The dogs must be walked. They are both too short to find a spot where their eliminations can occur on park land simply because the snow is still way too deep. All the parts that do the eliminations are buried in snow that has been laid over with a coating of ice.
Hubby's frozen larynx means he cannot tolerate the cold air outside, plus he is in rehab to try and re-establish some of the balance he has lost because of his lousy knees.
That leaves me. I have never been graceful or coordinated; some days it's a challenge for me to remain upright (even in our own house) and I have learned that I fall like a tree in the forest -- straight down on my kisser, nothing delicate or ladylike about it.
At the Oscar's last night, Jennifer Lawrence took a tumble, tripping over her voluminous gown trying to go up the stairs to the stage. She did it quite prettily and I thought to myself, "Yes, that's how to fall in public; just float down in a circle of satin and lace, land like a tumbling autumn leaf on the stairs, wait a moment, and then rise swanlike and continue onward. The next time I fall down I'm going down like Jennifer Lawrence."
I have been walking the dogs down the middle of our street which was plowed but still had a packed snow cover. Yesterday was a fairly nice day, the sun shone, the temps were above freezing. It was really easy to walk the boys down the street, cut over if they were not doing their business fast enough, and then head back home after a couple of blocks. Both boys understood the need to "go" in strange places and did their business with alacrity.
Last night the freezing cold set back in and the melting on the streets and our sidewalk turned to black ice. My very expensive winter dog walking shoes coped with the snow just fine but on the ice they turn into frozen soled ski boots and shoot right out from under me, while I wobble around trying to retain balance like a drunken clown on stilts.
This morning I hook up Luie, who enjoys walking in the snow (or the ice or the subterranean heat -- any time, any place, any weather conditions) and we start out the front door with Gussie watching. I'm not stupid enough to try and walk both dogs together in this kind of weather. We go one at a time. Luie is careful, he skirts the first ice spot on the walk by leaping into a drift of snow and powering through. I navigate the first spot but the second catches me unawares and the left foot slides out into the air, leaving me balance on the right which is skating precariously forward, pitching me, boobs first into the sidewalk.
It's a slow motion comedy routine. I'm sure, if Luie could have seen it he would have laughed out loud (remember, Luie's blind). The lease flies from my grip, my hands bust out to cushion the ongoing fall, the knees bend and I'm down.
The ice is unforgiving. It will not let me get up. I'm on my hands and knees and I try to find purchase on the slick ice but it's a no-go. I slide forward, then back, then I'm on my butt. I roll over and try again, calling to Lu who is now free and running down the driveway toward the street. I roll into the snow drift and try to use the cold, ice covered snow to get me upright. I sink into the drift and fall sideways.
I roll back over and try again to get upright but neither foot can find a spot that doesn't just propel me backward or sideways but never up. Luie, now realizing that something is wrong is standing stock still in the driveway, waiting to see what his crazy human is going to try next.
I roll back onto my knees and begin crawling over the ice and pavement to the front steps, where blessedly the ice has not formed. Once my palms find purchase on the steps, I can pull myself upright. I can hear Luie's leash knock, knock, knocking on the driveway but I'm not sure if he's heading for the freedom of the street or back to help me.
The neighbor across the street opens her upstairs window to call out. "Do you need help?" she queries. "Are you hurt?"
I'm banged up a bit, the bruises from the last fall have not yet healed and now they ache worse, but I'm really not hurt in any discernible way. There is no blood, just scraped palms and a jarring feeling to my shoulders and back that promise a dull ache that will continue for a couple of days. The bruised knee took most of the fall and will certainly bruise more heavily but clearly nothing is broken.
"Just got to get the dog," I call back. Gus is standing at the door, bouncing up and down, hoping I'm coming back for him so he can join in the fun. Then I see little Luie clomping back towards me, dragging his retractable lease, coming to find out what all the fuss is about.
Luie and I resume our walk but we don't go far before I realize the street has turned into a skating rink and I'm not up for doing arabesques this morning. We head back for the safety of our own house and Luie, in a spate of deep animal sympathico, hastily does his business right in our own front yard. Gusie is even quicker as I lease him up. We get down the drive, into the parking area, and he manages to squat without first examining every twig, ice lump, snow bump, and discarded paper cup along the way. Soon enough we are back in the house, safe and warm.
Clearly I do not have osteoporosis and my bones can withstand a whole lot of bumps and bangs. That's the good news. The awful news is that another huge storm is headed our way with 100% chance of a huge snow event -- 15 or more inches of snow to fall on what is already here and warnings of power outages to accompany it. I dread to think what walking the dogs on Tuesday and Wednesday may be like.