Monday, December 9, 2013

Idiot's Guide to Winter

Hey there, City Kitty!  Welcome to the country!  Glad to have you here-- I know you're eagerly looking forward to pretty white fields, and icy ponds, and the quiet solitude to appreciate the sound of ice melting and the single snap of a dead twig in the forest.  I just wanted to let you know that there might be a bit more to winter weather than that.

Oh, you got a generator?  Smart move!  So many people never think about a generator until they need it.  You are ahead of the curve, what with the snow and ice coming.

It's still in the box?  Well, that can be remedied without too much trouble, although it really is a good idea to know where it will be set up and how far it'll be from the house.

You don't have a transfer cable yet.  Hmmm.  Okay, you have some work to do.

I know the forecast is for only 1-3 inches of snow.  (bark of laughter)  Honey, I'll let you in on a secret.  You are in the mountains now.  So, don't believe what the forecasters tell you.

Yes, you are in the mountains now.

Yes, you are.  Look out that window.  See the peaks there, where you can see that they are already white?

Oh, you did notice that?  Yeah, I suppose it is kinda pretty.  But it means that whatever you think is gonna happen will be worse right here.


No, I am not going to take you on a snipe hunt next.  

Okay, please stop interrupting.  Whatever they predict for this part of the county, you need to expect the high end, and then a bit more.  Rain, snow, wind, whatever.

Yeah, you've been in the county for twelve years.  Good for you.  You were in the central part, as in, the part that is not in the mountains.  So, preparing for 1-3 inches of snow in the 'burg is no big deal, even with some freezing rain after.  Here, make it the worst case scenario.

Look, you cannot walk to the corner store if you need something!  You cannot walk a few measly steps to visit a neighbor.  You have a freaking mountain as part of your driveway-- you have to maintain constant vigilance! 

(Sigh)  Yes, that was a HP quote, and your driveway doesn't have a literal mountain.  Are you the only one allowed to exaggerate?

Okay, look, City Kitty.  Lemme break it down for you, and stop interrupting!

First, don't park your car where you won't be able to move it out.  Icy hills are not the friend of your cute little city car.

Second, don't assume the county will be out to plow your road any time soon.  A farmer will beat them to it, but they'll do it on their own time.

Tin roof-- great for the country.  It also collects snow and ice.  And then it slides down.  And falls.  Don't bother digging charming paths there.  Stay the hell away from where it falls unless you want to die.  

Don't assume you'll only be trapped for a day.  Prepare for three.  It's called being prepared, remember?  And that means, since you are still insisting on drinking your fancy store-bought spring water, that you need to buy more than five gallons.

Last, stop trying to look cute.  Seriously.  No one cares if your new 3-layer winter coat has been properly accessorized.  And your cute little fuzzy boots?  They are not waterproof.  If you are attempting to free a car from snow/ice/slush, mud will find you.

You're welcome.  Advice is free.  But just you wait 'til winter hits.

And get your stinkin' generator set up before you need it.

[We just got like 6 inches of snow, followed by a steady freezing rain, all in freezing temps.  And more snow tomorrow.  I've spent the last 24 hours smacking my head with my hand-- I was woefully unprepared.  Hopefully, I've learned a lesson.]

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