Preparing for Winter

Why does the passing of time always catch me off guard? I was about to express my surprise at how quickly September whizzed by, but I seem to do this each time a new month rolls around. One would think it would get to be an old story—but apparently not. All these quickly dissolving months soon add up to another year. Perhaps I’m more aware of this since I just celebrated another birthday last week. Birthdays have a way of making us reflect upon things, hopefully, in a good way. I’m not someone who minds birthdays. I know not everyone feels that way.

A heavy frost the other week brought things in the garden at a standstill. Warnings of a frost usually send people out to cover anything up that is still growing on the vine or else bring them in and away from any threats of frost.

We’ve been busy freezing butternut squash and putting in firewood these beautiful autumn weekends. Living in the country is a unique experience with all the preparations for winter. It’s always been that way, and most likely will continue.

Country living is a different experience with so much time preparing for winter. I remember as a kid that fall was a very busy time. Everyone planted enough potatoes to last at least until spring. When you consider that most every meal revolved around potatoes in some form, that amounted to a lot of digging come fall and a lot of storage room for winter. Carrots and turnips were also grown in large quantities, as were cabbage. Everyone had bushels of apples. These were the things that were stored in the cellar. People hoarded food. They had to, being so far away from the stores, and roads not getting ploughed as often as they should. Since ploughed roads are still very much a factor for those of us living in rural Nova Scotia, many of us still tend to hoard food for winter. I expect that will change with a new generation, although, truth be told, there is no “new generation” living here.

We are quickly becoming a retirement community as people with young families do not find it feasible to live so far from utilities, without access to highspeed internet or even cell phone service. We did so with our kids, but people aren’t willing to sacrifice these things for the peace and quiet of country living. And I understand that. The power outages we randomly experience and even poor phone service does little to entice new people to the area.

And so, it seems, the old ways will live on as we struggle to catch up to the rest of the world, a struggle I’ve pretty much given up on, because as they say, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” So, I’ll stick to my gardening, to freezing and canning, and the hoarding of food for winter and gathering of firewood, and to preparing for anything that Mother Nature will send our way for the next three months. “sigh”

But I have my writing and some projects to work on this winter that I’m very excited about. I have a generator to give me power and wood to burn to keep me warm, and let’s not forget the hoarded food! I’m all set.

Do you live in an area where they prepare for winter? What things do you do to get ready?

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6 Comments

  1. I do recall this from my childhood, living in rural Alberta, but haven’t had to do it in my adult life. My potter daughter, on the other hand, has to prepare for winter in a similar fashion as she lives on a small island and can get very isolated. She especially has to stock up on firewood as that is how she keeps herself warm. of course here in Spain, we have no worries other than to put out the winter quilt and put on an extra sweater when we go out! It is still beach and pool weather here right now, about 27C. Perfect!

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    • Oh Darlene, 27C sounds glorious, although I am a big fan of autumn. I suspect once I retire I’ll enjoy it even more. 🙂

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  2. I’m equally amazed at how time keeps slipping away so quickly (blogged about that recently, too). I’m not ready to face winter yet. I wish I could somehow hold onto this month’s calendar pages for an extra month or two! We live ‘semi-rurally’ on the usually-mild west coast, and have the benefit of surrounding woods and countryside but with the convenience of food stores just a twenty minute drive away. I used to have a modest veggie garden, but have downsized it to just herbs and garlic. Winter preparations mostly involve cutting back the perennials, gathering a supply of firewood for the fireplace and making sure the generator and snowblower are ready for another season and its occasional storm.

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    • Generators come in SO handy, especially with the winters we experience here in Canada. It’s strange, because I rarely remember any power outages during the winter when I was a child, or anytime, really. I’ve experienced more in the past five years than I have my entire life. But perhpas this winter will be different. I’m going to hope so!

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  3. Judith M Hiltz

     /  October 4, 2018

    I usually hoard up some things for winter, but now with the renos. going on I have no place to store my veggies. I guess I will have to walk to your house to eat this winter. But I do have my freezer full and have another one in the garage if I need to plug it in. Yes, I know what you are saying about the months flying by. And I know this is an old saying that me Dad used to say to me all the time. “As you get older you will find that the time goes even faster?. If it goes any faster, I’m sure that I am going to miss my grandchildren growing up…LOL.

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    • Yes, time is going by far too quickly. It’s ridiculous how quickly Colin and Rebecca have grown up. When did that happen? I’ll soon be saying that about mine as well.

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