Break Out the Mittens, Here Comes Winter!

November TreeThe weather map shows ominous arrows sweeping down from the frozen tundra of the North and pointing straight at our little slice of the Ohio River Valley later this week. This is when we realize (and usually quickly forget) that, although we live in Kentucky, we are not really part of the South. (At least weather-wise.)

We live in that geographical band that, many times, separates rain-storms to our south from snow-storms to our north. And so we get ice. And freezing rain. We get the normal rain in winter, too, like our neighbors to the south, and sometimes, we get snow, like our pals up north. But we get the ice, too. And, boy, can it do some damage.

Batten down the hatches.

This is also the time of year that encourages nesting, hibernation, and inner reflection. I find myself tempted to shamble, bear-like, to the larder to see what might help me prepare for a cold winter’s night. I convince myself I need the extra calories to stave off the cold. I’m the equivalent of a grizzly slapping salmon out the river and gorging myself in order to make it through the lean winter months. In addition to inner reflection this may also be the season of self-delusion. But what’s a body to do?

Lots of preparation to be done around the house. Drafts are located and sealed–Or at least the attempt is made. Woolens are dug out of moth balls. Hoses drained and put away. Insulation spot-checked and bolstered, if necessary. Compost pile turned (probably the last time until a spring thaw.) Winter bedclothes are pulled from the closet–A down comforter is nice but flannel sheets are mandatory. (Important Safety Tip: If one attempts wearing flannel pajamas to a bed sporting flannel sheets, the effect is much like Velcro; one could become trapped.)

This time of year also gives us a chance to tackle that stack of books on the bedside table. Maybe get a few read before it topples over. Winter is definitively the season for reading. But do I start from the top down, the bottom up, or try to prioritize in some way? Alphabetical order? Dewey Decimal System?

I like living in an area that has real, honest-to-goodness seasons. There is something to love (and, of course, to complain) about each one. By the time November arrives, we’re happy to see Ol’ Man Winter. Check with us again in February, we’ll probably be singing a different tune.

What are you doing to get ready for winter? Anything special you look forward to this time of year?

About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philoso-phizing...not necessarily in that order.
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39 Responses to Break Out the Mittens, Here Comes Winter!

  1. Crooked Tracks says:

    I think that freezing rain is the worst part of winter. I am happy that I live far north enough so that we get the snow. I like the title of your post. I just finished knitting some mittens 🙂

  2. I don’t look forward to it, but I make the most of it by keeping my quilting projects moving along and looking at seed catalogs. We cleared the gardens, deadheaded the perennials, raked the leaves, stored the hoses, put a new storm door on, replaced the sweeps on the doors, installed a new cover on the attic stairs, put the electric blanket on, brought out the warm window coverings for several of the windows and put plastic on the chicken run. We’re ready but I’m counting the days until spring already – only 130. 🙂

  3. Cynthia says:

    Haha!! I like your flannel/Velcro analogy!! Getting a visual …

  4. mattb325 says:

    I don’t envy anyone who has to deal with frozen rain… I do hope that this particular weather phenomenon keeps well away this winter

  5. Mother Hen says:

    I love this time of the year! I am grateful for all… I was born in a desert community and there were two seasons, mild or hot. Now that we are living in a different state I am taking it all in. I have always been a flannel shirt and pj kind of gal..

  6. Julie says:

    We do not really have such harsh weather as you but the slightest snowfall and we grind to a halt. I admire the positive way you view the seasons.

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks! I’ve seen southern cities grind to a halt, as you said…never a pretty sight. Hopefully you’ll be blessed with great weather and traffic-free highways this winter! 😉

  7. In South Florida, native of Atlanta, still coming to terms with that…never had that much flannel!?

  8. What a delightful problem..alphabetical order or Dewey Decimal! I would alternate the systems per week…I think. And really what is not to love about fall/winter…apart from driving in freezing rain? Hard to choose in brisk walking hikes without sweating and knitting socks and gloves without sticky fingers;0) Oh and yes…flannels rock! Cheers, Johanna

  9. I think there could be worse things than being trapped in your flannel sheets on a winter morning!
    I do try to put off pulling out the flannel sheets and down comforter until we absolutely need them, though, because I know how tired of them I will be by March.

    We have a couple of very nice days in our forecast before the cold snap reaches us in Northeastern PA. I accomplished quite a lot today, but boy did I feel my age trudging up the hill with the wheelbarrow over and over. Hopefully my body won’t rebel too much when I try to dig daffodil trenches tomorrow!

    I like the seasons, but I’d prefer that winter wait until December to hit us. Last year my kids had two snow days BEFORE Thanksgiving!

    • Benjamin says:

      Good luck with the daffodil trenches! A little work now will lead to big rewards in the spring! And thanks for the reminder, we must get our bulbs in the ground soon, too! 🙂 Cheers, Ben

  10. Oh lovely post .. While you are battening down those hatches, ogling the larder and getting some good reading material, I’m full steam ahead in my spring garden! 🙂

  11. Grower says:

    It started raining only a minute ago and could turn into snow or “wintery mix” yet this morning. I don’t deal well with this seasonal transition. I like to be outdoors and active and there is less and less to do out there now. I will spend this winter reading, make a pair of slippers, cook/eat, work on a writing project I’ve got going. A big thing I’d like to do is make a sweep of the house and get rid of more “stuff.” I don’t notice it as much when I’m outdoors all summer, but when I come in for the winter I’m suddenly aware of clutter and it grates.

    • Benjamin says:

      I’m with you! When you’re trapped inside, it’s the perfect time to improve the nest…although I hate it when 3 months later I’m looking for a particular something before I realized it got tossed in the rubbish bin in a fit of cleaning frenzy 😉

  12. We started getting ready for winter back in September and (with any luck), will be over-prepared! But if the wildlife are any indication, we are in for another ’round of cold & snow. *sigh* Good luck with the first storms!!!

  13. On the Gulf Coast, we have summer and winter in the same week. Monday was close to 80 and by the weekend it will be down to nearly freezing thanks to the same front that is hitting you. But never mind, two days later it will be close to 70 again!

  14. KerryCan says:

    This was lots of fun to read and oh-so-easy to relate to–it’s as if you and I were working from the same checklist! We’ve had a couple of really nice and warm days here in upstate New York, perfect to finish the last outdoor chores before the big chill!

  15. Jewels says:

    I loved this post! Batten down the hatches, eat up, read up, and watch out for that Velcro effect! 😉

  16. narf77 says:

    No winter here and temperatures climbing but we are too busy racing around attempting to keep up with the garden to notice much. I seriously love winter but our winters here in Tasmania (Australia) are incredibly mild compared to yours. We don’t get much below 34F (our 0C) and it is incredibly rare to get a frost in our neck of the woods. We live on a river and on a steep rocky incline so that takes care of any frost that comes sniffing around. I love flannel sheets in the winter. There is something seriously delicious about heating a hot water bottle (or 2) and placing it into your bed nice and early so that you can slip into your flannel sheets in delicious warm splendor when it is raining and howling a gale outside. Here’s hoping you get through some of those books. I keep telling anyone who will listen that I am going to read but the garden keeps calling me out with it’s siren song and who am I to resist? Have a great winter and enjoy those indoor pursuits. The best bit about having 4 distinct seasons is that slow ebb and flow from one to the next that gives a clear line of demarcation between the seasons and the degree of activity or hibernation you are about to embark on. Here’s to hibernation and hysteria on both sides of the globe 🙂

    • Benjamin says:

      Enjoy that lovely spring garden! It’s nice living vicariously through friends on the flip side of the world who are busy waking up their garden while we’re putting ours to bed. Wishing you many blooms and much produce! 😉

      • narf77 says:

        Thank you Benjamin. I have been living vicariously through northern gardens for our winter period, time to get out the boots and into the hard yards myself 😉

  17. bittster says:

    You sound like you have things ready to go for the cold…. which I suspect has just hit you these past two or three days. I’ve also been getting ready for the cold. I’ve been feeding on trail mix for the last two weeks. It’s my latest addiction and I suspect it’s meant to fatten me up for the winter.

  18. What I normally do to get ready for winter is whine–A LOT. I;m not as industrious as you, my friend. Thank goodness it will soon be time to grab the gardening gloves for spring planting. 😀

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