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December 23, 2012 - Mike Donahey
Last Wednesday’s blizzard begat the return of an old friend — long underwear.
I did not hesitate buying a new supply knowing I would be shoveling our large corner lot and pushing cars out of snow drifts.
Yes, readers, I’ve written about long underwear before and will continue, providing I remain working for the Times-Republican and live in Iowa, where winters can be mean. Conversely, they can be kind — as was the case of the 2011-2012 “winter” which seemed like an extended version of fall. Then the weather leapfrogged over spring into summer. Last March people wore shorts to the grocery store as they talked of cutting the grass and shooing away horseflies. Will we be spoiled again?
I checked with the 2013 Old Farmer’s Almanac. Here are their abbreviated forecasts for the next four months: January: Average temperature 35 degrees — six degrees above average. On the whole, temperatures and precipitation significantly above average. Cold weather forecast Jan. 1 through the 9. February: Average temperature 27 degrees — four degrees below average. Feb. 1 through 7 to be very cold. Below average temperatures and precipitation forecast. March: Average temperature 46 degrees — 2 degrees above average. Temperature for the month above average and precipitation below average. April: Average temperature 56 degrees — 2 degrees above average. For the month, temperature slightly above average and precipitation below.
Based on the aforementioned, I’ll be prepared. Additionally, I have a new weapon for my winter arsenal — YakTrax. My daughter bought me a pair of the accessory which slips over one’s shoes or boots. They are designed to keep one from slipping and sliding on snow and ice. I’m impressed — the metal grippers helped keep me upright on a long, long, walk to the Iowa Veterans Home and back.
Now to a local store to get oyster grit — another seasonal product I’ve used many times to prevent folks from slipping on an icy sidewalk. It is sidewalk friendly — it does not damage concrete like many ice melt products do.