Mountain Times: Tis the season for snow, cold and sharing |

Mountain Times: Tis the season for snow, cold and sharing

Norm and Alan Nicholls
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; There has been a whole lot of snow and cold weather since our last column. The 8 +/- feet of snow reported at the ski areas has provided more than normal coverage on the slopes for this early in the season, and the skiing and snowboarding has been great!

With this past weekendand#8217;s wet snow (and even some rain), the white stuff has solidified into a great base for skiing, boarding and future accumulations. It has also increased the amount of water content for next springand#8217;s run off.

The ski areas have to be delighted with this early shot of the white stuff which has already attracted a good number of early season enthusiasts and has ensured a good Christmas and holiday turnout. The abundance of snow has also reduced the amount of snowmaking usually required which saves the ski areas money.

Itand#8217;s time to learn: For those of you who have never learned to ski or board, most the North Lake Tahoe ski resorts are giving novice skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to learn to ski for only $25 this coming weekend (December 11, 12). This is the 11th annual Learn to Ski and Board Weekend and the cost includes an all day beginner lift ticket, group lesson and equipment rental. What a great deal! Try it, youand#8217;ll like it!

Take heed: The below-normal and sub-zero temperatures we had late in November not only set some weather records, but also created havoc in many homes. Following are a few winterization tips to keep in mind:

and#8226; Whenever you leave your home for any extended period (winter AND summer), it is good to turn off your water at your interior water and#8220;stop and drainand#8221; valve. If you donand#8217;t know its location (or you donand#8217;t know whether your home even has one), it is time to call in a plumber.

and#8226; Always leave your heater thermostat at its lowest setting, or higher. Never shut the heat off in the winter months.

and#8226; Open the cabinet doors below all your sinks and open the doors of your dishwasher and washer. This helps the ambient room heat circulate around your pipes, drains, traps and appliance hoses.

and#8226; After you have shut off the water, open the toilet lids and lift the tank covers from your toilets and flush the toilet to minimize the amount of water in the toilet bowl and tank.

and#8226; Pour some RV antifreeze (not corrosive auto antifreeze) into your sink drains, toilet bowls and toilet tanks.

If you are living in your home and you know that the temperatures are going to be severely low, make sure you do items 2 and 3 above and have your hair dryer handy just in case a pipe or pipes freeze. If it is evident that a pipe has cracked but has not yet thawed and begun leaking, shut off all the water to your home immediately, and#8220;forget the hair dryerand#8221; and call your plumber immediately!

Tree sales are going great: Both the Optimist Club tree lot at Highway 89 and Deerfield Drive, and the Boy Scout tree lot at Mountain Hardware are reporting brisk sales, and the quality of the trees this year are excellent. Please support these nonprofit organizations and the kids in our community.

Give as you can, when you can: This is the time of year when many charitable organizations (examples: Truckee Community Christmas, Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, Sierra Senior Services, Boyand#8217;s and Girland#8217;s Club, Tahoe Womenand#8217;s Services and other worthy charities) ask that community members donate money, time and commitments to their worthy causes.

We support and applaud these organizations for all their efforts and wonderful programs. Many folks in our communities need support and assistance; and during these tough economic times the needs can seem staggering.

Admittedly, it is becoming more difficult for some of us to help out these causes as much as we would like to. May I suggest that if you have a limited amount to donate that you donand#8217;t worry so much about the amount you can donate. Any donation of money or time will be appreciated by the recipients.

Also keep in mind that nearly all these organizations accept donations throughout the year. So if you are unable to help now, keep the donation request letters in a drawer and donate at a later time as you are able.

Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee.

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