By Jamie Rieger
Just when we think the temperatures are warming up enough to melt all the ice out there, Mother Nature dumps more snow on the ground; making walking without landing on your keister for a lot of people an interesting challenge.
With a waddle like a penguin, trying to navigate around the ice is almost like trying to get through an obstacle course and the thin layer of snow on top of the ice makes things even more interesting.
It’s not that people are not shoveling their walks. They are. But, what happens is when the temps warm up and the snow melts, water trickles and puddles across the sidewalk and then freezes once the sun goes down. Then, if a few flakes of snow drop from the sky, those puddles become slipperier than heck.
People who walk are getting creative in their strategies against the ice, too. Some have resorted to putting cleats on their shoes to ensure a better grip. Others, like the writer, just keep wearing their heavy winter boots, even if the temperatures and amount of snow don’t really warrant footwear designed for sub-zero weather.
Myself, I would rather have hot feet (which I do not like one bit) and get to my destination on foot in one piece than land on my butt just trying to cross the street.
If there is a silver lining with all the ice, it is that it means things are actually warming up and we are no longer being subjected to the polar vortex (as the US media have affectionately called the recent blast of cold air from the North Pole). It is the middle of January and it could be a lot worse right now.
Still, ice melt does help make the walkways less slippery, there is still ice in places and while I have not strapped on a pair of cleats to keep vertical while walking, people who do have them say they are a great help.
Keep in mind that winter is temporary and before long, the yards will be turning from white to green and we will be packing away the ice melt and shovels for rakes and lawn mowers.
Until spring gets here, take the walking with caution and keep vertical!