I love fall – cozy-cool weather, comfort food, quilts and sweaters, flannel pajamas. Fall is a time of turning inward, spending those quiet evenings at home feeling content and thoughtful.
Fall is also the time to prepare for the winter months ahead.
When I was a single mom, life became more complicated in winter. Cars wouldn’t start. Snow drifted over driveways. Getting up in the morning to go to work or school felt more difficult and treacherous. But over the years, I learned there were a few things I could do to prepare for the approaching winter.
I got my car’s oil changed, rotated the tires, had the battery and fluids checked. I provided the best maintenance I could to ensure my car would start on that first cold morning.
I stocked the car with shovel, blankets, ice melt, a phone charger; just in case it didn’t start somewhere and I had to wait a while for a tow truck to arrive.
I put away toys from the yard and chairs from the patio before they became covered in the first unexpected snowfall of the season.
I stocked my kitchen with storable food: peanut butter and crackers, macaroni and cheese, frozen pizzas and powdered milk; because after skidding home from work through a snow storm, I didn’t want to have to go back out to buy groceries for dinner. I tried to always keep extra food in my home for those nights I didn’t want to venture out into the cold.
Likewise, I stored up soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent, extra boxes of tissues, cough medicine, and children’s fever reducer; because in bitterly cold conditions, I didn’t want to have to drag a sick child to the pharmacy to buy cough medicine.
I tried to buy my daughter’s winter coats, snow pants and boots (in a size too large) on sale the previous spring. Then in the fall, all I had to do was pull winter clothes, hats, and gloves out of storage bins.
I squirreled away entertainment for cozy nights at home: books, magazines, movies, puzzles, coloring books. I reminded myself that winter is the time to enjoy and appreciate spending quiet evenings around the table together.
I love the quiet comforts of fall: early sunsets, time to read and talk, time to consider the present and contemplate the future. Fall is the season to prepare for months of winter rest before the happy new activity of spring.
What do you do to prepare for each season? What can you do this fall to prepare for the coming winter?