Prepared for Winter?

After an initial dusting of snow two weeks ago, I thought I was totally ready for winter. There are many products on the shelves at Lowe’s or the local supermarket and I thought I had them all, but apparently one thing I missed was a spray on product with a built-in scraper that somehow “burns off” ice on the windshield. Richie showed up to plow the upper parking area (no hope for using the driveway and the back door!) on Thursday morning. While I had contracted for plowing, I wasn’t sure how it worked especially since my car was parked where the plow had to go. The stairs were totally hidden from view by 6-8 inches of snow and, for the first time since moving here, I felt a pang of something which I think was fear of being trapped inside! Richie made a path down the stairs to get my car keys, pulled the car out, plowed, and pulled it back in at which point he told me about the ice melt for windshields product. Needless to say I bought two of them today and sent Rachel home with one.

It occurred to me right at the moment of wondering when the snowplow would come that my entire way of thinking about leaving the house changed as the snow kept falling. Several friends in Florida thought it was wonderful and romantic that we had a white Christmas, that the snow in the woods is absolutely beautiful and so quiet and lovely. That’s all true. How nice it is to sit in front of a roaring fire while the snow fell. Also true. What fun for the dogs to run and play in the snow. Also true. Now, here come the howevers: One has to plan carefully when to go out to the store to stock up on food for when the roads are icy; the dump (refuse and recycling center) has limited hours so those have to be considered when the trash starts piling up (can’t leave it outside for too long because of the critters); sitting in front of a roaring fire means that the wood has been hauled from downstairs to the porch or the hearth to dry out since it’s now wet from the snow (even though there are tarps covering the stacked wood); and the dogs’ feet have to be dried off as we come inside tracking snow, ice and salt into the house. Going outside with the dogs now requires boots, a jacket, gloves, and a hat or hood, a number of towels at the door and extra shoes.

So I’m learning how to live in the mountains in the winter and it looks like it will be a steep learning curve. I did manage to go out yesterday and then again this morning to pick up my mail, dispose of trash, and get to the store. Stepping in the footprints that Richie left worked really well. Rachel was still here so I decided to take full advantage since it’s quite a trip up and down the stairs carrying groceries. We bought a ridiculous amount of food and paper goods today and I’m set for about 2 weeks I think — just in case!! I also learned that the porch gets a lot of snow on it and needs to be shoveled as does the deck. I’m told by the guys from Homer’s Construction that the snow is heavy and it shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate too much, so I shoveled yesterday for about an hour and a half to get it off the deck which provided fabulous snow drifts in the yard for the dogs who needed drying off — and so it goes. The next person who asks me what I do all day is going to get an earful! Am I ready for winter? I thought so, but now I’m not sure! Maybe there is no way to prepare for every situation, but I’m sure going to try!