Ask five Montanans what time is appropriate to start snow blowing, and you'll get five different answers. Snow blowing etiquette exists, but snow blowing TOLERANCE is more important.

This is Montana and the weather can get wicked. It sounds so obvious, but I feel like people forget that living here can be tough. A safe path in and out of your house is one of the most important things we have to maintain in the winter.

There have been COUNTLESS online rants from Montanans who don't like what time their neighbors clear their driveways and sidewalks. A small sampling of recent comments include:

  • "Is there a number I can call with the city to report someone who is using his snow blower before 8am? Every time it snows he wakes me up."
  • "Why can't people get their driveways cleared before dark? Dinner time is not appropriate." (REALLY??????)
  • "My neighbor uses a snow plow on his truck to clear his driveway really early in the morning. Is that legal?"

Suck it up, folks, and quit bitching about your neighbors who get an early (or late) start. Be thankful that your neighbors care enough to clear their driveways and walkways at all. We've all lived next to "that house" that refuses to shovel until they get a notice from the city.

Snow blowing is loud. I get it. It's also really effective and efficient when there are several inches of snow on the ground. Even shoveling snow is pretty loud. But clearing snow is necessary and people simply have to do it as their schedule allows. That might be very early in the morning or quite late at night. Our jobs and schedules are all different so unless you're willing to take care of their driveway and sidewalk "at a decent hour" yourself, bite your tongue and just deal with it.

It's possible that "new" Montanans are drowning out tougher Montanans with their whining. Those same whiners might also have plenty of money to pay someone to show up every time it snows to plow their stuff. Most people I know do not have that luxury. People work hard around here just to pay the bills and sometimes those jobs have unusual hours.

Show some tolerance to your neighbors who have to be at work at 6am or don't get home until 11pm. Snow removal has to get done somehow and they're doing the best they can with the schedule they have. It's not like they're blasting Primus at 1am on a Wednesday. Go ahead and get pissed off about that, but not the snow blowing.

Photo by Elias Null on Unsplash
Photo by Elias Null on Unsplash

In a world where there are plenty of valid things to be displeased about, snow blower noise shouldn't be one of them. Personally, I don't love my neighbors who mow their lawns at 9:45pm in the summer when everyone has their windows open. I've been in bed for 2 hours by then. Annoying? Very much so, but I don't complain about it because that just happens to be the time they can get it done. Suck it up, Montana. We're tougher than this.

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