Snowed in? Don't think of it that way. Think of it as snow insulation.
ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Snow is nice, so they say ... "they" being the skiers,
sledders, snowshoers, and snowmen-makers of the world. But
for folks who don't fit into such categories, the lovely
white crystals can sometimes be a definite curse.
For one thing, snow has to be moved around a lot ... in
the course of clearing it out of driveways and off
sidewalks, and shoveling it from steps and roofs.
Furthermore, it destroys traction and causes accidents. So,
as the drifts pile up, they bring some people down.
However, even a "snow scrooge" such as I can find a few
uses for snow. For one thing, a snowbank
can serve as a "natural" snow freezer in case of such
emergencies as a power blackout (which would likely have
been caused by the snowstorm in the first place).
And, if you have a lot of snow (we've recorded as much as
117 inches in one season in our area of Michigan), you can
use a shovel and a little elbow grease to pile a foot-thick
layer of snow insulation up against your house ... in order to
help keep the nest cozy even when you dial down. (Of
course, when spring comes around, you might have to shovel
some of that insulation away, or — better yet —
interest the local children in the fine spring sport of
throwing snow on sunny bare spots and betting on which pile
Here's another practical use for that wintry
blanket: Remember the garage floor you meant to sweep all
summer and fall ... and didn't? Is all that dirt now
tracked through the house? Well, snow is a great sweeping
compound. Just wait for a mild day, throw a few
shovelfuls of snow on the cement, and push the flakes
out, right along with all the crud.