Farewell, Little Green

The day Clif and I had been dreading came to pass: After searching the Internet, Clif was not able to find a belt to fit Little Green, our trusty electric snow thrower. (Readers might recall that a rodent, probably a mouse, chewed through the old belt.) To write that we were disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how we felt.

First, we have become fond of Little Green. (Bound to happen, I suppose, when you have a propensity for naming inanimate objects.) For eight winters, plucky Little Green has been clearing our driveway and the paths to our bird feeders and compost bins. He has been a stalwart buddy.

Second, we hate, hate, hate to get rid of anything for want of a simple part. This goes completely against our philosophy of fixing things—with duct tape, when applicable—until they have fallen apart and can no longer be used.

But the time had come, we decided, to buy a replacement for Little Green. Winter is here, and neither Clif nor I relish the thought of hand shoveling the whole driveway after a good-sized storm. We did this when we were younger, but in our senior years the chore seems more daunting. So we ordered a new electric snow thrower that even comes with its own name: Snow Joe.

And just in time, too. A few days after Snow Joe arrived, we had a wet, heavy storm dumping snow that would have been a bear to hand shovel. With a minimum of fuss, Snow Joe did a fantastic job of taking care of that snow.

But still, we are sorry to lose Little Green. As a farewell, I took this picture of Clif between Little Green and Snow Joe.

Good-bye, Little Green. We will miss you very much.


Nifty Posts from Some of the Lovely Blogs I Read

I am absolutely smitten by this picture of a cardinal featured in Change Is Hard.

When Tanja Britton dreams of butterflies, her thoughts range as far and wide as the beautiful creatures she features on her blog.

Eliza Waters, with her wonderful photographs, illustrates just how enchanting a frozen landscape can be.

In Touring my Backyard, Ju-Lyn features a light show I would love to see.

From Thistles and Kiwis: Summer, beautiful summer in New Zealand.


I listen to a lot of podcasts, and one of my favorites is On Being. The show is more than a little woo-woo, but Krista Tippett, the host, often interviews guests who explore big questions and topics, some that are of our time and some that have been with us for ages.

Last week’s guest was Oliver Burkeman, a journalist who has written about the problem of time management. As the blurb on the On Being website puts it, “He [Burkeman] invites us into a new relationship with time, our technologies, and the power of limits — and thus with our mortality and with life itself.”

Well worth listening to, and Burkeman confirmed what I have been thinking: We can’t do it all, especially as we age. We have to pick and choose how we spend our time, which means saying no to some things that we might love. For me, focusing on my writing has meant saying no to having a dog, which takes a lot of time and energy. Alas, as I am someone who loves dogs. Also, to volunteering, which I have done since I was a young woman.

But if I don’t focus on my writing right now, when will I focus on it?

Have any of you made similar choices?


82 thoughts on “Farewell, Little Green”

    1. This made me laugh out loud, and I had to tell Clif about your museum idea for old snowblowers. I will take it one step further. How about a Pixar move about the old snowblowers? 😉

  1. Eight years was pretty good service, as things go. I share your frustration that we have to buy new for want of a small part. It seems so wasteful when we are trying to slow planetary consumerism.
    Thank you for the mention, ours is a beautiful frozen world these days!
    Stay warm… the mercury is dropping low tonight!

  2. Buy replacement belts now while you can get them and store in a vermin proof container.

  3. Great post, Laurie. I don’t name my appliances, but I can absolutely feel your pain in not being about to find the part you need to fix it. That goes against everything in my fibers. Even before there was talk of climate change, I was no fan of waste.

    1. Thanks, Jodie! There are so many of us who don’t like to waste, but the companies continue with planned obsolescence. Maybe they should be made responsible for the resulting waste.

  4. Sorry to hear about Little Green, Laurie. I also hate to get rid of an appliance because parts are no longer available. It’s a symptom of our throwaway society and one of the reasons the earth is suffocating in our trash. 😢
    I do appreciate the special mention, thank you very much.

  5. It’s a shame that Little Green has gone to that repair yard in the sky, but it’s good that you’ve already discovered that Snow Joe can handle the wet-and-heavy. You might consider purchasing a couple of extra belts, and storing them in a place where heat, cold, and critters can’t do them damage. Redundancy is a wonderful thing!

  6. Oh this is a big day! I think you should take that last photo of Clif with the snow blowers, and frame it! My dad just could never let go of anything that he thought was fixable, or still useful, and to our embarrassment, he once had a TV which had a picture but no sound, and one next to it, which had sound with no picture! Now that is extreme!
    I also listen to Krista Tippet on On Being occasionally, and I heard her interview with Oliver Burkeman…I thought it was really good, thought-provoking.

    1. Never thought of framing that photo. Thanks for the suggestion. And yay for your dad! Through interlibrary loan I’ve ordered Burkeman’s book. Very impressed with what he said.

  7. I suspect many appliances have a built-in obsolescence factor: one used to be able to replace the elements of electrical kettles and irons, for example, and now the whole item has to be discarded. I hear what you say about not being able to do everything – or as much – as we did when we were younger.

  8. This makes me think of our dishwasher dilemma. The one that’s in our house (we moved in June) is crap. It’s a Samsung, and they make great phones and TVs but not dishwashers. It doesn’t have an “air dry” setting so it bakes the spit-back crud onto the dishes and they come out dirtier than they went in. I really don’t have time to deal with this. But hate to spend the $700-1,000 required to replace it. Or just wash the d*** dishes by hand. First-world problem, I know, but I’ve had a dishwasher most of my adult life and it’s just normal now. Plus the rest of my household life sucks. And the kitchen TV has quit (it’s not a Samsung) so I can’t watch HGTV or Jeopardy! while I wash the d*** dishes! Poor pitiful me! 🙂

    1. Our dishwasher has gone, too. We now use it as a place to set wet dishes after washing, which eliminates the need for hand drying. After a while, water collects in the drain, but a wet vac takes care of that. Sorry about the TV. On my phone, I listen to podcasts while I’m doing chores like washing dishes that don’t require a lot of concentration. Lots of wonderful podcasts out there. Perhaps that could be a substitute for the television?

  9. Whew so glad to hear Snow Joe arrived before the most recent storm..I had visions of both of you knee deep in ths slush after seeing the blog title yesterday. Snow Joe is handsome a looks tad wider than Little Green.

  10. Sorry about trusty Little Green! I surely get what you are saying, as today I read that my 2012 MacBook Pro is now on Apple’s “obsolete list”. But, I think I can, I think I can….get another year out of it?

  11. Bye bye Little Green. 😦
    I have a fridge, that I bought 45 years ago ( it has been with me as long as my eldest child) that I couldn’t get a replacement part for and couldn’t bear to let it go, so now it’s a cupboard for craft stuff and in the garage.

  12. I totally understand how it’s possible to become attached to inanimate objects. They become can part of us, of who we are, and saying goodbye can be hard as we’re also filing away forever the experiences that have been shared. But your post is a suitable memorial to Little Green, a fitting tribute to a valued friend!

  13. Goodbye Little Green and welcome Snow Joe! Sorry you had to let go of the old one. I hope Snow Joe stays with you for years to come!!

    I love On Being and haven’t listened to that episode yet, but it’s showing up in a lot of the blogs I read. I’m going to have to look for it. My entire life is a list of competing interests… It can be overwhelming!! :p

    1. Thanks, Katie. Being overbusy is a huge curse, and I have been there many times in my life. Usually, I realized something had to go, but in my younger days it wasn’t until I was at the point of exhaustion that I started cutting. Now, in my elder years, I start slicing before I reach that state. After all, old age has to count for something. 😉

  14. Aww sorry to hear about Little Green Laurie and so glad to hear Snow Joe arrived just in time. It looks as if he already knows what to do! 😊💙

  15. Glad to see you got a replacement for Little Green and that you got snow in your neck of the woods. Along the coast we got sleet and rain. There is now a 1/4 inch of ice on my driveway and walkways. I think you could actually skate on our driveway.

    1. Phew! Dangerous to have that much ice on the driveway. Actually, our driveway is pretty slippery, too, even though we had snow along with the rain. Clif has sprinkled wood ash everywhere. Dirty, but it’s better than falling. Immediately taking off our shoes helps contain the dirt.

  16. I love that you have names for your handy helpers, though I does make parting more challenging. Like you, I’m dismayed by built in obsolescence. Mike and I both enjoy fixing and mending. I enjoyed your post, Laurie.

  17. R.I.P., Little Green. You served Cliff and Laurie well, and we’re all sorry to see you go. But Welcome, Snow Joe! You have some “big shoes” to fill, but you look up to the task. Yes, we all must make choices about how to spend our time. I’m sacrificing my writing — right now — for taking care of Monkey. Pups can be a lot of “trouble,” but their love, loyalty, and devotion make up for it. And Monkey provides a world of laughs!

  18. What a bummer! I know 8 years is regarded as a goof life expectancy for stuff these days but not in my book. I hope Snow Joe gives many years of faithful service. Does he come with a mousetrap?

      1. I hope so. Maybe you need to have words with that cat ornnament in your garden – could a bit of Great Library magic enable it to dter mice do you think?

  19. Aw, too bad for the want of a belt. If the new blower hadn’t come with a name, you could have called it little blue. And yes, writing requires choices, and for me the emotional space that allows creativity. A schedule and a bit of discipline helps me too. I’m still working on that…

  20. I know how it feels and I am glad Snow Joe arrived in time.

    Just yesterday I read a post from a friend saying good bye to her 8 years old car. She was quite sentimental and at the same time looking forward to her new SUV. That’s life I guess.

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