When the cold weather arrives, I begin to think of inside activities. No, I do not hibernate, but I enjoy my home and family. While I watch television, I knit. My daughter received a gift of a sweater and socks for her birthday. Actually, I started the sweater last year, but put it aside when the weather got nice. I took it out this fall in order to finish it for the November occasion.
Cold weather also makes me think of flannel sheets. I grew up sleeping on flannel sheets. Since we did not heat the upstairs of our house flannel sheets made the nights much more comfortable.
Our children were also raised with flannel sheets. The first winter that we were at Hickory Heights I froze a glass of water in our bedroom upstairs. Our beds had so many blankets on them that it was difficult to roll over! There were no storm windows when we moved to this old farm house. One of the first things we did was purchase some old wooden storm windows from a lady who worked with my mother. They had recently installed better windows so they gave us a really good deal. We used those wooden windows with the wing clips on the lower level windows until we installed replacements in the 1980s.
By Ann Swanson View From Hickory Heights
For the upstairs, we purchased aluminum triple track windows almost right away. What a big difference they made with their storm windows and screens. Although the upstairs was still cool, it was not cold enough to freeze water any more. Another thing that made the upstairs cold was that many of the window panes were cracked or loose. The old putty dried making the windows rattle when the wind blew.
Last night as I crawled beneath the sheets, I shivered. Later today I intend to dig out the flannel sheets so that my bed will be warm and cozy. There is nothing like crawling into a nice warm bed. For now, the sheets will do the trick, but once the really cold weather comes, I will get out my electric blanket. My mom gave us the blanket years ago, but when there were the two of us I did not use it much. Now that it is just me, I look forward to an artificially warmed bed. I cannot stand the heat all night though, so I set it to go off after I get to sleep.
I really like to sleep where it is cool. I think it is healthier. We did not have many colds. One thing I do not like is air conditioning to sleep in. The combination of the noise and the cool breeze often wakes me up when I travel. I know some people feel that they cannot exist without the air, but it is not for me.
Another thing about cool weather is that the outdoor work is done. My garden is cleaned out, my lawn furniture put away, and the hose taken in. Last night when my son and his family visited they brought the truck so they could pick up the hose that was out to water the animals. It is easier to prevent a problem than deal with it afterwards.
My husband always told me that he would have more time when winter arrived. At first, I was convinced, but gradually I realized that the winter chores often took much longer than the summer ones. When you are a dairy family there are cows to be milked twice a day, manure to be cleaned out of the barn, and the general problems of the impending cold weather and snow. Cold weather without snow is even worse. That bare ground allows things to freeze.
Some people leave this area to avoid the snow. I know of several who left before the end of October. Although I technically could leave the area, I do not. I would miss my family and friends. I would also miss the change of seasons. Winter with the snow on field and tree is beautiful. I can still navigate in it, so I do not worry about that aspect.
I do not worry about shoveling either. During the winter months I do not lack for exercise. I am out there cleaning paths whenever it is necessary. Thankfully I do not need to worry about getting my driveway plowed. My son is generous with his equipment.
It is only when we have had snowfall after snowfall without a thaw that there is trouble. Once we get that much snow there is nowhere to pile it up.
When I was young it was my job to keep the driveway cleaned out. After school I went out to shovel so that the driveway was clear by the time my grandfather and mother came home from work. It made me mad when the sidewalk plow went by after I shoveled. I had to go back out to get rid of the piles that it left. Today I am not sure that the cities even plow the sidewalks, except near public buildings.
We had a few flurries the other day, but nothing that stuck. I heard someone say not to mention that nasty word referring of course, to snow. It does not matter when it comes, we are never ready for it.
Is your car/truck ready for winter? Did you check your tires, your battery? I think my car needs new tires so I have an appointment for that. You can never be too careful when it comes to winter driving. Watch out for the deer and watch out for the other guy.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org