10Dec22: inscrutable…

Andy had “kitty food time” earlier.

Now it’s time to be inscrutable.

What do you want, kitty?!


Just for the fun of it, I’ve photographed and marked with red arrows places I’ve slipped and fallen because of a poorly cleaned walk, lane, and parking pad. Snow removal is taken care of by people hired by the landlord. Not included are places I’ve fallen on broken pavement in the lane, pavement laid back in World War II!

Oftentimes, there is a ridge to step over here, and that puts me at risk of becoming unbalanced when I step over it. I’ve fallen. The lane up to the red object in the upper left is new. Beyond that, it is broken up pavement. I’ve had two falls that I can recall falling on that broken pavement, but that was years ago. The ones shown here are from the past three years. 

I used to be able to put my trash out on the grass by my sidewalk and the trash guys put it in a small pushcart used to transfer the trash to the truck. With COVID-19 and the problem of finding people willing to do that sort of work, the trash company put these dumpsters on the lane. I have a dolly I use to take the trash to the dumpster, but when the lane is like this, I have had falls. Oftentimes the snow on either side of my car (the black VW Golf Sportwagen in the photo…) isn’t scooped immediately or at all. When it melts a bit, then refreezes, I have a heck of time getting in and out of the car. I’ve slipped on both sides and fallen . If at all, it gets scooped on the driver’s side, but that doesn’t help when snow has to be removed from the roof and hood on the passenger side.

The arrow on the right should be safe to step on but I recently had my last fall there when my cane landed on snow with ice underneath it. The upper left arrow duplicates another spot – by my car – where I’ve hit ice and fallen when getting out of my car. The lower left arrow is on the edge of the lane, which is sloped on both sides to drain down the center. The sloped sides make complete removal of snow with a conventional snowplow problematic, so invariably there is ice there after the remaining snow melts a bit during the day.

It’s about 55 feet/ 16.7 meters from my front door to the driver’s door of my car if I walk on pavement. I have some stability issues walking on the grass, the shorter distance, so I try to avoid that, but in winter I sometimes chose climbing through the snow rather than risk falling on the icy pavement. In the photo, I walked from the car to the cleared walk behind it but felt a bit insecure when I crossed the lane where there is an icy patch in the dip in the center. You can see where I then crossed into the drifted snow on the grass. That almost was a worse situation than the icy dip because there was a high bank of snow from snow removed from the lane. I almost fell. This approach to avoiding possible falls works best when the snow is fresh fallen and the lane hasn’t been cleared yet. My worst time comes when rain comes first, then it snows since I can be sure there is ice everywhere on the sidewalk, lane, and parking pad.


Years ago, when I still worked and was in better shape, I offered to pay for a concrete parking pad on my side of the lane. The manager then didn’t “get it”, though when I mentioned falls both another resident down the lane and I’d had on the broken pavement, she had them extend a pavement replacement project to just beyond the corner of the neighbor’s end of the parking pad.

In the bottom photo, you almost can see the point where the new pavement ends because it is cleared off a bit better than the broken part. The point to the manager then, however, wasn’t that repairing the pavement solved my issues, it was that the pad in front of my apartment would make things like taking groceries in and not having to walk so far to my apartment less problematic for me.

Now that I qualify for handicap parking, the distance from my front door and the falling issue are greater than when I brought up the pad on my side of the lane. The resident of the duplex next to this pad parks closest to their duplex, and I am left with the farther spot to park. Further, I now am physically worse off than that neighbor and sometimes barely, painfully, get back to my duplex after dialysis.

Every day it is a challenge, and snowy days make it a threat to my safety. So far, the worse I’ve suffered in the falls is a bruise or scrape or two and a blow to my dignity.

Oh yeah, when there is a threat of falls because of snow and ice, trash accumulates on my dolly and around the apartment until conditions improve. Lovely! I have a mountain of it at the moment.

I’ve had just one fall this year. I have a strategy to avoid them after so many in past years and it seems to help. Incidentally, my neighbor across the lane has a daughter who fell on the broken lane this year when there wasn’t any snow and suffered a broken ankle that took weeks and surgery to heal.