Winter, we're coming
April 29, 2014 5:58 AM Subscribe
My wife has accepted a post-doc position in the University of Wisconsin system with duration of around two years. Where exactly in Wisconsin is slightly up in the air, but no matter where we end up, we have a host of questions to ask about moving there and Wisconsin life in general. Once we know where we're actually going, we may have more questions about the area, but right now I think our biggest concern is winter.
posted by LionIndex to Home & Garden (78 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The position is in a study that takes place at a UW campus – it seems most likely that we’ll end up in Madison. We'll probably be jettisoning most of our furniture and many other possessions before moving, which may simplify the logistics a bit, and the University has mentioned that they have some contacts for housing, so lining that up and the actual moving process may not end up being a big deal.
The big deal is that both my wife and I are native Southern Californians, and while I've had some experience with these things other people call "seasons" during my school years in Virginia, I suspect winters there are an order of magnitude (or more) less severe than in the upper Midwest, and during those years I never had to deal with having a car. My wife has never lived further north than Santa Barbara, or further east than where we are right now, in San Diego.
Car stuff: We have a Mazda 2 and a 4WD Tacoma. Do people generally buy snow tires or just use chains? Are there laws restricting chain use or anything like that? What's this whole "winterizing" thing with cars? Is it actually a real thing and not just a story northerners make up to scare people? I've seen comments in other car-purchasing questions about Mazda 3s not handling road salt well – what’s the best way to handle that and prevent damage?
Dog stuff: We have a dog that hates the rain, but we have no idea how she'll handle snow or cold. What do you do in the winter when your dog needs to go? Should we get any kind of doggie clothing or booties for her?
Lifestyle: Most of our current furniture is from IKEA and has reached the end of its lifespan. Since we have a good chance of only being in town for two years, we're fine with the same quality of furniture, but there are no IKEA stores in Wisconsin. Where do people who need cheap not-necessarily-permanent furniture shop in Wisconsin? I feel like the LL Bean winter catalog is sort of my spirit animal, so I'm excited in a way, but what do people wear during the winter? I work in architecture, so if I'm able to get a job in that field while we’re there, I'd probably be wearing some sort of business casual getup, which currently consists of a collared shirt and khakis, all cotton. Do people ever wear long underwear on a more-or-less daily basis? Do people wear different shoes or other articles of clothing to get to work and then change once they get there? What do people wear just to go around town or visit friends on the weekends?
Thanks for any clarification on the above you can provide, or any other tips on just regular things that people do in winter that might be taken for granted. Despite all our concerns about the weather, we're really looking forward to the move.