winter: survival tips and tricks

warning signThis is neither premature nor a cause for panic, it’s a preparedness drill. The meteorological calendar is notoriously dicey. Winter, as you well know, has a nasty habit of showing up early and unannounced. Effing party-crasher.

It’s nowhere near as considerate or as welcome as spring and summer. They’re gracious, lovely visitors. With the arrival of spring, we creep from our shuttered homes into glorious sunlight, blinking and dazed after the cold, dark siege. We reacquaint ourselves with neighbors and friends, summon up rusty social skills, and go back to being civilized humans.

We miss that in winter, human contact. The brutal weather turns us into skittery fugitives, withdrawn and standoffish. It’s kind of hard to be sociable when you’re huddled and hunkering, focused on survival. Besides, at the first snowflake or arctic breeze, we all run for cover; streets and sidewalks empty of life. The world depopulates.

ice skatersSane people, you see, venture out only for emergencies. The crazy ones, skiers and ice skaters and the like, have the place to themselves. So get ready. Once it’s here, the grim, dreadful cold won’t budge until it’s damn good and ready. We can’t blast it out of here with dynamite.

So prepare for the worst. Lay in a stock of heavy woolens — from socks to hats — and plan for multiple layers of head-to-toe coverage. Blankets, duvets, space heaters, heating pads, and hot water winter silobottles are essential, as is anything capable of radiating and / or retaining warmth. Amass a stash of hearty soups and stews and chilis. Heartburn is your friend.

Then don’t forget to service the snowblower. You’ll also want to put snow tires on the car, as well as top off the antifreeze. Have the furnace checked and the chimney inspected by licensed, certified technicians. Weatherstrip and insulate everything in sight, including the dog.
muffler
To take your mind off the bleak weather, travel books are good. Travel itself is better. Beach movies work in a pinch. Hot baths are nice. Crackling fires, too, but only if you have a fireplace.

This is war. Winter’s on the march even now. The days grow short, sunny afternoons carry an unnerving chill, and the ice cream man’s gone missing — inauspicious portents of what’s ahead.

Good luck to you and yours.

yellow-and-green-hat-mdcopyright © 2015 little ittys

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