Monday, October 31, 2011

Fear of Ice

The weekend storm left some frozen slush behind, which reminded me of being stuck in the house for days last winter due to ice on the steps, ice on the driveway, ice on the sidewalks ... ice in my way to the store or the bank or the library.

All my shovels and ice-breaking tools were in the garage yesterday and there was ice in front of the garage. I see younger people just skipping over ice all the time, but I don't feel like testing the frangibility of my bones by attempting to walk across even a small sheet of ice, so I decided to rely on promised warmer weather in coming days to melt everything.

There is a city rule about clearing sidewalks of snow and ice, but some property owners simply don't do it. Curiously, the city itself was often lax in clearing the stretch of sidewalk on East Seventh Street in front of Municipal Lot 7 last winter, making quite an obstacle for pedestrians.

My favorite tool to break up ice is the venerable Wilkinson Sword swoe, a garden tool that has a thin blade with sharp edges on three sides. It can get under sheets of ice and break them up with a flip of the wrist. Our driveway is about 300 feet long from the street to the rear wall where the Dumpsters are and even when it is plowed, a leftover veneer of ice presents a problem for taking out the trash or walking to the street. If I were the boss of everything, I would make sure plowing was followed by sprinkling ice melter all over the driveway. At least by breaking up the ice, I can help the sun and wind melt it away.

If you have elders on your block (and you are not one yourself), clearing ice and snow is one of the biggest favors you can do for them. Seniors can suffer broken hips or limbs from slipping and falling on ice. Do what you can to help them avoid such accidents.



  1. Bernice, the council also past a ordinace that yous can not throw snow into the street when you clear your sidewalk. How I wish they would just catch criminals instead of shovelers