By Anessa V. Cohen

Each year, we all go through the motions of getting ready for the winter as part of the rite of passage of transitioning from season to season. We start our inventory of snow equipment needed to help us get through the snowfalls that will plague us during the winter season, lining up our snow shovels, both electric and regular, various brooms, icebreakers, ice-scrapers, and, if we really decided to go for the big splurge, the snow-blower!

I bought my first snow-blower about ten years back, congratulating myself on being progressive and being the first on my block to have the equipment to facilitate a really smooth line on my sidewalks and driveway in a fraction of the time it took me previously by hand with my trusty snow shovel.

Fast-forward to Superstorm Sandy; like the rest of the items in my garage, I said my goodbyes to that snow-blower. Off I went to buy a new snow-blower to replace my now-destroyed old one.

As I shopped, I figured that if I am already purchasing a new snow-blower, I should take advantage and buy a model with certain improved modifications to assist me in clearing the snow even faster and in a more efficient way than the old model had managed.

So with that in mind, I decided that if I bought a model that was twice as wide as the old one, I would automatically finish the job in half the time. This was a no-brainer. That it would also have two speeds in reverse seemed like a big luxury–less pulling to get the blower in the right position. Definitely a must-have! The only real issue remaining was where I would store this monster until I was ready to use it.

My husband, who had come along to help decide which snow-blower would suit us best, found himself drawn to the snow-blower with a seat (sort of like a small tractor with a snow blade). His slant on this purchase was if we were already buying a monster-size snow-blower, why not go for broke and get this mini-tractor-size snow-blower? Then we could shovel the snow from the comfort of a seat; we could even sip coffee as we maneuvered through the snow, like riding in a mini convertible!

I obviously really liked this idea, and we started to think about what a great addition to our garage this would make. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we would have to decide what was more important to have in our garage: one of our cars or this mini-tractor-size snow-blower. All we need to clear at our house is our driveway, the sidewalk, and the front walk of our house; we are not living on an estate with a half-mile driveway which might put this snow-blower to good use. I started to realize that if we bought this, my husband would probably end up outdoors until dark, driving up and down the streets, from neighbor to neighbor, with his new toy–and then the gas bill alone would probably be the cost of one of the cars for a year!

So in the end we bought the monster-size double-wide snow-blower without the seat and took it home to prepare for the coming winter. Boy, did we think we were ready for anything!

How were we to know that for the next few years following Sandy, just about all the snowfalls would occur on Shabbos? Not only would we be unable to take out our trusty snow-blower–or even our regular shovels and brooms–but we would have to trudge through whatever snow fell until motzaei Shabbos when we could finally go out and clean up.

Man plans and G-d laughs!

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (FM Home Loans) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to

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