Are you ready and all prepared for winter?
Today is the last day of the warmer weather in southern Ontario. Temperatures start nosediving later today and it’s all downhill (literally, and I don’t ski) from then. We can look forward to snow, shovelling the white stuff, freezing temperatures, winds, walking in slush and snow, but I hope no freezing rain and ice storms of any kind. Every time I think of the big ice storm her of December 2013 I want to hide away.
Hide away is part of what I plan to do this winter. I will go out if I have to – business meetings, book promotion events, and some dinners with family and friends – but less than in spring, summer and fall. Weather permitting, I also want to go for a walk a few times a week (in daylight). I am hoping to keep the running around doing grocery errands to a bare minimum so have been doing my usual winter grocery stockup, particularly when items on my list are on sale. Now if someone with a car would only drive me to get thses groceries, the running around would be less. Taxis and having grocery stores deliver (the very few that do and I do like to pick out my groceries personally) are too expensive for my budget. Kind of crosses out buying on sale anyway.
So what are you doing to prepare for winter?
Besides the grocery stock-up, I have had the eavestroughs cleaned and other house and property-related winter repairs and the like done. And the garden and yard cleanup and the like is done except I have to put burlap on the junipers. Hoping to do that tomorrow. And for once I have my Christmas decorations up early (most before the end of November).
Now I’m looking at all the unread books to read and looking forward to curling up and reading them. And watching TV and listening to music/
And hoping one of the guys who shovelled my snow in past years will be available this winter.
At least I don’t have to worry about snow tires. Non-existent cars don’t need them.
Only Child Writes
Southern Ontario got blasted with a big snowstorm Sunday night into Monday – the first big one this season. Unlike winter sports enthusiasts and people who just love snow, I was and am not happy about all this. When I see people-on-the-street interviews on TV I just want to throw snowballs at the interviewees happy acceptance of snow.
Maybe if they had to shovel several driveways of snow in an afternoon they would change their minds. No, I didn’t. Had enough trouble shovelling my own driveway etc. Got part of it done and then came inside for a break. One of those itinerant snow shovellers knocked on my door to do the rest and $30 less later (Canadian so not really that much with the loonie’s rate under 80 cents on the dollar), it was cleared.
But my mind filled with worry isn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I may hate winter with a passion, but I can accept the deep-freeze temperatures as long as we get little or no precipitation. And we were doing so well in Toronto, Canada up to Sunday. Small or smallish amounts of snow would arrive and then it would gradually warm up and the snow would disappear. Sure, it looked bleak outside but when I walked around I was grateful that it was dry. Even the smallish amount of snow we got last Thursday could have melted slowly.
Then we got dumped with 20 cm. Sunday into Monday morning.
So why do I worry?
- Getting it cleared out, obviously.
- Being able to get around for errands, meetings and to see friends and family. That includes public transit, some of which can’t seem to handle even small amounts of snow (like the buses in my area).
- Connected to the above, there is the risk of falling in slush, ice (when that snow freezes over), etc. I’ve already fallen on ice once this year, although before the big snowstorm. Luckily my thick coat saved me from injury.
- The snow ploughs cometh and park the ploughed snow in inconvenient places. I have to keep an eye on where so they don’t cover up the cache basins in case of…see No. 5 below. And yesterday a big road plough backed up and hit a car behind it. I didn’t see that but I sure heard the woman yelling at the plough driver. I was backing her 100 per cent.
- The inevitable meltdown (of the snow, not me), which will probably include some rain somewhere down the road and then I have to worry about water getting into my basement. Why? The ground is frozen; there is a lot of snow on the ground, and when rain falls on it, it can’t all get absorbed into the ground. The evestroughs and downspouts are filled with ice and get blocked. Often we get a snow and rain mix (one after the other) to make it even worse. With the little snow we had up to Sunday and slow melts in the sun, even some rain would not have poured water into my basement.
- When accompanied by high winds, there is the worry of fallen trees, fallen tree branches, fallen utility wires, and power outages.
Although I see no beauty in snow, I was glad last evening after dark when I saw three boys around 12 or 13 throwing snowballs at each other from the snow piled up by the snow ploughs. At least they weren’t indoors on the computer. However, I was not outside, but looking out the window in my front door.
Remember, snow is a four-letter word.
Shovels up or should that be down?
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes