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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Robert Frost said, “You can’t get too much winter in the winter” ( Kentucky provides me with as much winter as I want. Recently, I’ve been preparing for our next season by winterizing around my home. According to one online dictionary, “winterize” means to prepare to withstand winter conditions, such as preparing a car, a house, a yard, or a pool. Wondering how others winterize, I asked family and friends: “What tasks around your home help you to “winterize” or prepare for cold weather?” Their responses are listed below:

•Get out the blankets! Make sure all vehicles have the proper coolant levels, and gas for the gas logs. It used to be worse when we were kids. Coal buckets, a fire, plastic on the windows and porch….

•Empty water hose, plant any plants that haven’t been set out, such as mums. Make sure our car tires are good. Put away the outdoor stuff, such as lawn chairs, etc. Hopefully, the carpenters will finish the French doors and the work under our house soon.

•Of course, mine is pets! We have picked up straw and begun winterizing the kennels. We will also wrap some plastic to keep the air out.

•I get gas logs ready to go.

•Take care of plants and outdoor furniture. Clean up around the yard. Get all kids’ toys and such out of the yard and patio. Put cedar chips and warming buckets in the outdoor dog pens. Make sure there are ice scrapers, jackets, and blankets in the car trunk. Put all outdoor equipment up in the garage and buildings. 

•We make sure yard items are stored for the winter, especially pool items, and check the windows and doors to see if any insulation is needed

•Fill up the propane tank.

•All outdoor furniture and flower stuff are put away, close the vents, and turn on the pilot lights for gas logs.

•Make sure my dog has enough heat.

•Clean up the yard leaves and debris, organize the garage, and unhook the garden hoses from spigot.

•I have to work on it all year. The main thing that people do that is bad is leave the garden hose connected, and it will bust under the house every time. And it will only leak when you turn it on, so you won’t know until you need it.

•I get out the blankets so the kids can have easy access to them.

•Drain garden hoses and pressure washers. Check antifreeze in older vehicles. Fuel stabilizer in lawn/power equipment to put it up for the winter.

•Change washer fluid out to de-icing fluid, get new wipers, and make sure everything has antifreeze and not just straight water. 

•Good things to do include checking for and correcting air leakage and water problems; scheduling furnace maintenance and pest control maintenance; completing a deep house cleaning prior to winter (including window cleaning); “close” the yard and gardens; as well as ensuring vehicle maintenance is on schedule.

•My husband takes care of this kind of thing, so my tasks are minimal – more cosmetic: removing mums from planters on porch, bringing in outside patio furniture, etc.

•My pool is the biggest winterizing job. We also make sure the propane tank is full so the gas logs work for the colder days and power outages.

All these winterizing tasks made me think of the fable about the ants and the grasshopper (, teaching that there’s a time for work and a time for play. Many of those who responded mentioned tasks that require some workers. Paul Theroux said, “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation” ( After winterizing, we may need some recovery time.


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