September 14, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Coming Hard Winter...

Well, now, that's a cheery headline, isn't it? Here along the coast of Maine we've had chilly fallish weather for the past several weeks, with few reminders that these same days are only late August and early September, days when we usually still have plenty of summer warmth.

It's hard not to be put in mind of the coming Maine winter. Last year we were very lucky, with a soft, mild winter and an early (if very wet) spring. Last winter was easy on the heating bills and on the psyche. Can we possibly have two warmish winters in a row? The Old Farmer's Almanac says it's not likely, their predictions for cold, snowy months ahead..

What can you do now to get ready for the coming tough times? You know all the usual hints about checking the house for drafts and blocking them, making sure that you have storm windows or combinations and that they are a good tight fit, and considering window coverings for the inside if you don't already use them. There should be a solid windbreaker around any outside entries so you don't let tons of cold in every time you open the door. All common sense, all stuff you've been dong right along, and all just the beginning.

If you didn't do it in the spring, make absolutely sure your heating source, whether it's an oil burner, gas unit, woodstove, or fireplace, has been checked and cleaned for this next heating season. It is especially important that you have chimneys inspected and cleaned.
Is there anything worse than waking up in an icy house with no hot water, everyone needing to get off to work or school? Well, off course there is... it's waking up in the middle of the night, let's say on a long holiday weekend, to a frigid house AND realizing just how much that service call is going to cost! Do you have a service contract?

This is just the beginning of getting your house ready for the winter season, but what about getting YOU ready? We'll look at this the next time we get together, but in the meantime, I want you to think about your usual winter patterns: How does the lessening light affect you? Do you eat more, as most of us do, in the dark months? Are you likely to overspend at Christmas time only to be whacked with those bills plus the usual January-February-March demands? Do you get out much in the winter? What do you do to keep your spirits up if there are days and days when it's just too blustery to get out?

On another note - or maybe not as it'll certainly be wintery - I'll be heading up Mt Washington next Wednesday, the 20th, to be a volunteer cook at the Mt Washington Observatory for a week. I'll be sharing that incredible experience through daily blog entries and hope you'll join me as I take my passion for cooking to new heights!



Anonymous said...

"Do you eat more?" Ouch!

Alice Goldsmith said...

Winter ! ! We used to snowmobile ride for hours with our friends. Now I am busy with UMW at church and our local literary club. We are starting our 100th year of literary club.
So get out and enjoy friends...find a wonderful hobby and try NOT to stay house bound unless it is a blizzard.