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Didn't know until I tried

Snow tires are the best.

I had a 9am meeting here in town this morning. Ah, yes, after 10 years I have succumbed and am now serving on a committee to help the Town of Wales figure out what we're going to do with a piece of property the Town bought last year. When we scheduled this morning's tour of the house (built in 1875 or thereabouts), the snow wasn't expected to start falling until mid-morning. When I got in the Cardis to see if I could get up the driveway at 8:50am, there were already 4 inches of fresh white stuff on the ground. And, more importantly, on the driveway. The uphill, curved, 275' driveway.

For the first several years I lived here, there'd be a few times each winter when it took both a running start and multiple tries to get up the driveway after 2-3 inches of snow, before it was plowed. Heck, sometimes it would take a couple of tries even after it had been plowed and sanded, though the time I had to call AAA for a tow wasn't one of those.

Then I bought snow tires. I haven't had to back up and try again once since then, but I've also not tried getting up the driveway through 4 inches. I didn't know if I'd make it out this morning, but those snow tires carried the Cardis right up that hill and out onto Monson Road without complaint or hesitation. I didn't even hit that point of hoping, hoping, hoping the car had enough momentum to carry it up the steepest bit. It just plain went.

The Road Commissioner, who couldn't be at the tour because he and his crew are all out plowing roads, had plowed out the utterly flat, wide driveway at the house we were touring, which is right on Hwy 19. So we all had a place to park. Win. He'd even warned us all in email yesterday afternoon to not park alongside the road itself as the state highway plows and sanders would be coming through.

Seeing the house, getting a feel for the space and how much clean-up work will be involved...it was all great. I even got to wear my Geri Sullivan, Girl Homeowner hat a few times. From my early days at Toad Hall, I knew that a small tank in an attic crawl space that one of the guys didn't recognize is quite likely an overflow tank for the hot water heating system. And from my more recent years here at Toad Woods, I was able to point out the well pump and an inline water filter to a couple of the women as we were exploring the basement. And when one of the guys pointed out how a load-bearing wall had been removed, I knew enough about how support pillars should work to see the problem he pointed out in how the pillar had been installed. Doing it over so it's right won't be a big deal and the house itself feels both spacious and solid.

A good start to a snowy Saturday!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 24th, 2015 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, snow tires!
Jan. 24th, 2015 06:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, snow tires; our little Hyundai is so light that I'm actually thinking of getting snow tires.

It sounds like you had fun touring the house and I imagine it will take a little time to decide what on earth to do with it.

Good luck with both tires and house!

Edited at 2015-01-24 06:52 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2015 01:02 am (UTC)
kewl, both things
Our house still has a coal chute, which is covered up by the deck on the side of the house. And the overflow tank was in the basement. They told me about it when we got the new system (it's circulated water, not under much pressure). I don't remember whether they just left it or what, it is not needed in the new furnace.

Yaay for snow tires.
Jan. 26th, 2015 03:00 am (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2015 03:16 am (UTC)
This is great !
Jan. 26th, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
I am contemplating buying snow tires for the Hobbit, for the Winter commutes to Concord. I don't like the cost (both for the tires and the gas mileage), but I would feel a lot safer...
Jan. 27th, 2015 01:00 am (UTC)
FWIW, the mileage on my Cardis drops 1.5-2 mpg when the snow tires are on. From a solid 30 mpg to somewhere between 28 and 29 mpg. That's less than the mileage hit that comes with 4-wheel/AWD, which I was looking at getting in my next car due only to my challenging driveway. I've also been pleasantly surprised at how long the snow tires are lasting; they're soft rubber, etc. and the Firestone guy told me snows typically only last a couple of seasons. Mine are now on their 4th winter and doing fine.

When I get my next car, I plan to buy an extra set of wheels and leave the snow tires mounted on them. It will take some years to earn back the expense on those, but it's something like $60/changeover and that cost will drop a lot once it doesn't include moving tires on and off the wheels every time.

Feeling safe is worth a lot, more so as we age from what I've noticed.
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC)
I had forgotten about the change-over cost -- investing in extra wheels sounds like a smart plan.

Safety is definitely higher and higher on my list, as the years go on.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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