Stockpiling for Winter

A lack of supplies led to winter woes when a storm hit the homestead.

| Jan/Feb 2019

  • Jerry Nelson and his wife are sure to stock up on toilet paper every winter before snow fall begins.
    Photo by Jerry Nelson
  • The hallway closet is dedicated to storing toilet paper through winter storms.
    Photo by Wayne Stroot

During the winter months, my wife always makes sure that our bathroom closet is filled to capacity with packages of toilet paper. What’s the reason behind this humongous stash of Charmin? She simply wants to avoid another TP emergency. We endured such a crisis a few winters ago, and she doesn’t want a repeat performance.

 Those of us who live in the Snowbelt know that a whiteout winter could come at any time. A whiteout winter doesn’t involve just one particularly nasty blizzard that, like a door-to-door salesman, inflicts itself upon you for a short while before moving on. A whiteout winter is a winter that brings an endless string of snowstorms — months and months that become one long, white blur of frigid misery.

I have a photo of my Grandpa Nelson that was taken in 1968. What makes this photo extraordinary is that he’s walking about 15 feet above the ground. Had Grandpa mastered levitation? Nope; he’s actually walking atop a huge snowdrift that’s occupying the space between the house and the granary — a snowbank that was massive enough to generate its own gravitational field.

It’s not a matter of if another whiteout winter will come, but when. This is why autumn finds us Snowbelters storing away supplies to see us through the next “snowpocalypse.” Something deep in our bones impels us to fill our pantries and stuff our freezers every autumn. Each home is stocked with enough to feed a small village.

“Be prepared” isn’t just the Boy Scout motto; they’re words that folks in the Snowbelt live by. Problems can arise when people fail to thoroughly adhere to this admonition.

One winter some years ago, the forecasters said we were about to receive a good old-fashioned blizzard, but that didn’t bother me; I was confident that we had sufficient stores to see us through a month of snowstorms.

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