Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. For example, why do aliens only abduct sanity-challenged recluse people? What are artificial bacon bits really made of? And, how does a born and bred California girl end up living in rural Missouri? Rural Missouri, mind you, where roads have letters instead of names, directions are given in reference to so-and-so’s house – whether they still live there or not – and…it snows!
Well, in my case, I was either crazy or in love, or both. Whatever the case, the predicament of surviving the winters became glaringly apparent upon the first snow; A feat which my California upbringing had just not prepared me for. Therefore, for those of you who have found or may find yourself in a similar fix, allow me to share 5 of my hard learned survival tips.
1. Be Prepared: If you are to survive in the harsh environment of cold, ice, and snow, you must have the proper tools. Following are, in my experience, the most important items.
- Cat Box Pooper Scooper – Oh, sure, you will be told that having an ice scraper is what you need to clear off your car windshield every morning. But, in my opinion, the everyday cat box pooper scooper makes much more sense to get the job done. It is always handy, never gets taken by other family members for use and well, has multiple functional purposes (need I elaborate?).
- Ugly Shoes – Trust me on this one. Those peep toe pumps will sing a good song, but when push comes to shove (or rather ice comes to driveway) those pretty shoes will leave you flat on your behind. The ugly shoes, however, will be your friend for life. They will keep you warm, be devoted to your happiness, and never let you go down looking like a flapping dodo (bird, that is).
- Hair Dryer – You would be surprised how often a good blast of hot air will come in handy for various frozen things and/or body parts.
- A Hammer – No real function, but it will make you feel like you belong – like one of the natives.
2. Be Wary: Never trust ice – it is the enemy and yes, it is out to get you. It will freeze your pipes as soon as you stop dripping them in order to head to the mall. It will freeze the Frappuccino you left in the car overnight. And, if you have a change of heart (i.e. panic attack) about driving on it, it will promptly and not very graciously, introduce you to the side road ditch.
3. Be Audacious: When that fluffy white stuff starts pouring out of the sky, get in your car and just go for it. And when I say, ‘go for it’, I mean, when your husband tells you to drive fast to get over snow drifts growing in the road – DO IT! Otherwise you might find yourself stuck on top of one of those pretty drifts like a whale bellied up on the beach (which is, fyi, not near as much fun as bellying up to the bar). And, it may take every relative and friend within a 20 mile radius to come and dig you off.
4. Be Mindful: As in all things, there are pitfalls to watch out for during the long winter season.
- Do NOT discover online shopping.
- Do NOT, under any circumstances, decide the inside of your house needs to be painted all colors of the rainbow. (You may not be fortunate for to spring to arrive moments before project commencement).
- Do NOT try to eat your weight in chocolate.
However, DO, have as many snowball fights as possible, roast marshmallows over a candle, and treat yourself to every ‘icure come spring.
5. Be Canny: Sooner or later you will be faced with a suspicious random occurrence that can only be experienced in the rural wilds of winter. Therefore, when you, for example, find a several foot long shed snake skin in a storage area behind your bed where said snake clearly hibernated the winter with you, don’t, whatever you do, tell your snakephobic husband.
Goodbye and Good luck.