Dear Beauregard and Blanche:

We winter warriors Up North were sorry to hear about your travails with Mother Nature. It sounds as if the recent storms socked you in the Deep South, wreaking havoc in Atlanta and Arkansas (where it got down to 9 below in so-called Hot Springs).

Icepocalypses and Snowmageddons aren’t easy to deal with, even if you have plows, shovels and plenty of de-icers.

We have no intention of mocking you guys down there — bless your hearts. Instead, we’d like to extend a helping hand with some useful tips that the most seasoned among us follow — sometimes:

• Do carry some kitty litter in your trunk. It can provide traction for your tires.

• Do leave one car window open just a crack. That’ll keep the inside of your car windows from fogging up.

• Do pull your windshield wipers into an upright position when you’re not driving. Then they won’t get frozen to the windshield.

• Don’t descend upon Kroger’s and buy everything in sight. You probably won’t be stuck at home for a whole week.

• Do store your beer outside. You now have a refrigerator as big as the whole outdoors.

• Do be especially careful if your power goes out and you use a propane stove or heater. Make sure the space is ventilated.

• Don’t prop up broken tree limbs (hire a professional to cut them down) or throw a blanket over your azaleas. (It won’t save the spring buds.)

• Do let your dog out, but only for short periods. And if the streets have been salted, wipe your pooch’s paws.

• Do walk like a penguin with shuffling steps if you’re crossing an icy stretch. It may look funny, but it’ll keep you upright.

• Don’t let snow or slush pile up on your carport roofs. Find an implement (we use roof rakes) to clear off as much as you can.

• Do consider watching hockey, or even curling. It helps pass the time.

• Do turn faucets on to drip if the temperature drops below 10 to avoid having your less-insulated pipes burst.

• Do, by all means, make snow angels.


Ole & Lena (with help from staff writer Bill Ward)