Getting Ready for Winter

Getting ready for winter has dominated my thinking lately and, as obsessed as I am about weather, I am equally obsessed with getting as ready as I possibly can for the cold. Now that the leaves have all fallen and for the most part the acorns are finished too, my yard is as clean as it is going to get. The guys came to blow all the leaves and carry them out to the woods behind the house so the driveway and stairs are a lot more accessible and much more safe. I also went to Home Depot for ice melt since I ran out last year so I wanted to start early. 170 pounds of ice melt later, I distributed it in places that I can easily access.

One place that I keep ice melt is a black garbage can about a quarter of the way down the stairs. If I have to I can spread ice melt from the back of my car to get to the can, then I can distribute the ice melt from there down the rest of the stairs. Over the summer I stored the can in a small shed downstairs because animals got to it and bashed it up a bit but put it back recently. Even with two 40-pound bags inside, something — bear or deer — turned it over and pulled the bags out. This led me to think about what the animals were doing.

The first time this happened, I assumed deer because of the salt even though this isn’t pure rock salt. But this time I thought the animals in this community are not threatened and are smart enough to think “black garbage can – food!” They must have been quite disappointed to only find the bags. It was an inconvenience that sent me looking for a bungee cord to put across the lid which now seems to have done the trick. I am waiting anxiously for the bears to hibernate so I can start putting my garbage at street level to be picked up on Monday mornings!

Michael was here this weekend and helped me wrangle the long and heavy hoses, shut off the water at the front outside tap, and do those things that require two people. This prompted me to reflect on how lucky we were in Tallahassee to leave things out all year and how often I come across tasks that need a second pair of hands! I feel well prepared — have put a small bucket of ice melt in the back of the car along with the windshield scrapers and the Prestone spray can of ice melt, RainX and paper towels. I will stock up on heavy things between Thanksgiving and Christmas — flour, sugar, soups, dog food — the items that are heavy to carry down the 40 stairs. If you can think of anything I’ve forgotten, please let me know. These are all things I never thought I’d have to deal with much less that would be right at the top of my list of things that need tending to. I guess it’s easy to take things for granted. I looked at Sydney going out tonight and thought about having to dig a trail or two for her when it snows. It was almost 60 degrees today. I need to stop thinking about snow and ice!