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I wrote this post a number of years ago in terms of being prepared for winter, but I felt it was a good post to bring back to the blog considering all the hype and pandemic that is around us right now. Also, as most of you know, I no longer have a husband or live at that cabin, and while I haven’t changed most of this post I have added a little more wisdom. Enjoy!
As my husband finished up chopping the last of wood, I stood outside making small talk with him, while my skirt billowed around me as the frigid mountain air blew around me. I shivered and realized that it felt more like October than it did August and it made me realize that the countdown to fall is a lot closer than it seems.Out here at the cabin, preparing for fall and winter is much more important than preparing for winter living in a regular house in a regular neighborhood. There’s firewood to be chopped and stacked, this year there’s clothes to be bought, treatments to be applied to the windows and doors, tools to buy that we didn’t have before: shovel, salt, snow blower, there’s the fact that we’re probably going to get a new car as that is what my husband feels is safest. The list goes on and on.
Most of you are probably thinking, well that’s not too much, and you’ve still got plenty of time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. When having to start over in a new place, you have to think of a budget. And for those of you whose husbands work hard but don’t bring home a six figure income, you will probably need to save before buying said items.
As homemakers, it is our job to prepare and think ahead to keep our families safe, warm and comforted. In Proverbs 31:21 it says
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. -Proverbs 31:21
She has no fear for her household. This tells me that the Proverbs 31 woman was a prepared woman. While she didn’t have the weather channel like we do, she knew the signs of changing seasons and set about making sure her home and family were ready for the cold. She set to mending and darning socks, making coats for the children who have grown, preparing her home for the blistering snow.
She was not afraid that snow would come in the cracks of her home, nor that her husband would get frostbite as he went about his business. She was confident in her skills as a manager of her home and I feel that we should be just as confident as she was.
The big question is how do we know what to prepare for and when to prepare for it without filling our homes with un-needed items?
1 | Know the Worst Scenario
In Vermont, the worst scenario is that we have snow covering our door, and that the ice blows out the power. I know that in order to be prepared for that I need to stock my pantry (our store room, which is bigger than our bathroom), stock up on batteries, candles and matches and lighters, and bring some of the wood to the indoor woodshed.
I know that I don’t need to prepare for a massive ice storm like they do down south, I know that I don’t have to prepare for some freaky snow tornado or anything so I’m good. While I know that a lot of people will have to prepare for the same things I do this winter, please know that preparedness is for more than just winter-time. No matter what the season, think ahead for your area and prepare accordingly. Don’t prepare for a snowstorm in the Sahara Desert.
2 | Have the Right Tools
If you’re preparing for a snow storm, don’t pick up a sand castle shovel and bucket instead of a snow shovel. If you’ve moved to a higher elevation realize that you will likely get a higher snowfall this winter and prepare accordingly. You might need two shovels instead of one, or a snowblower.
When buying the tools you need, be sure to buy quality over price. This post from Sarah Titus has made me realize the importance of spending my husband’s money wisely. Instead of buying the same thing every winter and wasting his hard earnings, I will budget, plan ahead and spend on an item that will last a lifetime.
While you want to be sure to buy quality items, that does not always mean you need to buy new. If you know what you are looking for in each item, you can easily buy the items used in Marketplace or online. If you don’t quite know what you’re looking for ask your husband or a church elder if they can help you pick the right tools.
3 | Check & Minimize Your Inventory
Before you start going out and buying new things, make sure you don’t already have them at home; or check to see if you need new things. You might have some flannel fabric in your fabric box that could make for a great door draft stopper. On the other hand, your son might have grown out of his winter coat from last year and you might not have even known it until it was too late. Go through your house and see what you can reuse already.
When going through your house, look for things you no longer use or need and donate them. Free up space for things to come. Also, box up the previous season’s items and put them in storage. One of the hardest things I dealt with was when there was an emergency with a busted pipe and I hadn’t gotten our previous seasons’ stuff out of the house and all of our things were flooded. Clean up anything that doesn’t belong and isn’t relevant for that season of life and give your home some room to breathe.
4 | Pay Attention
While the weather channel is a great tool, it’s important for you to know what’s going on around you. Is your teenage son leaving for school in a t-shirt and shorts when it’s cold enough for a sweatshirt or coat? (Most likely, am I right?) Is there a draft above your child’s bed due to the cold air at night? Is there a brisk wind that blows past your home? Think ahead to the temperatures as your family comes and goes, and to the temperatures around your house. Be aware if any of your family members are getting ill, or complaining of the temperature in the home. Remember home is supposed to be a place of comfort and warmth. Not somewhere where there’s a cold bed, or a draft.
You are the homemaker in your home, without you it wouldn’t be home, but just a house. Without your caring touch, thoughtfulness and preparedness your family would suffer. Be sure to be mindful, loving, and aware; and don’t forget to rely on the Lord and always follow His instruction.
What do you do to prepare? Leave a comment below, or join the conversation on Facebook.