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Winter arsenal II

December 16, 2013 - Mike Donahey

Saturday is the first day of winter, as several calendars declare. But more accurately, "Old Man Winter" has been with us for weeks, with no sign of letting up.

I’ve been preparing for him as any Midwesterner must.

For starters, I have an old-fashioned kitchen broom, heavy duty scrapper and a shovel at the ready. The broom is ideal for sweeping snow off of my car’s windows. The scrapper is thick plastic, with a solid rubber handle — ideal for scrapping ice of off windshields.

The shovel will come in handy for getting unstuck — something I manage to do at least once per winter. I drive a full-sized sedan with front-wheel drive, no doubt one of the best anti-winter features ever invented, so that lessens the potential to screw-up. Regardless, for extra traction, I added 48 pounds concrete block and placed 24 pounds over each rear tire. I have a pair of heavy metal grips to place under the tires too.

For walking — I’m equally prepared for hiking the one-half block or so from the parking lot to the Times-Republican offices with 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 last winter.

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.



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