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Old 02-01-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 19,509,642 times
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I have a friend who is obsessed with weather and removing snow and ice from areas around her home.

All winter long, she talks about the weather. It is the main topic of conversation for her.

When it snows, she is the first awake in the morning to plow and shovel it off the driveway and areas around the house. She has irrational fears about ice on the driveway and steps. The other night, after an ice storm, she had to chop up every bit of ice on her driveway all the way down to the end. She has a flat driveway with no incline. When I say things like, "I don't think we need to worry about the bottom of the driveway because nobody is going to walk down here," she says, "When I'm pulling into the driveway, I don't want to slide into someone's car!"

During the afternoon, you can hear her outside chipping away at the edges of ice on her walkway. "I'm just getting ready for the next storm!" she announces proudly.

This woman is so obsessed with the weather that she is slowly but surely driving people away from her. There is no point in trying to talk to her or rationalize anything with her. She is 68 years old, hard headed, and stubborn.

Do you know anyone like this? Is this a sign of old age and oncoming senility? What the hell is this?

Thanks,

Woofers
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,115,151 times
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Fear.
When you reach an age where most of your friends have already had hip replacements due to a fall, and maybe due to a slip on ice, that fear is pretty intense. I don't wear spike heels any more, and I have 'summer boots' for riding and traipsing abt the barnyard, but my winter boots are deeply treaded. I am not above walking with a cane if I think that a 'tripod' approach is necessary! And I shovel my walk, porch, and steps as soon as the snow stops too, and salt or sand them down. Of course I only do it in daylight! The driveway - well, since I only drive on it (it's dirt) the car tires pretty much crunch down to the sand and keep it safe. But the local town folk run a plow up it anyway... getting in or out of an iced driveway onto a road is no fun for older people who worry about the costs both monetary and physical, of schmacking into other people, and if the car starts to slide sideways as you drive in or out, that can be very scary. I'll bet she's had a couple of 'near misses' that have frightened her.

Is it unreasonable? Maybe. Doing it at night seems a little over the top. Maybe you can think of some ways to help her; i.e., tell her where to get salt, sand, or a friendly neighborhood kid to help her. And don't discount her fears, but help empower her to overcome them with positive action and solid advice. You might tell her that if she slips and falls out there at night, no one will find her til the next morning, but that might make her go inside and not come out til spring! One of the main reasons "snowbirds" give for moving or going south at least for the winter is the fear of an ice related injury. And they often go on and on about the cold weather they left as if it were still a real and threatening entity!

And I wouldn't try to wrestle that shovel away from her; she's probably developed some pretty HD musculature from all of that work!
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 19,509,642 times
Reputation: 4209
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
Is it unreasonable? Maybe. Doing it at night seems a little over the top. Maybe you can think of some ways to help her; i.e., tell her where to get salt, sand, or a friendly neighborhood kid to help her.
It seems to be more than fear. It's obsessive/compulsive, like her brain is stuck in a groove. I have helped her, but I don't want to get pulled into the drama and insanity of it all.
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