Vertical driveways

gooseys.jpg“Bless the Lord!” shouted Ezell, along with a lot of other unintelligible stuff about how good it was to be alive in the Lord’s kingdom. Or wherever. He had some kind of big ice chipping operation going on over in the WCC parking lot, even though the roads were basically clear by then. His enthusiasm is always infectious and, although I’m pretty sure I didn’t yell “bless the lord,” heathen that I am, I definitely cheered him on. Some others were probably not quite so happy this morning. One of my friends has to negotiate a long, almost vertical driveway in order to get out into the world each day. Usually it is not a problem. This morning, it was glazed with ice. She managed to get out just fine but her son, who left a few minutes later, wasn’t quite as lucky. He slid back down the hill into a mulch pile. He’s fine and thanks to a very creative tow truck operator, so is his vee-hickle. But what a crappy way to start the week. Kee-reist.

My friend’s son is a very competent driver but this was an extremely difficult situation and, once upon a time, I came close to having a similar mishap. I was driving my little gold Ford Fiesta, of the trio known as “Mama’s Little Gold Car, Daddy’s Little Blue Car, and The Orange Car.” I was trying to drive the back way out of one of the shopping plazas on Stadium. Arbor Farms and Ace Hardware are there now. At that time, it housed Farmer Jack and the Secretary of State and my errand there that day had been to renew my driver’s license at the Secretary of State. The back way involves a long, steeply sloped hill and it was icy and when I got about halfway up, my little vee-hickle just would not go any further. In fact, I had the distinct sensation that I was about to start sliding backwards. My babies were “on board” in their car seats and there was a big cement building at the bottom. I gingerly backed around, inching my way forward and back until I was heading *down* the hill and proceeded *very* slowly down. It was probably a good thing the folks at the Secretary of State didn’t witness that little performance.

This morning was the fourth time in a week or so that I’ve had to cancel or curtail one of my walks because of ice. I walk in almost every weather condition except thunderstorms. I don’t trust lightning. But. I can wade through snow and slog through heat and humidity and I cut my teeth on sub-zero temperatures up in the Yoop. Knees covered with nothing but nylon stockings at 32 below zero? I never got frostbite. Miraculously. I wear LAYERS now. Anyway. I can deal with ice but a fall a few years ago has made me decide to pick my battles carefully. It wasn’t even very icy that day. I was merrily galumphing along on pretty much dry pavement when I got hit over the head with a bit of micro-climate. That is, a slanted pane of sidewalk that, in the shade of a tree, routinely collected water and this time, unbeknownst to me, it was glazed with ice. Black ice. WHOMP! My back hit first and then my head. Yikes! Of all things, the first thing I thought was something vain like, “who saw me do that?” It was dark and no one saw me. My bones are made of rubber or whatever and I bounced right up. Was I okay? Well. My head hurt. My back hurt. Miraculously, nothing seemed to be broken. I could walk. And I could actually think, at least after the first couple of moments of wondering if I was dead or not. I walked the rest of the way home, a couple miles. My head stopped hurting eventually and my bones seemed to work but, for the next few days, I felt as if a giant had picked me up and shaken me for a few minutes.

Weather forecasts say we’re supposed to get the same kind of gloom and doom ice storms again tomorrow. I don’t usually believe the weather. There’s often a tendency to overstate the prediction. But this year? I dunno. I hope we’re not stuck into a pattern of ice storms.

One Response to “Vertical driveways”

  1. Emily R Says:

    My goodness, you are getting some weather. My policy is not to run if the weather is below freezing, because if there is any ice, I will find it and slip. I’m that good.