Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Frosted, and Beyond, Windowpanes

Sleet. When you're inside, that sound, like sand hitting the side of your house, is interesting. Even the next day, when you look outside at the glazed landscape, the icy world has a unique beauty.

And then you have to go to work.

Such was the state I found myself in yesterday. The near 60 degrees of Friday turned into a sleet filled Saturday night. We were supposed to get snow, an inch of white stuff, but got ice instead. I listened to it hit the side of the house for a couple hours on Saturday, before the system moved east.

Sunday, there was a coating of ice on things but not to the extent I've seen it in previous storms. I think it was too warm when the rain started, to really coat things in ice. I heard the city plows going up and down the street spreading salt. The street was clear on Sunday morning.

Monday was 'interesting'. I had to go to Dr. Francis' office. In the holiday hecticness, the paperwork for me to be considered for the RA drug Orencia had not been submitted. I needed to sign the paperwork so it could be submitted. I had to have blood work done, too, but I'd made arrangements to leave work a bit early on Friday. Dr. Francis' office closed at 2 and I couldn't justify leaving that early to sign papers and have a 5 minute blood draw, so I said I'd come first thing on Monday.

That was before the ice.

I left the house early on Monday, after not leaving it all weekend other than to get the mail. I knew, from hearing the neighbors scrape, chip and pound at the ice on their cars, that this would be an adventure. The storm had come from the northwest so, because of where I'd parked the Jeep, the driver's side, windshield and back, were coated. The passenger side had nothing on it.

A couple of whacks with my hand and the top of the driver's door was crumbling. The latch area, however...

I'm not sure, if this were 5 years ago when I didn't have RA, if I would have been able to get the door open. I probably could have gotten in on the passenger side and climbed over, but, if you've ever been on the inside of a Jeep, climbing over takes gymnastic skills and, because I don't always bend in the proper way anymore, I can get hung up very easily. So, how am I going to get into the Jeep and, more importantly, chip away at the layer of ice on the front windshield?

Two words...hot water.

In the past, I'd have poured my tea over the windshield, removed part of the ice, poured the rest over the latch so I could get into the Jeep and driven with the limited view to the office. Then, you park the car so it gets sun on one side and, at noon, move it so the other side gets sunshine. By quitting time, the car is ice free, except for the few icicles hanging from the frame or bumper.

I realize that I need all available window space to see in order to be a safe driver. It's what you should do anyway, but we all think we are exceptionally good drivers in adverse conditions when we probably should either stay home or do more for visibility. I had planned for this. I had water heating in the microwave and the tea kettle I use for water for tea was full and running. It took 2 cups to open the driver's door, 2 cups to remove the ice from the rear window and 8 cups to get almost all the ice off the windshield. I didn't scrape at all.

I had the car running while I did this so the defroster was on. I don't know that this made a difference in removing the ice, but it meant that the car would not immediately refreeze. And the drive to the doctor's office guaranteed that the car would be warm, the water evaporated and I would be able to get back into the car after signing the paperwork.

I thought about what the Jeep would be like had I not had a new top put on at Christmas. There would have been no way to close up all the holes in the top to keep out the sleet. It would have been a mess. I am incredibly grateful to my brother for helping with a new top.

I have to be creative in problem solving things like this now, at this time of life. I was honestly scared walking across the deck and to the car. What if I slip? I'm stiff. There isn't much freedom of motion at the moment. You have to be careful in walking across ice but it took on new meaning as I left the house yesterday. I'm hoping this new drug will help me not be afraid of my own yard. I never thought I'd get to that point, but I have.

Winter is almost a month old. We've been "blessed" if you can call it that, with no snow and this weekend's event is the first sleet experience. While I miss, very much, the white of winter, I'm not missing the shoveling.

Beverage:  Rooibos tea


1 comment:

  1. Glad you made it out safely. Be careful!

    I haven't heard of Orencia, my Mom uses Enbrel and it has made such a difference. I'll have to ask her if she's heard of it.