humility required to raise the white flag and surrender. At this point, my extra day off was spent calling for a welder and planning to have the truck worked on by someone who has the ability to make this snow plow like new again.
Today, I am hunting for replacement parts for the welding shop. Now as I evaluate my snow plow truck, I am reconsidering the word investment and replacing it with the word nightmare. I am still at this time ahead of the economic curve if I had bought a newer plow truck by the time everything is fixed, but the headaches and back aches. My wife and I also had to acquiesce to hike the easement each morning for a week to leave the property for school and work. Our son has been a trooper about it and sees the adventure while I see the humor of trudging with computer bag in hand, dressed in rain gear over my work clothes just in case I have to crawl under the car to install the chains again. Our Suburban is now our shuttle service to the PT Cruiser as our driveway/easement requires the lift and 4 wheel drive to traverse the deep ruts made from the slushy snow.
When it comes to nature, she makes a mockery of us all who want to live sustainably with her. Modern conveniences become not so convenient. Tools rust, wear, break, and need constant maintenance and replacing. The reason I name this blog living a sustainable dream was twofold. It was the satisfaction of living more sustainable and surviving in harmony with nature, but it was also the realization that to be totally sustainable in our world is as elusive as a dream. That doesn’t mean that I will stop trying; it just means I will have a few setbacks once in a while chasing our sustainable dream.