Walking on thin ice

10 Jan

Yet another ice storm. Sigh.

Yet another day off school. Don’t get me wrong, I like a “snow day” as much as the next teacher, but we’ve had so many lately things feel disjointed. The educational flow has been interrupted.

Ice presents particular difficulties that snow does not. Taking Lucy out for a potty break suddenly becomes treacherous. One of my condominium neighbors diligently shovels the sidewalk and  spreads de-icer, but Lucy sometimes likes to venture into uncleared territory. During the last two storms, I just went outside with my cane. There was enough snow under the ice that I could get a firm foothold. But this weekend’s storm was different: more ice than snow. As I looked at the glassy surface out my back door, I worried.

img_0495

Sometime last week, though, I’d read a knitting blog post in which the knitter talked about her two-towel strategy for walking on ice.

  1. Lay a towel
  2. Step on it.
  3. Lay another towel in the direction you want to go.
  4. Step on the second towel.
  5. Pick up the first towel.
  6. Repeat.

What did I have to lose? So, I tried it.

img_0496

Although progress was slow, it worked.

After coming in, I wondered how to speed up the process and walk more efficiently. Could I tie tea towels to my feet and walk? I gave it a try.

img_0497

With tea towels on my feet, I could walk faster, but ice accumulated on the soles of my feet.

Neither option is perfect, but they certainly gave me the opportunity to learn a little something as I worked through the engineering design process. And I am now wondering if I could adapt this to icy conditions…

gaint-humanhamster-ball

 

 

 

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10 Responses to “Walking on thin ice”

  1. Lisa Orchard January 10, 2017 at 5:30 am #

    What a great idea! I’ll remember this for our next ice storm! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Raivenne January 10, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    City girl here, I don’t think the towel idea will work for my two block walk to the bus stop lol. However, the bubble ball idea and the visuals invoked made me giggle madly.

  3. arjeha January 10, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Who knows, maybe you will come up with an innovative way for walking on ice, patent it, market it, and become a millionaire. Ice and I don’t get along well so I deal with it by staying inside and going nowhere. That’s why I have cats.

  4. terierrol January 10, 2017 at 11:25 am #

    I love reading about your problem solving adventures. Best of luck and stay safe.

  5. elsie January 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    Inventive ways to solve a slippery problem! My husband found something he can attach to the bottom of his shoes or boots that are spiky and allow him to walk on the ice as he tries to clear our driveway (which never seems to get sunshine to melt it).

  6. Lisa January 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    Love it! I think you need some Yak Trax! Perhaps the ice doesn’t come often enough for you to justify them? Around here they are kept in the office at school for teachers to wear during treacherous recess yard duties.

    http://www.yaktrax.ca
    (They stretch to fit over any shoe or boot you might want to wear. Many dog owners I know leave them on the shoes all winter so they are ready for a walk any time.)

  7. bevbaird January 10, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    Great idea! I will definitely have to remember that. Two years ago I slipped on ice, hit my head and had a slight concussion (my 4th). I am so nervous about going out in the ice and snow.

  8. Brian Rozinsky January 10, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    Adrienne, have you thought about making ‘indomitable’ your One Word for 2017? 🙂 I enjoyed reading about your relentless pursuit of ice-defeating solutions. All the best as you weather this tough stretch of weather.

  9. carwilc January 10, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Yikes!!!! This sounds awful! But you were very creative!

  10. teachworkoutlove January 10, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    I know what you mean about snow days. I love your towel idea! Genius !

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