Black Ice and the White Cane

My white cane gives me mobility and independence. I navigate sidewalks and street crossings and public transit effectively, one sweep or tap at a time.

Hills? No problem. Cracks? I step over them. Rain? My umbrella and boots work with my cane to ferry me through wet conditions, even puddles. Snow? I slow down, but crunching through snow with proper gear isn’t too bad. Ice? Mayberry, we have a problem.

Ice lurks under otherwise traveled snow, waiting to slip slide me. Chunks of it form wherever plowed or shoveled snow collects, thawing then refreezing as temperatures fluctuate. The white cane can’t warn me of smooth ice, or the dreaded black ice which catches even those with full sight.

I avoid walking where I know ice forms. I sigh at those sidewalks rendered impassable due to the lack of routine shoveling. I shrug when properly shoveled areas fall victim to thaw-and-refreeeze, no considerate shoveler can do much for that unless they sit in vigil with salt. Who has time for that?

I figure those who live in the coldest climates have neighbors more aware of the need to shovel. Or, have fines to encourage those who don’t shovel to do it so walkways get maintained. Or, you live in Atlanta–where The Walking Dead is filmed–which gave an unintentional nod to the zombie series after that ice shut down the city. Daryl can’t save everyone.

Are we living in such a time where car travel has made the thought of pedestrians a thing of the past? Is there a way to walk over smooth ice without falling? If you know how to fight ice, let me know.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Chelle says:

    I do not like ice cube sidewalks, around here very lumpy and uneven ice cube sidewalks. Too many people don’t shovel. Every winter I fall down a couple of times. Without good vision, I’d be totally paranoid about going out. That’s quite a winter challenge you face.

    1. Chelle: Love the phrase “ice cube sidewalks”. I’ll think of that as I skate over the next one.

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