By Anessa V. Cohen
Each year when I take down my sukkah and store it away for the next year, I also need to come to terms with the realization that I am also saying goodbye to the vestiges of summer and the warm weather.
Most of you will tell me that this should not come as a great surprise since it happens like clockwork every year. But for those like me who try to squeeze the most out of the summer, with its easy days, beautiful flowers, and relaxing atmosphere, you gotta admit that trying to stretch it as long as possible has its merits.
Last year we were fortunate in having a mild winter. We had beautiful weather way into December and felt like we were living in Georgia rather than in New York. Whether we will be so lucky this year remains to be seen, although many forecasters are saying we are in for a very snowy and cumbersome winter.
Forecasters have been wrong many times before, but in the interests of playing it safe, I guess we must all bite the bullet and at least prepare for the winter while at the same time hoping our preparations will be for naught.
That being said, folks, here I come again with some suggestions for getting your property and snow equipment ready for winter. There is no choice unless we want to wait until a snow event and find ourselves in trouble. So, here it goes!
• Take a slow walk around the perimeter of your house and property with pen in hand, and make a list of all the things you need to put away, repair, or winterize before the bad weather sets in.
• Check all windows, doorways, and even decorative pillars in the front of your house to see if they need fresh caulking to close up any openings that have developed since previous years.
• All lawn and patio furniture should be either put away or packed and covered to protect them from winter’s weather so they will be in good shape for next year. Any cushions, pillows, or small accessory items should be garaged or put into a storage container or shed.
• Any outdoor water sources such as faucets, showers, sinks, or the like need to be closed from the water source and the faucets opened to drain any remaining water so they will not be subject to freezing during the winter.
• In-ground sprinkler systems should be shut and the system drained to prevent freezing of pipes which leads to expensive breaks in the system.
• Hoses, pool toys, and outdoor toys should be detached and stored indoors. It wouldn’t hurt to check any loose gates and make sure the latches are fixed so you don’t hear banging all winter as well.
• Lightweight flowerpots and small decorative items that could become projectiles on windy days should also either be packed away or tied down.
• You like to barbecue in the winter? Great. But make sure the barbecue is weighted so it won’t shift in the winter wind, and make sure you have a good cover to protect it during the winter weather.
• We hardly had any snow last year, so you better go through your snow equipment and make sure everything is ready “just in case.” Somehow, when we are ready the snow does not come, so it is always good to be ready.
• Last but not least, if we have to go out and clean snow, make sure you have prepared warm clothes, hats, and gloves for all your helpers. I still remember seeing my neighbor a couple of years ago shoveling snow in flip-flops. It boggles the mind!
You know, just thinking about getting all of this ready has made me thirsty. I think I will go into the kitchen and make a hot chocolate. Oh, did I remember to tell you to stock plenty of hot chocolate for the winter? v
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa.cohen@AVCrealty.com.