Tag Archives: winter

Day 735: Ice, ice, baby


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Okay, so it hasn’t been quite this icy on Toronto streets lately, but it has been pretty slippery in spots out there.

And I have broken both wrists over the past two years … the left one after a very bad fall that bruised both my arm and my ego.

So, forgive me if I’ve been a little skittish out there and inching along even more slowly than my 82-year-old Pops.

In fact, right outside his building, I almost went flying went I walked across a patch of black ice on the way to the grocery store.

So when I saw that the lock had rusted off the box of rock salt outside the store, I was hit with a brainwave (my annual one).

And a plastic bag left behind at the bank machine beside the supermarket helped me execute my cunning plan.

After I came out of the store with my dad’s purchases, I used the extra bag to scoop up as much salt as I could from the box. Since I was using it for the public good, on a route directly in front of the store, I figured no one would mind. (And I didn’t set off any sirens or alarm bells, so, SCORE!)

I carefully navigated the snowy sidewalk back to my dad’s building, and when I got to the patch of black ice, I carefully distributed my swiped salt as evenly as I could over the surface.

Yes, I ended up having to use my bare hands and risk dreaded chapped skin, but it was well worth it. Disaster hopefully averted… until the next storm, anyway.

In other winter good-deed news, a friend of mine told me that her neighbour regularly takes her snowblower over to my friend’s property and takes care of her driveway too… how nice is that?!

Stay upright, all!

how-to-walk-on-ice

p.s.

I shouldn’t laugh at this after my falling history but I just can’t help myself. Enjoy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Day 229: Cold comfort

My change-in-pockets-ready-for-anything technique failed me today. Mainly because I ran out of change to put in my pockets.

I was walking downtown and even though it was a balmy –5 C, I kept thinking that either winters are getting colder or my tolerance for sub-zero days has dropped significantly.wolfgranolabar

Then I saw him — or her, I wasn’t exactly sure — sleeping on a sidewalk grate. The person was cocooned inside a navy sleeping bag, hood pulled over head, backpack as a pillow. Steam billowed from the subway tunnel below, making it a premiere spot to crash, I guess.

I didn’t want to just walk on by, but my wallet was empty.

Then I saw a little bundle of things beside the person’s head. A paper cup, a small bag and a styrofoam food container.

And I remembered the granola bar I’d stuck in my purse a few days ago on a previous trip into the city. I found it in my bag and gently placed it beside the styrofoam box.

It wasn’t much, but at least it was ice and snow resistant – unlike the person lying there…..

P.S. A warm song for a cold day, Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” Enjoy!

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Day 210: Cold comfort

panhandlerNarrowly escaped a good-deed faux pas today. It was brutally cold in Toronto (minus 21 C with wind chill factored in) — so cold it made your eyes water.

As I walked from the subway downtown, I spotted a man wearing a shabby parka, hood pulled way up, holding a paper cup.

He was standing on the corner, back against the building. I kept thinking how freezing he must be standing there trying to rustle up some spare change from passersby.

So I pulled some coins from my pocket and as I approached him, about to put the money in his cup, he took a sip from it.

Then I noticed the cigarette in his other hand. The guy wasn’t a panhandler at all. He was only standing outside the office building on a smoke break.

Slipped hand back in pocket and kept walking. Close call.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away ….
I saw someone who was not outside voluntarily.

A young guy with ginger hair and shaggy beard was sleeping on the pavement wrapped only in a light sleeping bag. His arms were outstretched, bare hands likely getting frostbitten.

Sitting above his head was a cardboard coffee shop tray and several empty Tim Horton’s cups. I walked around him, bent down and put some money in the tray. He didn’t move.

I didn’t know what else I could do. As I left I saw someone else walk over and put something in the tray. Still so cold it made my eyes water….

P.S. “Long, Long Time,” a warm blast from the past:

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