Were you prepared for the sudden cold snap we had recently? I thought I was ready but Old Man Winter takes great pleasure crushing that attitude. We call him “Old Man Winter” and not “The Cheerful Winter Chap” because he has that classic Clint Eastwood “get off my lawn” disposition. Push him a little too far and he’ll blow you away with an arctic blast while saying “Go ahead, make my day.”

A sudden cold front changes everything. It’s true concerning the relationship with your spouse and it’s true when the Old Man dispenses an extreme dose of wintery-mix just for fun. After living all my life in snow country it’s still a shock waking up to find my projects frozen in time, frozen in place and more often than not, covered with snow.

Some years the descent into winter is gentle. We get the overnight slop melting off on the next 50-degree day. It cycles this way as the temperature drops gradually and we finally make a soft-landing into winter.

This year we certainly hard-landed into wintertime. It was in fact a crash-landing where we had to abandon our carry-ons, scramble over the old and infirm, and jump headlong onto the inflatable chute to save ourselves. We were enjoying extended balmy weather when, overnight, winter arrived and slaughtered autumn with icicles and a sharp temperature drop. Wind came from the north, the rain turned to snow and the soil froze solid. You can’t say that it caught me with my pants down but my long underwear was still in the back of the dresser drawer.

Ironically, this year I felt I was ready. Leaves were gathered and disposed of, mower parked for the winter in the shed, hoses disconnected, drained, rolled and stored; the outdoor furniture put away, the vegetable garden picked clean and turned over; all was good except for a few details. Like, for example, fixing my snowplow.

What’s that? Of course I could have fixed the plow before it snowed. Late last summer I had to move the plow so I hooked it up to the truck to discover it was totally unresponsive. I tried everything from sweet talk to defibrillation and got not a pulse. How easy it would have been to tinker with it in sunshine and T-shirt. But no worries, it was summer. I could take it in anytime to the plow guys because they wouldn’t be busy, and they would surely be happy to see me.

Now, I dread calling the plow guys. Here’s what that will be like after the first ring: (a recording) “Hello, we’re the plow guys. Your call would have been very important to us last week but it snowed the other day so while you hold for us to listen to your pathetic plow problem that should have been addressed earlier, enjoy Dean Martin singing ‘Let It Snow’ on an endless loop.”

My old college roommate Bob Morris, who grew up in Los Angeles but went to school with me in Michigan, had a great naive appreciation for the seasonal change. One chilly autumn morning Bob ran into the room all excited as he had experienced “a white crystalline substance falling from the sky.” Bob was a scientific type decades before the character Sheldon came along on the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.”

After a frolic in the snow, Bob noticed that his new sneakers had cracked right across the middle of the sole. Returning to the shoe store, he showed the manager what had happened. The manager, using his scariest accusatory voice, pointed at Bob and declared, “You wore those in the snow, didn’t you!”

Bob was terribly embarrassed. No one growing up in Los Angeles would imagine that you shouldn’t wear sneakers in the snow. I had to console him that snow ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of, but instead of saying, “I’ve never heard of sneakers snapping in the snow,” I just had to ask, “What were you thinking, wearing sneakers in the snow?”

Anyway, I’m ready for winter — aside from that nasty plow business … and the cellar door that I removed and have yet to replace … and the storm windows that are still in summer mode … and the indoor plants we had left outside….

At least I’m pretty sure my sneakers won’t snap in the snow; unless, it gets really cold.

I can just hear that deep, chilling voice: “Go ahead, make my day.”