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Old 12-01-2007, 06:56 PM
 
Location: FINALLY IN MAINE!!!!!
175 posts, read 284,041 times
Reputation: 154

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Hello All,

I was curious as to if you Mainers could give some advise about what we should know for living through a winter. Coming from Florida and never having to deal with snow and real cold before, I thought it might be interesting to see what we need to know., besides the obvious.
Thanks!!!
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Maine
5,669 posts, read 7,778,227 times
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Dress in layers, stay dry, cover your head to stay warm. Be careful of the wind. Wind chill can be dangerous. The wind chill here tonight is -1*.

Wells don't pump without electricity. That surprised me. A lot of Maine is still on private wells instead of public water. Have extra water on hand before a storm so that you can flush the toilet, etc.

Don't wait until the day before a storm to get groceries. It's crazy then.

Have good snow shovels. Make arrangements to have the driveway cleared before winter sets in.

If you have to drive on slippery roads go slowly. You still might end up in a ditch but you're a lot less likely to be hurt if you're driving slowly. Getting stuck at one time or another is a given. Keep a blanket, flashlight, show shovel and sand in the vehicle just in case. We're a friendly bunch. We stop to pull each other back onto the road when we can.

There's plenty to do in the winter between snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and otherwise enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:26 PM
 
Location: South Orange County
264 posts, read 37,724 times
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Wow....never seen snow and planning to spend winters in Maine. The stuff is cold and wet. It is on the ground for significant parts of the year. If it is deep and covers your foundation, it acts as a great insulator. If the ground is bare in January and February, and it is cold, be prepared to spend beaucoups bucks for heat.

At first you will think it is pretty and fun. Then it gets plowed, melts slightly, gets mixed with road sand, salt, and mud...it freezes everything, and if it is cold, that may be for months. It will be the most horrible shades of brownish colors by spring along the roads and around most homes and busineses. You can ski on it, slide on it, make snowmen out of it, write your name in it in yellow if you are a guy (hint for folks who have never seen snow...don't ever eat yellow snow), you can lie on your back in it and make angels, you can shovel it, blow it, truck it, push it, carry it, sweep it, swear at it, and hate it all in an hour...or over the course of six months if it is a snowy winter.

You will need many more clothes than you will have room for. Coats, jackets, down vests, gloves, hats, scarves, flannel shirts and pajamas, warm pants and socks and boots. You will need electric blankets or down comforters, and you will need to spend huge sums of money just to stay warm and to keep your water pipes from freezing...even then there is no guarantee if you lose your electricity and have no generator, and you have a furnace that needs electricity to work.

You will need to get you vehicles prepared for winter.. all weather radials work well, anti-freeze, jumper cables for when your battery dies outside a restaurant at 10 PM on a Saturday evening in February when the temp is 4 degress and the wind is blowing at about 12 MPH. You will need well sealed storm windows on your house and lots of weatherproofing seals unless you want the heat just pouring into the yard. Plan on sharing your home with field mice. They usually move in during the winter months. Don't use Have-A-Heart-Traps. My wife tried those once, but after she had released the mouse, I believe it beat her back into the house. You either have to put up with the little beggars or kill them. Cats work well.

You will need a couple strong and reliablesnow shovels and stiff brooms, ice scrapers and deicer for your car windows, possibly a snowblower or a contracted snow plow guy if you have a significant driveway that needs clearing maybe 20 times during a snowy winter. You will need to find a way to keep the snow off your roof, so ice blocks don't form where the eves meet the vents and cause leaks all over your house. You will need to make sure your chimney is clean and free of creosote is you use a chimney..fuel oil won't muck it up as much as wood.

If I have forgotten anything, others can fill you in...oh, significant amounts of alcohol, microwave popcorn, illicit drugs or anti-depressants are also encouraged. If your marriage is presently shaky prior to moving to Maine, one winter will solve that problem. You will be divorced by late spring if you haven't already killed each other by March. If there is anything else I can provide for info, please feel free to ask.

Almost forgot...plan to spend significant amounts of time cleaning snow off your car if you don't have a garage, and if you do and have to work, plan on spend a lot of time cleaning off your car when you leave work to go home. One bright spot...there is usualy a January thaw around the third week of January. It may last for two days, and the temps may hit fifty....Spring is still 120 days away regardless of what a calendar says...so don't get your hopes up.

Find out about the horrors of black ice before you kill someone or yourself.

Last edited by Parrotpaul; 12-01-2007 at 07:39 PM..
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:28 PM
 
Location: huh?
3,100 posts, read 296,819 times
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oh my god! you are SO in trouble/in for it. just stay inside till may and everything will be fine.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:36 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,134 posts, read 22,302,830 times
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Good subject for a thread!

After living in the cold almost my entire 44 years II never gave it much thouoght, Winter was just a time of year, you dressed different and went on. After living close to an Air Force base (Loring) and having lots of friends from the base, I now have a few things you might not think of.

1. When it is COLD, if you breath through your nose, it will momentarily freeze shut.

2. The colder it is, the less slick ice is. One day about -30 in the morning, a buddy from Tennessee came over and jumped out of his car and ran to a small patch of ice in the drive, jumped into the air, and as soon as his feet hit the ice, they stuck and he faceplanted hard. He thought the colder the temp the harder the ice and the slicker it would be, he was wrong.

3. Fashion doesn't count - warm counts.

4. If ladies boots are "cute" you are in for cold feet.

5. DON'T for Gods sake clear that heavy frost off your windshield with a pan of boiling water. Never crossed my mind until I seen somebody do this on base during a bitter cold snap, glass company loved him though.

6. If the locals are not outside, there is a reason. Not going to impress us by bundling up to go sledding and getting frostbit.

7. The inventor of the engine block heater should have a shrine built in honor of them.

8. Columbia makes a better ad than they do a jacket or boots.

9. There is a reason tire companies still spend tons of money designing and building dedicated severe duty rated snow tires that take studs. All-season tires are really 3 season tires.

10. You WILL feel like you are going to freeze to death the first winter. Wish I could make that sound better, but it is the truth. Tough it out because by the second winter, your body will be adjusted and it will be MUCH better - I PROMISE! I spent 2 years in Dallas, Texas and thought I was going to be a frozen block of humanity the first winter back to the North country, so this is first had experience coming from somebody who had always lived in very cold areas.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:42 PM
 
3,068 posts, read 5,364,429 times
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In the event you do lose power and have no generator, you will want a battery operated radio, several flashlights or coleman lanterns.
A good stockpile of books for reading on those cold, windy days and evenings.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:42 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,134 posts, read 22,302,830 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
If you have to drive on slippery roads go slowly. You still might end up in a ditch but you're a lot less likely to be hurt if you're driving slowly. Getting stuck at one time or another is a given. Keep a blanket, flashlight, show shovel and sand in the vehicle just in case. We're a friendly bunch. We stop to pull each other back onto the road when we can.
Yep, did that a couple of hours ago. Dropped my oldest son off to a friends house for a sleep-over and stopped to pull somebody out of the snowbank. You forgot 1 item in your vehicle list - keep gloves as well. Digging out the old ladies car to get to the undercarriage and handling the tow chain without gloves tonight (10 degrees with a wind of -5) had my hands so blasted cold I couldn't feel my fingers for 20 minutes after I got back into the heat. I looked into my "Oh Heck" box where I keep my winter goodies in the truck I about passed out when I realized I didn't have any gloves in there.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:43 PM
 
Location: FINALLY IN MAINE!!!!!
175 posts, read 284,041 times
Reputation: 154
I have to say Parrot, I had to laugh at some of the comments. I will be sure and have my "SNOW SUPPLIES", ( beer, rum, jack, etc...)
I have been in snow before just never lived in it. And yes it was absolutly beautiful to me, but playing in it and coming back to Florida as opposed to living in it, it quite different I am sure.
There are some things that are the same as here, where you use for snow, we use for Hurricane season, like generators, stock piling supplies, groceries and such. I will however, have to add to my waredrobe. I think I own maybe a jacket or two and they are at most windbreakers.
And I am use to having well water, that is all I have down here. But I have lived in the heat, and hurricanes for years, so snow will be a nice change for a while. I do however worry about driving in it, but I wonder if it is similar to driving in thunderstorms. we get those alot in the summer here.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:43 PM
 
Location: South Orange County
264 posts, read 37,724 times
Reputation: 48
The irony of all this, and my having spent 55 winters in Maine and one in easten Montana, is now when the temps go below sixty in So Cal, I **** and moan because it is soooo cold.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:44 PM
 
Location: South Orange County
264 posts, read 37,724 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlisonL View Post
In the event you do lose power and have no generator, you will want a battery operated radio, several flashlights or coleman lanterns.
A good stockpile of books for reading on those cold, windy days and evenings.
Exactly...and be on good terms with your wife...lights out time can be fun, or it can be your worst nightmare.
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