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Don’t Leave These Off Your Winter Checklist, Nancy Boy!

Posted by on January 3, 2012

 

My backyard around 2 p.m. today.

Today at the homestead is one of those perfect snow days.

Sufficient snow to make the yard fun yet insufficient snow to make driving a pain.

That’s livin’!

But I’m thinking it may not stay this way, so here’s your winter checklist that every Old School Man will want to complete. I’m not trying to be encyclopedic in this list. Rather, I’m trying to hit a few of the Old School ideals that most other winter checklists leave out.

The Smokin’ Hot Wife

#1 Know your wife’s schedule — any time she has to take a trip make sure the car is de-snowified (not my best made-up word… not by a long shot) and car is warm with the engine running. Pull car out of driveway if appropriate.

Incidentally, if the romance at your household gets a kick start from some car warming, you’re welcome. Make sure you put this post on your Facebook wall to help others do the same.

Jump-N-Carry JNC300XL 900 Peak Amp Ultraportable 12-Volt Jump Starter with Light#2 Have a portable jump starter in your wife’s car. Better than jumper cables, a portable jump starter eliminates the need for another person. Pop the hood. One clamp here and another clamp there and she’s good to go. Much better than her having to sit in a cold car waiting for a AAA or a (hopefully) pleasant stranger.

Kids

#3 Backyard snow = Free Backyard Ski Resort. Spend some time with the kids building snow forts, snowmen and sledding. And make sure your young sons pee in the snow. Too many boys are raised with an almost antiseptic mentality towards nature. Things like dirt, grass stains, scratches, mud and, yes, peeing outside, are part of the manly outdoors. Of course, be circumspect and don’t do this in the middle of Central Park. (That’s for the Occupy Crowd.) But let your boys be outdoorsy young men.

Family

#4 Don’t miss out on the fun stuff that only happens during winter. You’re probably within an hour’s drive of one of those roads where every neighbor out does the next neighbor with Christmas lights, many times affiliated with a charity. Make it a point to visit one. Most in my neck of the woods are ending January 8, so let’s get busy!

Homestead

#5 Put away the Christmas decorations by the end of January… really. You know who you are.

#6 Keep stacking that wood because you dropped the ball in the spring and fall… really. You know who you are… hey, quit pointing at me!

#7 Be aware of winter drafts in your home and fix them. Half of my home is a 100+ year old chestnut log farmhouse and there are times when it appears to be a collection of interesting drafts.

#8 Stock up on emergency supplies. A few years ago our area was hit with a snowstorm so bad power was out for up to EIGHT DAYS. Thankfully, my house was only hit for sixteen hours, but I’ll never forget how that felt sitting in a cold house with my bride and three boys four years old and under. A few supplies to consider:

  • A week’s worth or more of food. This doesn’t take up much space. Just add a little more to each grocery trip and you won’t even notice the expense. Some canned goods (don’t forget a manual can opener), few boxes of noodles, some powdered milk and you won’t have to be making that mad “pre-blizzard” rush to the grocery store.
  • kerosene heater(s)
  • portable generator
  • fuel for heater and generator
  • pipes wrapped to prevent freezing
  • flashlights and battery operated lanterns
  • flashlights and battery operated lanterns
  • blankets

Car

#9 Cold & snow related car prep

  • Stow some warm clothing, gloves, boots in the car and keep you cell phone charged
  • Snow tires.
  • Portable jump starter (see above)
  • Don’t let the gas tank get low.
  • Find the ice scraper so you don’t have to play “Find The Ice Scraper” when you’re in a hurry.

#10 Take advantage of the seasonal shifts.
I laugh when I hear the phrase “summer reading list”. This phrase must come from academia. Who else but someone who has the summer off would come up with a reading list to fill the spare time in the summer? In fact, those of us with school age children actually have less time during the summer.

Do farmers have summer reading lists? No.
Do construction workers have summer reading lists? No.
I’m guessing many more people have available down time during the winter than the summer. So make it a point to crack open a few books before the end of March.

Have some suggestions to add to this list? Share them in the comments or on the Old School Rules Facebook page.

Keep it Old School, my friend

The Old Man, Chris Dixon

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