The weather couldn’t decide what it wanted to do yesterday. First it rained, then it snowed, then it slushed. I had not experienced a slushfall before, but apparently, it was too cold for rain, too warm for snow to form flakes, and so what fell were globules of slush.

This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the poor drainage in this town. Apparently, some functionary at one time decided it was a good idea to get rid of the culverts and hump the streets instead. This tends to keep the streets dry, because moisture drains to curbs and street gutters, but since the gutters don’t drain as they should, water tend to puddle, making it impossible to cross the street on foot in wet weather.

Normally, I solve the problem of flooded gutters by walking in the street, but at the cross streets, there are bumper-scraping dips on either side of the road, which drain slowly, so on days like yesterday, not only do the gutters overflow, so do those deep dips. The flooding was so severe, I had to walk way out of my way to find places to cross the rivers of slush to get to work. By afternoon, there was so much slush, I wouldn’t have been able to find a way to avoid sloshing through the flooded areas, and I dreaded walking home in the inevitable sodden boots and socks.

The place where I work is two blocks from my house. I have walked those two blocks in deep snow, frigid winds, icy rains, moonless nights, horrendous heat. No matter what the weather, I have turned down offers of a ride because I wanted that small adventure.

Well, the slush defeated me, so last night, I gladly accepted a ride. It was the only way to get around and through the flooded areas.

Fearing that the slush would freeze overnight, I went out in the dark and shoveled the walk. I also shoveled my ramp from the front door to the sidewalk as best as I could without scraping off the paint and non-skid strips. My best wasn’t all that good because today I have an icy slide all the way down to the sidewalk, which sort of defeats the purpose of a handicap ramp. Luckily, the sun is out, so it won’t be long until the ice melts.

I have no idea what impact this weather will have on my tulips. They’d already started poking through the ground, but perhaps the temperatures didn’t drop below freezing long enough to have an effect. But there’s nothing I can do about it. The poor things are on their own.

As for me, I can only hope the melting will help drain the slushy street gutters and dips so I can manage to get to work with relatively dry feet. If not, well, I’ll bring dry shoes and socks so I won’t have to spend the day in sodden footwear.

These are last year’s tulips. With any luck, they will bloom again this year.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

4 Responses to “Slushfall”

  1. Lovey Says:

    Pat, your tulips should be fine if only the spears are poking up. They are in danger if the bulbs have started to unfold to the degree they are open.. Tulips and their even hardier cousins, the daffodils, are built to take the fickleness of spring weather!!!!

  2. Judy Galyon Says:

    Good luck on this year’s tulips. I should plant some.

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