Just An Observation: Weather or not to put it away

Tough to decide on what to do as the seasons change

I will just come out and say it, my winter tires are still on.

Having grown up in Alberta and knowing full well that what has been going on this spring is fairly normal, there are two things I was always told.

One, never plant anything that might freeze outside before the third week in May.

And two, don’t change the winter tires until after the May long weekend.

Now, many of us have conducted ourselves in this pattern for many years, based upon experience.

I’ve seen it snow in Alberta in nearly every month, the only exception is August.

And no, I’m not talking about just a few snowflakes, but a good dumping where at least the snow sticks to the road surface instead of melting. Although, leaving water on the road to later freeze can be worse than the snow and slush late in the day when the temperatures drop again.

I also agree with the ‘experts’ on the subject, who note that winter tires still perform well when temperatures are consistently around or below seven degrees Celsius.

Granted, there were a lot of days since the end of February where that wasn’t the case — and it had people rushing to get their tires changed — which is an upward trend I’ve noticed over at least the last 12 years or so.

People tend to start switching over by the middle of March and into April for a variety of reasons, though I think the biggest are wanting to beat the rush to the tire shops and being a bit too optimistic about the warmer weather making a return.

Sure, one can understand why, what with having survived a tremendously arduous and long suffering winter.

However, simply being able to see the ‘light’ doesn’t mean you are at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, it’s only an indication that one will come out the other side, eventually.

And being this is Alberta, where the phrase “wait five minutes and the weather will change” is relevant in any season, that eventuality could come in March, April or even June.

So, maybe the rule of thumb I grew up with doesn’t apply every year, but it’s right more often than not.

Hang up or hang on

Which brings me to another interesting debate people, especially families, have around this time of the year — when to put away their winter wear.

Unlike the tire debate, this situation can be quite muddled for months depending upon the weather forecast and what it’s like when the alarm clock goes off, since the results can be vastly different from each other.

And even then, there remain several decisions to be made.

Will it be cold or just chilly for the morning and warm up later meaning there is a need to take along a lighter outerwear option?

Is it wet or snowy and will it stay that way all day, so one doesn’t have to pack a second pair of footwear?

Are the various weather forecasts for the day going to be right or will the one we don’t look at be the right one, so one has to pack for any type of weather?

These are just a few examples and we haven’t gotten to the big one — the forecast and the actual weather outcomes have been the same for the past week, so do we dare risk it and put away the stuff we haven’t worn in several days?

Chances are, if you have put it away, it will wind up being needed days later and the struggle becomes digging it out or remembering where it was stored.

Given the way the weather patterns have worked themselves out to be in recent times, maybe it would be good to implement the following suggestion though it only works if the room can be found.

Have accessible in the closet near the door any outerwear, footwear and other items being used for the current ‘season.’

Then, stored in the same area (or as close as can be accommodated based on room available), have a few plastic storage bins and fill them with whatever other seasonal items that may or may not be used.

Sure, if it’s the middle of July, you may feel free to move the ‘winter’ items to a different area and if it’s Dec. 15 you may be able to shuffle out the ‘summer wear.’

However, it should be noted that what usually gets moved winds up being needed when one least expects it.

But that is…just an observation.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Short bench for tournament host Queens

Rebuiling year sees club wind up seventh

Town selling the airport to Ponoka Flying Club

Agreement is for 25 years with option to buy back

RCMP on hunt for man who has skipped court

Public urged to call 911 if they spot him

Update: Local bull riders help Canada to fourth at PBR Global Cup

Lambert, Hansen manage to earn two of Canadian team’s good rides

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Portrait of the Coastal GasLink, a pipeline to divide a nation

In mid-February, 46 per cent of the pipeline route had been cleared

Alberta ends master agreement with doctors, new rules to be in place April 1

The current master agreement with physicians ends March 31

Alberta rail conductor fired for social media posts awarded money, but not reinstatement

Arbitrator Richard Hornung says that he agreed with the Teamsters union

Kids exposed to household cleaners as newborns more likely to get asthma: study

Air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners were the worst culprits

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Most Read