Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vibration: Occupational Hazard

I'm talking today about the giant vibrating machine I spent most of yesterday with.

My snow blower. The machine that throws the snow around in my driveway. (You people all have filthy minds, you know that?) Ahem.

Yesterday I woke up to a lovely blanket of freshly fallen snow. *Cue the sleigh bells.* After an appropriate amount of time spent gazing at the picturesque vista, I decided that I did, in fact, want to be able to leave the house at some point before April, and therefore would have to break out the snow-blower to clear the driveway.

I dragged that big monster out of the garage. Throttle, choke, and away we go. With my iPod cranked up to top volume to compete with the engine noise, I bopped up and down the driveway, snow flying merrily in all directions (and then I figured out how to work the thingy that turns the chute the snow flies out of - the first big snowfall of the year is always a re-learning experience).

Hours later, after I'd reached the point of cursing the fact that the driveway is so darn big (do we really need that circle cleared? What about the spot where my sister always parks? Does she really need a parking space?), I shut off the blower. Pleased with a job well done, I rolled that puppy back into the garage.

That's when I noticed it. My hands weren't working properly.

Apparently, clinging to a giant vibrating machine for extended periods of time can really mess with your fine motor skills. My hands were numb, achy and stiff. Which, usually, wouldn't be a problem. But, see, I had this great plan for yesterday. Step One: Snowblow the driveway. Step Two: Complete Edits and return them to my editor.

Step Two became a lot harder to accomplish when I couldn't type. Even my mouse-clicking ability was distinctly sub-par.

It's funny the things you take for granted. I don't often think about how much I love my hands, and being able to use them. It hadn't even occurred to me that snow-blowing the driveway was something I should probably do after completing my necessary computer tasks for the day.

My usual light-speed typing was a fond memory. I stumbled clumsily along making typo after typo, where normally my fingers would fly lightly across the keys, easily keeping pace with my thoughts. (As an experiment, I then sat down at the piano for a bit - it wasn't pretty, folks.)

Thankfully, my hands are back to normal. It only took an hour or so before I was back to my usual fleet-fingered self. But it was a fun lesson to remember: don't overlook the little stuff. Manual dexterity is something to be grateful for. And stay away from giant vibrating machines.



Sounds like my typical, everyday typing skills.

Leah Braemel said...

Oh, wow. I never thought of that. I was considering buying a snowblower this year (which probably has you laughing since I live FAR south of you) If I do, I'll have to remember the order - type first, blow later. (boy does that sound filthy!)

Vivi Andrews said...

You could always get one of those fancy riding ones, Leah. I covet my neighbor's riding snowblower.