And here’s another winner


This is for the Troy-Bilt story-sharing snow thrower contest.

John wins his choice of the Flurry 1400 or the 3090XP for his comment. I chose it because it was about snow fun. I regret to say I haven't had this kind of fun in the snow for many years. Maybe this year! (Though I'll try to avoid ending up in a pond.) Here's the story:

I remember a winter storm back in the late 70’s that dropped snow or freezing rain for more than a week. Everything was closed and the city had enforced a curfew to keep people from driving on the roads. We were a group of college kids that pooled our resources and kept our spirits up while waiting for the day when it would all be over. On the first sunny day we bundled up and waddled like penguins around the wonderland and ended up at our neighborhood park. Along the way some found flattened cardboard boxes and other such makeshift sleds. My friend and I found an old clear plastic shower curtain which we were convinced could out-perform everything else. The group of us had big plans to slide from the far side of the park all the way back to our street which would only involve dodging a few large trees, a rock wall at the entrance to the golf course and then somehow slalom our way past the duck pond and keep up the momentum until we hit the curb we started out on. It became a contest. It all sounded so simple but once we got onto the frozen fields we realized that climbing that tiny hill was next to impossible with our no-traction tennis shoes, one sliding step forward usually ended up with us sliding two steps back. All the cardboarders gave up and slid around at the base of the hill but my teammate and I eventually made it to the top. After getting everyone’s attention we belly flopped onto the sheet of plastic and very slowly started down the hill. Even people not in our group were cheering as we parade-float waved going past them in a very slow slide (this was on the flat flat prairie after all). After we successfully maneuvered the first couple of turns and dodged the biggest trees we were feeling cocky and started to goof off which only brought more laughs from the crowd. What we failed to notice was that all the terrain sloped gently TOWARDS the pond which was covered with ice but probably not thick enough to skate on. By the time it became clear we were moving way to fast to stop and there are no brakes on shower curtains. Laughing harder than I have ever laughed we slid out over the bent over grasses along the pond’s edge, slid past the ducks and completely across the center of the pond. We hit the far bank hard enough to knock us up into the air. The crowd scamperred to our rescue as we scrambled to get our footing on the slippery shower curtain. We watched in slow motion as the ice beneath us cracked and murky water gushed up under the clear plastic. Our exit from the “sled” was a lot like two cartoon characters trying to climb over each other to make it to the safety of the pond’s bank. Everyone got a good laugh that day and now, no matter how deep the snow is I remember all the tiny (or dangerous) details of that curtain ride before I suggest sliding down a hill “just for fun”.

Previous articleEdible Landscaping Book – We Have a Winner
Next articleGardenRant Cocktail Hour: British Invasion
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. Yay for me!! On the one hand I live in Raleigh North Carolina where we might need to blow snow 3 or 4 times a year at most, but on the other hand I live outside the city with no city services so any snow removal is completely up to me and I have a long driveway.

    Thank you very much.

Comments are closed.