Why wait? Winterize!

It won't be long until the colorful fall landscape gives way to shimmering snow. The time to prepare for winter is now! Photo by Kathy Luengo

Delivering little more than frost on the pumpkins, October’s first Alberta Clipper was kind to West Shore residents but reminds those who haven’t finished winter preparations to act now.

The first chill of arctic air triggers a flurry of activity to ensure that snow throwers and furnaces operate correctly and chimneys are cleaned and inspected. Leaves are collected, lawns aerated and fertilized, spring bulbs planted and shrubs pruned.

Hunkering down for blustery, cold weather involves winterizing yard equipment, cars, boats, RVs and motorcycles. Some homeowners caulk foundations, upgrade insulation, and fix or replace weather stripping, gutters and roofs. Others may purchase doors, windows and siding for added comfort and energy savings.   

This time of year finds most Northeast Ohioans pulling heavier seasonal clothing out of storage. The same goes for winter comforters, blankets, comfy throws and fuzzy slippers. 

In this regard, purists are properly prepared with fresh outerwear dry-cleaned last spring while perennial procrastinators’ coats and jackets spent summer stashed in the front closet or elsewhere. 

Procrastinators rationalize that cleaning anything other than the most salt-encrusted outerwear can be postponed. Like reaping the autumn harvest, winter wraps are ripe for the picking, from the pockets, that is.

Consider when the car key thought to be lost for good and replaced for $100 and up (if part of a keyless entry system), suddenly surfaces. How could that be?  Each pocket was inspected multiple times. It is as explicable as socks disappearing from the wash. Profound mysteries of the universe have yet to be solved.

Conversely, a few rolled-up dollars, a $5, $10 or $20 bill or any combination thereof, is money found and enables one to spend or splurge as befits the booty.

Running late to a meeting after lunching on a tuna melt with too many onions? That now sticky but ever-so edible restaurant peppermint is like a gift from above.

However, encountering the pulverized pack of saltines intended to pick up the slack when there was no time for breakfast is simply the pits. Even worse is when the packet’s pocket space was shared with a pen, pencil or car key (particularly non-keyless entry) and pierced, surprising one with a sudden shower of cracker dust and coarse crumbs. Where’s that coupon for the cleaners? It’s in the other pocket, long expired.

Finding a ticket stub from a great performance may elicit fond memories, but if the evening didn’t go well, it becomes a sore reminder. A three-year-old ticket stub is guaranteed to raise eyebrows and may represent owning a few too many topcoats.  

Coming across a scrap of paper with a phone number without a name may give rise to spending the rest of the winter wondering to whom it belongs!

The purists avoid such surprises by cleaning their garments in spring – or do they? Why not ask the dry cleaner on your upcoming visit about some of their better finds? It could make for some interesting conversation!

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:18 AM, 11.12.2013