'Many elderly people are trapped in their homes by the snow and ice.' I've heard that on the radio many times the past couple of weeks as wintry weather has descended on the country. Today, however, I had a flash of insight into the problem.
When I'd heard that announcement during Christmas week I thought the problem was mostly that rural elderly people couldn't drive down to their local town or village to buy the basics, that the roads were bad. However, after yesterday's 2+ inches of snow & ice around our area I realize that old people in towns and cities are also trapped in their homes.
Why? Because nobody - and I mean nobody - shovels the sidewalk in front of their house or business. I can't understand this. I heard people on the radio today talking about the failure of the Dublin city council to clear the "paths" (sidewalks) in the city. Well, is it too much to ask people to get their shovels out to clear the paths? Clear in front of their own homes and businesses and maybe take a few minutes to clear the walk in front of their elderly neighbors? Is that too much to ask?
Of course it isn't.
The weather forecast says the cold snap is going to continue for another week to ten days. So that ice that older people dread so much is going to be there a while. If everyone had simply grabbed a shovel yesterday evening and cleared the snow, there'd be no ice there now.
Similarly, nobody clears their own driveways and businesses don't clear their parking lots. I really can't figure this out. I had my driveway clear before the sun was up this morning. It was hard work, but it would have been much, much easier if I'd been home yesterday evening to shovel the little bit of snow we had before it was compacted down and then frozen into a bigger job.
Yet still nobody else in the neighborhood has cleared their driveway or sidewalk. Twenty-four hours after it fell and we're still waiting for God to come take it away. We may have a long wait.