And the snow thrower winner is …



The Troy-Bilt giveaway concludes:

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your wonderful snow stories! They really ran the gamut from lighthearted to horrifying.

There was blizzard fun, like Vera Patrick’s saucer run from the garage roof, Benjamin’s Halloween igloo, Peg’s snowball fights, and Kim’s neighborhood party:

Garden Man plunked beer and sodas into the snow by the mailbox, packed some snow into a seat and continued visiting with the guys – it was a fun, festive time and quite the sight. But we were younger then and didn’t need a snow blower.

Then there is the horror of being shut indoors for days on end, as Kathy vividly describes:

Towards the end, I was reduced to pacing around the house, looking out the window, looking for–what? For something green, I think, though even the soggy, squishy remains of what was once grass–how many months ago?–would have been a welcome sight after looking at snow for so many months. I didn’t sleep well at nights. The kids were driving me nuts. They were driving each other nuts.

I’m very familiar with the camaraderie a snowstorm can bring, as Gina tells:

There we stood shoveling snow, me (as excited as a 5 year old), my guy looking like hell and running a fever of 101 and the butcher from the meat place, his apron covered in blood, shoveling my car out of the parking lot. I know that day was supposed to suck really bad, but I absolutely loved it. I eventually made it to work and later called all my southern friends to tell them my story.

HB entertainingly relates another such tale:

We were screwed, oh so screwed. And then, this nice couple, who had never met us, loaned us their 4WD Jeep so we could drive 30 minutes to our apartment, on the promise we’d bring the Jeep back. We could not believe it. By the time we got home (normally 30 minute drive, but that night a 60 minute drive) there was almost 2 feet of snow and the state of CT had shut down.

I loved Comonweeder’s tale of toughing it out:

Halfway to our road we met the plow and followed it to our unpaved road which was not going to get plowed. We parked the car and started walking in. It was very cold, the snow was soft. Everytime we took a step we sank knee deep. Every step. After going about 50 feet I told Henry I didn’t think I could walk the mile and a quarter. He said the pipes will freeze. I walked.

And then there are those, like Patti, who have already had storms this early in the season:

Yes, we could use a new snowblower. We do have one, of course, but it just broke when my husband was blowing out the snow from the big snowfall we got 2 days before Halloween. It is old and breaks down often.

And Traveling Mel:

We just had a snowstorm a couple weeks ago here in Livingston, Montana. It covered our neighborhood in nivean bliss. The snow is melted now, but I’m sure it will be back before too long.

Difficult to categorize SJ’s bizarre tale of the suspended Monte Carlo:

We rounded the Park onto the road that runs between it and the lake, and were confronted with a 5 foot tall snow drift.
My brother, ever the adventurer, decided it needed a good ramming, Dukes of Hazard style.

I thought it was neat that Barbara decided to inaugurate her new blog with a snow story from Hell’s Kitchen.

Oh right, the winner. VERY VERY difficult, of course, but I’ve got to go with Commweeder in Western MA. Her story is great, and I know that area, as well as that part of New York state, gets more than its share of snow (probably all the snow Buffalo is supposed to get). Congratulations, Commonweeder!

I gotta say, this is one gift I wouldn’t have minded keeping myself!

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Brrrrrrrrrr.
    Oh such cold cold stories !
    So glad I’m past those days. ( permanently retired from New England life !)
    If the snow gets too deep this coming winter , y’all are welcome to visit California , where I’ll still be bent over in my bright red rain suit pulling weeds.
    If its not one thing its another
    ( but personally I’ll take weeding over snow blowing anyday ! )

    Enjoy the new snowblower CommonWeeder !

  2. Yay Commweeder!

    I just had two wiry young lads stop by offering to rake leaves for my “best offer.” I told them to come back during snow season as I would absolutely pay them to shovel the driveway…

    Who needs snowblowers? 😉

  3. Congratulations, Commonweeder! All I can say is I’m thankful I don’t live where you do and get the kind of snow you get. You need this snowblower. 🙂

  4. I’m here to out our winner coz I happen to know she’s online elsewhere with a whole name, photo, and little bio:
    She and I were the garden writers for a new website called, which seemed to last about 6 weeks. That’s how long we wrote for them – and were paid well! – before they stopped adding new content. Waaaah!~

    (Btw, eliz had no idea I know Commonweeder and I had no input in choosing the winner.)

  5. Thank for the “you forced me” to start a blog! Now, if I can only figure out how to add photos! Too nice out to fuss at the computer today – – making more trails in the forest!

  6. Elizabeth – Thank you. The tale of our worst blizzard is one of our favorites ‘Heath stories’. When I worked at the local community college I’d come in with news of the latest doings in Heath and my co-workers would look at me dubiously and ask, “Is this another Heath Story?” I got a million of ’em. I also want to say that after that blizzard we took the advice of our 85 year old neighbor. In her youth Mabel would drive through the snowbelt forests in her flivver singing hymns as she travelled to three Seventh Day Adventist churches on Sundays where she served as lay pastor. They couldn’t find a man who was man enough for that rough travel. Anyway, Mabel taught us about snowbreaks. We planted three rows of pines and balsams that grew quickly along the road. Our town road crew has had no trouble since.
    Susan, thanks for remembering our brief sojourn as comrades at

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