By Ken DeLaat
Wow, what a weather week, huh?
Some outrageously beautiful blue skies along with the first snow arriving arm in arm with a spiteful kind of cold snap. The old ‘hurts your face’ kind of nip that catches one unprepared after being lulled into denial by an extended summer-like autumnal run. Instead of the old line about something going zero to 60 this is more like going 60 to zero.
Despite overwhelming evidence that there is likely to be a winter each and every year some of us mitten dwellers tend to arrive at the onset of the season decidedly unprepared.
Oh, there are guys out there, my age and above generally, who have been geared up since June with the snowblower newly primed and readied, new sack of sidewalk salt standing by as well as the usual accouterments that come in handy when embarking on a snow removal mission.
Mostly it seems these are retired types in perpetual search of things to do that are productive, and likely in possession of a genetic predisposition toward being well organized, I do not share in. Being gifted with an innate ability to do absolutely nothing when the mood warrants, procrastination is a trait that comes to me easily.
But I have always admired their preparation skills and longed to acquire them at times such as these.
You see, typically there’s a bit of a scramble that occurs at first snowfall. You know, seeing if there’s gas in the blower after pulling the cooler, beach toys, and a sack of potting soil off of it then wondering as to where the key fob thing for it might have ended up.
Looking for the snow shovels that slowly inched their way to the far reaches of the garage corners through sheer neglect can be a challenge as well. Then of course the innovative thinking that needs to be employed when wondering if it would be ok to scoop some pellets out of the softener to help melt a nasty patch of ice on the porch.
There are ice scrapers to be found, footwear other than sandals to ferret out of wherever they were placed during last spring’s first day over 40 degrees and puzzlement over why my personal hat box doesn’t contain a single winter hat, but is filled with promotional baseball caps I cannot recall ever wearing.
Thankfully it was a mere dusting and set off the alarm to begin the process of gathering the winter needs. Blower out, shovels readied, a little ice melt from last year found when trying to extricate an errant scraper from behind a trio of bicycles and even some suet cakes for the birds in case those little cage things they go in might perhaps be located at some point.
Being organizationally challenged is no picnic in the long run and I made my annual vow to be better prepared for the changing of seasons from here on out (coincidentally while staring at a garden hose currently coiled in a frozen state). I pledged to be done with having to do so much busywork that could be prevented by merely doing things the proper way the first time.
Immensely satisfied with myself I envisioned this bright future when, through proper preparation, every task before me would fall gently into place with none of the frustration that accompanies disarray during transition periods.
Then I looked in the corner and saw them.
The Christmas lights.
Rolled up indiscriminately into a kind of snarly ball-shaped mess created during a cold day in March after they were finally extracted from the ice and snow they had been buried under for months.
And long past the brief January warm spell when LSC Lil (a woman of substantial patience) advised that it might be a good time to take them down.
Unfortunately I deferred action at the time.
Mostly because I couldn’t find my gloves.
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