7 Things People with Visual Impairments Encounter in the Winter

  1. The claw. The hand formation created after prolonged cane usage outdoors in the elements. Despite the best efforts of your gloves, after a certain point, they don’t keep your hands as warm as a cozy pocket.
  2. Disappearing bags. A white plastic bag flutters out of a pocket and lands in the snow while walking the dogs. White on white. Gone, baby, gone.
  3. Sidewalk monitor. As a pedestrian, you notice which neighbors clear their sidewalks, and more importantly, which ones don’t.
  4. The desire for a third hand. It takes only one time going out all bundled up carrying a white cane to realize how annoying unbundling is at a busy party or restaurant. Your residual vision is adjusting to the chaotic environment. You must do the remove-the-coat-and-accessories-and-sit-down  dance without bumping into things or disturbing others all the while one hand keeps the cane out of the way.
  5. Chapstick envy. You’re riding public transit when you catch the distinct scent of cherry lip balm and realize you forgot yours at home as you lick your soon-to-be dry lips in absentminded disappointment.
  6. Wet socks. The cooling effect of slush in sneaker when you misjudged how much snow banked at the curb.
  7. Rock salt reverence. It might be the only thing in the world that’s welcome to leave you standing around in the frigid weather.

As you battle through drifting snow and these cold, windy days, what do you encounter? Tell me about it.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Modwyn says:

    So true! And worth a few laughs!

    1. Thanks Modwyn! Your climate down there closer to the equator must be more reasonable in the wintertime.

  2. Hahaha #4 I think is my favorite. Although I could use that third arm any time of the year. I don’t worry so much about #2 b/c most of my plastic store bags are blue, however if they would get away from me I sincerly doubt that I’d be chasing them down. Here in PIttsburgh we’re headed into windchills well below zero within the next day or two.

    1. Winters in the Burgh are no joke. I’m a Pitt alum, so I remember those bone-chilling days well! Are those bags from Giant Eagle? Grin.

      1. Yup to the bag. Got tons of them. 🙂

  3. Casee says:

    I absolutely hate climbing over the snow mounds pushed to the corner of the crosswalks by the snow plows. No one thinks of the pedestrians or bikers that are still trying to get around. It’s all about the cars!

    1. Plowed snow can easily claim a corner as its own for days.

  4. rusty_coyote says:

    Oh definitely the snow banks & what “looks” like a clear spot to step is actually a 2ft deep icy puddle…great

    1. A great way to start any morning, too.

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