This year, temperatures in northern Maine and western New Brunswick feel more like early November than approaching Christmas. All the more reason for those of us who are a bit iffy about proper planning to explain that we have it together. Here's a few easy bullet points for dealing with winter driving if you just can't be bothered to try too hard.

  • Have you got a bit of a commute, let's say, Route 161 Allagash to Fort Fairfield and back five days a week, but the snow tires for your 1999 Fiat Multipla are somewhere in the back of your garage underneath the Sav-A-Lot boxes you keep meaning to use for kindling? That's fine. Just superglue a few dozen Rainbow Twin Jax to your all-seasons and drive about 38 the whole way. Some of us suspect snow tires are just regular tires with nails in them anyway. You can get nails anywhere. Heck, there's probably some in my yard.
  • Do you need to scrape your windshield but the last time you saw your ice scraper was when you used it to prop up a cellar window that time in July it was 94 and some weird smell was burbling from your sump pump hole? What's wrong with a spatula? That scrapes. It's good. You must have at least eight credit card offers you tossed in the back of your 2001 Ford Ranger. Ice comes right off with those plastic things. Might as well use them for something. Also: convenience store coffee cup lids. The big size, of course. Your fingers get cold but the window gets clear, eventually. Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons. If the lid breaks in pieces you're going to get more in, like, 15 minutes. Don't be stingy. That's not becoming. It's just a lid.
  • Have you got a garage, but three years back the left spring on the door mechanism snapped off and flew a millimeter by your head at the speed of a Daryl Dixon crossbolt and embedded on the far wall where it still sits occasionally giving off ghost tremor sproings which mock your very existence? Who needs a garage? It doesn't get much worse than 10 below Fahrenheit  on any given winter night. You can splash buckets of hot water on your windshield in the morning. The glass probably won't explode. Not often enough to change your ways, anyway. And you can spread the second-hand coats your Aunt Denise gave you (that you're never going to wear) over the vehicle at night. It'll be warm and happy in the morning, though maybe with mixed feelings about wearing a CB Sports Ski Jacket (Green Corduroy XL, Women's).
  • Headed to work but your blower won't come on because, I don't know, the fuses are manic depressive or some other mechanical voodoo whatnot? You really only need to see enough to tell where the white line on the highway is. Open your window a crack. More than half the word "window" is wind. Combine that free airflow with whatever warmth your non-blowing heater produces and you'll get just enough visibility to feel like Scatman Crothers on his way to being struck over the head by Jack Nicholson just for caring about a kid. Though, obviously you don't work at The Overlook Hotel. Or maybe you do, I'm not your mother. At least you'll get to work.
  • Oh, those weren't bullet points, I guess. But this article's done.