Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Icy Memories

I was reading Coffee, Tea, Books & Me this morning and Brenda mentioned having to walk carefully down the driveway to get the newspaper because of the icy surface.
I have lived in South Florida since 1979, but I remember the first year of my (first) marriage when we lived in an apartment in my home town in upstate NY.
There was a washer and dryer room in the basement of the center building. There were about 7-9 buildings in total. I was not in the building that housed the washer and dryer room, so I had to gather our dirty clothes, shove them in the carry basket, put on all my winter clothes and then navigate the sidewalks to the building with the laundry room. The maintenance men put salt on the sidewalks leading directly to our buildings, but for some reason, they didn't put any on the connecting sidewalks between the buildings. The sidewalk leading to the laundry room was particularly treacherous. My home town was a hilly town and the area where our apartment was was no exception. In the summer this was not an issue, but in the winter, the sidewalk leading to the cement stairs down to the laundry room (all of which was open to the cold winter sky) was not only not salted, but it faced downhill.
The possibility of slipping down the sidewalk, and then falling down the 10 or 12 cement stairs, also icy, to the laundry room floor was a very real danger.
The only way to make it safely? Sit down. On the icy sidewalk. And slide on my bum down to the steps, also sliding on my bum down each step until I reached the safety of the basement floor. I think I pulled the basket behind me - how I got IT down the stairs without tipping it I don't remember.
I look back on that now with amusement, but it was a real chore back then. Sometimes, I'd be carrying my clothes back and I'd have forgotten to bring a plastic bag, and they'd get wet with rain or snow.
I can't imagine how I'd negotiate icy sidewalks now. I'm much older, much heavier and more delicate than I was then - I think I'd be traveling by sitting down on ice a LOT if I lived in a climate where iced walkways and driveways were common.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It's just December and I'm already thinking a visit to see my sister in Tampa would be a very good thing. :)

Susan Humeston said...

It's been cold here, too - but no ice, thank God. We have had continuously cold weather for a little over 2 weeks now - the kind of cold we normally get in January. It certainly makes it feel more "seasonal" to me!