By Mary Tucker

On December 21 Winter officially starts. Before we know it, the cold, snowy days we know as an Andes winter will be here. It’s time to get ready.

November had some cool, windy weather, and yes, even snow, making us get hats, gloves, scarves and mittens out early. Snow shovels and pails containing rock salt and gravel are already by the front and back doors to be used for spreading on pathways and steps. Today I checked for winter boots and found them just where they were left after a May snowfall. I lean a broom next to each door to sweep feet off before coming inside.

Now for winterizing in the house. I’ll skip talking about how to take care of potted plants you bring in – Phyllis has lots of good tips for indoor plant care in her columns. Even though my home has double-pane insulated windows which eliminate the need for storm windows, I put plastic sheeting over each window because you can feel cold air seeping through the sides on very cold, windy days – we have many of these on Fall Clove. Double-pane insulated windows are separated by an air space between 1/2 and 1/4 inch filled with desiccant*. Next, I take down summer curtains and hang heavy, lined drapes that can be drawn closed whenever needed, especially at night. Before December arrived, I brought extra blankets out of storage, put flannel sheets on the beds and started wearing cozy, warm pajamas.

That does it- usually a BIG snow falls in December. I’m ready–BRING IT ON!

* Desiccant-a substance such as calcium oxide or sulfuric acid, which has a high affinity for water and is used to absorb moisture. ~

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