Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Ice and Snow

Last week Indianapolis got hit by one of the worst ice storms we've seen in years. Ironically, just a few weeks before the storm came some of my friends and I shared memories of the last big ice storm that hit in 1988. My friends reminisced about how horrible the storm was and how awful it was to be without power for several days. I, on the other hand, have fond memories of reading or playing card games by candlelight, how the ice covered trees sparkled in the sun the for several days, and spending time with Sarah and my Grandparents. (Mom and Dad missed the storm because they were on a cruise in the Caribbean at the time.)

This time around was a bit different. The morning before the storm hit, Mom called to see if I needed any supplies. Rather than have her drive to my side of town just to bring me some groceries I decided that it would be a good idea for me to make my own supply run. It's a good thing that I decided to do this myself, because that would be the last time that I would leave my house all week. The grocery area at Target was a mad house. I watched one woman grab six boxes of donuts, all at once, and add them to her already over flowing cart! The checkout lines stretched into the clothing section of the store. All I was buying was some juice, canned food, and some pharmacy items, so I decided to go back to the pharmacy to see if they would mind ringing me up there. As the staff in the Target pharmacy now know me by name they were happy to let me cheat and get around the busy checkout lines.

Sadly, the one thing I really needed, Ice Melt, was the one thing that Target had run out of first thing in the morning, so I was going to have to stop somewhere else for that. On the way out the door I struck up a conversation with a nice woman who was also heading to the parking lot. I mentioned to her that I was looking for salt to melt the ice and she directed me over to Marsh where they had plenty. I then headed home and prepared to be hermit for the rest of the week.

My friend Jamal came by that evening and spread the salt for me. Not sure the salt did any good, as even now there is about two inches of ice on my driveway, but the gesture was much appreciated. Several people called to check on me throughout the week, but I had everything that I needed and was happy to stay home. I'd like to say that I was really productive, but honestly I spent most of my time cuddling with my cats on the couch watching episodes of Psych over Netflix.

It was fascinating to watch the ice come down and gradually cover the world outside. The ice fell for two days growing thicker and thicker. I alternated between watching out my back door as it accumulated on the deck, and opening my garage door to see how thick it was on the driveway. That was as far as I could go. The morning after the storm had passed I awoke to a room bathed in sunlight. I immediately looked out the window to see the trees, covered in ice, sparkling brightly just as they had in 1988. In my heart I wanted to walk out into the neighborhood to observe it's ice wrapped beauty, but I know better than to take that risk, even with the ice tips (attachable cleats) on my crutches it would be too dangerous.

The week ended with snow. On Saturday I was amazed to watch the forecasted 1 or 2 inches of snow quickly turn into something closer to 6 inches! My neighbor was kind enough to shovel the snow out of my driveway, exposing the ice that is still there, but making it easier for me to get my car out. I struggled over the decision to go to church on Sunday, but decided that I had been home long enough and that it was time to rejoin the world. Several people commented that I was the last person they expected to see on Sunday, knowing that prosthetics and ice/snow don't really mix. Dad met me at the main entrance to the church, which was clear of any ice, and parked my car so that I wouldn't have to deal with the parking lot or sidewalks, otherwise I would have stayed home.

Snow usually doesn't cause much of a problem for me, but thick snow and ice certainly make things more difficult. Can I walk on ice and snow? The answer is yes, and I will if necessary, but I have to go slow and be very careful. I didn't stay home all week because I had to. I stayed home because it was the safest thing to do, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

The thickness of the ice is amazing, even a week later. I don't know if our grass will grow again after all of the chemical infested ice I've tossed off the driveway and sidewalk into the yard. I broke the tip off my best shovel in this ice. It's remarkable. We lost power twice, once for about 24 hours. It makes you think about what to have on hand.
Well, I have two relatively good legs but I chose to stay home all week. Just made a whole lot of sense to me and it sounds like you had the same kind of sense. I was busy and happy just not opening even an outside door to see how thick the ice was and continues to be. It was quite satisfying to know that I found it satisfying to be with myself. Well, add Doug to that. Good to see you at church. I love that big smile that greets me coming from you. See you around.
my son is looking at the PT program at U of I and we opened the brochure and there u were! :) i realize this comment is not relevent to ur blog, but decided it didnt really matter where i wrote this. hope everything is going well for you!!
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