Pothole maneuvering at 35 mph is the sport du jour for those of us in northern climes come March, aka mud season, and one needs to have the skill of a pinball wizard to navigate the gaping holes and chasms that are the result of winter’s snow and ice, freezes and thaws.
Just the other day, leaving my little kingdom here on the Cutoff, I noticed a new crack in the pavement as I drove down the road. This morning, the crack was crevice widening, as if right before my wizened eyes. In between precipitation and politics, the news, it seems, is all about the sad state of our streets. The City of Chicago even has a website where one can track where the worst holes are, report them, avoid them, monitor their repair. Hub caps litter curbsides and repair shops are busy with car alignments and tire repairs and all manner of ER auto triage.
Then, there is the muck and the mud. More than two feet of snow that has been resting atop sheets of ice for three months have been melting. With the melt comes the mud. Oozing, gooey, slimy mud; a madcap milieu for the likes of someone as vertically challenged as I.
Late Tuesday afternoon, slithering out to the compost pile, where the deer had taken up their winter encampment, I nearly had a mud bath. There I was, a bowl of carrot scrapings, potato peels and onion skins gripped in my hot little hands, when a splotch of muck rose up to greet me. I slipped and slid and skated across the raw terrain, somehow managing to remain erect. Good thing I had my fire engine red boots on, or there I would have been, Penelope Pitstop, splayed in the season’s sand.
The deer, of course, were watching attentively in the underbrush.
Image source here.