Saturday, June 25, 2022
79.0°F

Winter is coming, helpful advice to newbies

by Kerri Thoreson
| October 27, 2021 1:00 AM

Over the weekend Jimmy McAndrew posted, “Forget Netflix for your comedy specials, just hang out at Les Schwab for an hour on a Saturday morning in October and listen to the newcomers.”

It made me laugh out loud but also piqued my interest. It’s been half a century since I could be considered a newcomer, so I may have forgotten what I didn’t know prior to experiencing my first North Idaho winter.

Again I turned to my Facebook village to ask what advice they would give to newcomers — with the caveat to be nice.

Out of the 125 comments, only a couple missed the memo about being nice, which was a pleasant indication that we do want to be helpful to our new neighbors. Without a doubt the prevailing sentiment was to slow down. Even long-timers have amnesia about driving in snow when the first snowfall happens, but driving too fast for winter conditions, tailgating or not leaving yourself extra time to get from Point A to Point B is what keeps the body shops hopping in the winter months.

A personal favorite is the advice to remind drivers that four-wheel drive vehicles, no matter how massive in size, do not perform better or more safely on snow and ice. The four-wheel drive will, however, help you get out of the ditch you’ve slid into.

Snow is coming, that’s a fact. So buy anti-freeze, snow shovels, snow tires, ice scrapers, kitty litter and sidewalk salt now, not when those first fluffy white flakes begin falling. That’s a rookie move.

If your car is not garaged, make sure you remove the snow from the hood, the roof and, of course, the entire windshield before putting it in drive. Snow blowing and sliding off vehicles is a real traffic hazard.

During a snow storm, don’t park your cars on the street where they will block the progress of the snow plows. Snow plow drivers are the unsung heroes of winter in North Idaho.

Make sure your little ones who wait at the bus stop wear good coats, boots, hats and mittens. It can get cold in a few short minutes, including at recess.

Doreen Irving says snow isn’t generally the enemy; it’s driving or walking on ice. Valerie Fasthorse is hoping you’ve already stocked up on firewood, because energy outages are a given. Gathering recipes you can cook on your wood stove is a good plan, too.

Cynthia Raynor suggests taking up a winter sport and preparing for everything and anything — wind, rain, sleet, snow and severely cold weather. Lynn Kohl observes that the 2020 lockdown was actually good training for hunkering down during an Idaho winter.

And Tim Rice, tongue firmly in cheek, offers this:

"Driving in the winter is dangerous, stressful, and complicated. I suggest living somewhere it never snows.”

•••

I file this column on Tuesdays for Wednesday publication, which makes it impossible to do post-election quarterbacking in a timely manner. One week from today, as our community wakes up to the results of all of the elections in Kootenai County, remember this observation from Thomas Jefferson — American founding father, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, “We do not have a government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

Vote.

•••

Happy Birthday today to Barb Smalley, Cade Coffey, Trinity Newman, Brenda Willoughbey, Anthony Beckstead, David Cole, Jen Butler, Deirdre Eldredge, Deeann Zahn and Aidyn Dugger. Tomorrow Melanie Simpson, Terri Gervais, Laura McNeil, Jenni Gibson, Jill Swoboda, Jonathan Mueller, Tracie Olin Smith, Kathleen Clancy, Bernadette Oaks, Heather Montee, Dale Fitch, Jamie Oliver and Ashley Gerzina blow out the candles. On Friday Sandy Patano, Jerry Baltzell, Mark Symons, Kara McCollum, Bill Guy, Amanda Krier, Mary Ransdell, Dave Clark and Shawn Duncan are celebrating. Rainey Coffin, Lori Dahlke, John Kelly, Lori Jurado, Vivian Stadley, Brad Oliver, Kay Mills and Derek McGee mark their big day on Saturday. Halloween birthdays for Kathy Prosser, RaeAnne Capaul, Krysta Huft, Amber Copeland, Tom Hasslinger, Rob Moser, Jabet Wheeler, Tyler Engelbrecht, Kevin Grady, Linda Haughton, Jaks Fowler and Susan Johnson. First day of November birthdays belong to Brandon Burchfield, Randy Martens, Bernice Dymek and Pam Jank. On Election Day Alex Capaul, Mike Miller, Alan Zerba, Charity Thompson and Kathleen Lazor take another trip around the sun.

•••

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

Recent Headlines