Hurling stones. To hurl. By definition, this descriptive word means “to throw or fling with great force or vigor”. It also means “to throw a missile”, which is probably how Dad felt after that extension cord incident. Of course, you probably know that “hurling” also alludes to projectile vomiting. This also is probably what my Dad felt like doing when that happened.
Many years after that fond memory, I finally bought a snowblower of my own. I was mighty proud of it, too. The first winter season that I had it brought quite a few opportunities to use it. Exactly what a new snowblower owner wants to see!
During one of those heavy snowfalls, I had my snowblower out and was really getting used to how great it was. I finished up our driveway and looked around to see if a neighbor’s drive needed assistance. The neighbor on one side was set, but the other one was a single lady. Her drive hadn’t been done yet, so I started in on it. Being a brand new snowblower owner, I was also new at taking stock of an unfamiliar driveway. Being a neighbor, though, you’d think I would remember the layout of a driveway and its surrounding landscape, right?
I started in on it, very proud of myself for being able to help a neighbor like this. As I worked up the driveway, I noticed that she had her SUV parked by the front of her house. I worked my way around the SUV to her front stoop and started to clear that. I had forgotten, though, that her front stoop didn’t just edge up to her driveway. It had a two-foot-wide piece of sidewalk about a foot long that joined the two, up by the house. The rest of that space between the front stoop and the driveway was covered with stones. Big ones, from the size of golf balls to small oblong potatoes. It was then that I received my revelation: It is extremely important to know the layout of your surroundings when clearing someone else’s driveway with a snowblower!
When my snowblower found those stones hibernating beneath the freshly fallen snow, they very quickly and loudly came to life. I know because I heard three quick successions of THOCK! THOCK! THOCK! as three stones launched themselves through the chute of my snowblower and sailed through the air towards her SUV. Everything became slow motion at that point. From their launched trajectory, it was hard to determine where exactly they would land. All I knew was they were heading in the general vicinity of her SUV. That was enough for me to have my heart in my throat and send up a quick bout of earnest prayers to God above. As they began their downward decent, however, it became evident that they were going to land somewhere behind and just shy of her vehicle. I was thrilled! And a little vexed at myself for allowing this slight oversight.
So walk away from this little story with an important life lesson: Always know your surroundings!