Provincial slide

Yesterday introduced me to the name–if not the feel–of a new weather form: ice depositing fog.  At dawn, there was nothing of particular note but within the hour, the world had become wrapped in a thin and sealing coat of clear ice. Flat, busy streets seemed to be okay as traffic was moving along them enough to keep the pavement warmer above freezing. Hills, bridges, and sidewalks, on the other hand, were impassable.

And, of course, there was a meeting to pass to, in this case in a building that is impenetrably located on the best of days.

The place that houses the Provincial office of education does have a street-level entry with all the amenities one might expect:  a sidewalk-to-front-step walkway, a covered portico, front doors that face a street.  However, I knew from previous experience, this is not how one accesses the education office.  To get there, one has no alternative but to descend a steep driveway (yes, with cars passing up and down it,e specially as it was the beginning of the building’s workday), a blind right-angle curve and then a right hairpin turn.

By a stroke of pure luck–I say that because the Province doesn’t seem to have attended to the ice-bound public sidewalk around it hospital–salt was laid across the offending decline and it was possible, for one as nimble as I, to dance across the few salt pellets while avoiding he oncoming and departing cars who felt (understandably) the need to gun their engines on the icy slope. Possible, es, but nonetheless a shade beyond hair-raising.

When I left an hour later, the ice was patchier, the fog had descended into banks that further dimmed the day and a huge semi truck was backed and its cab jacked across the top portion of the drive.  The angle and passage left were such that when I finally was able to crawl to the edge of the flat part of the world, I was literally a cheek’s distance from the passenger side of the cab, which rose about twic my height above my ehad and made it impossible for me to see if there were a driver in it or, if there were, for him to see that he had a pedestrian early under his front wheels.

That I got to work–yes, passing down Cogswell’s hill to Barrington street–and that was fun, too–is proof that I was not run over.


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