Dancing the Midwest Shuffle

On a positive note...

Today, I got to practice my Midwest Shuffle dance moves.

What? You’ve never done the Midwest Shuffle, you say? I’ll bet you have and don’t even realize it. If you’ve ever skittered and slid and tried to counter-balance your gait as you slide over an icy patch on the sidewalk — then you have performed a Midwest Shuffle.

Anyone who’s lived in Iowa (or most anywhere in the Midwest for that matter) for more than one or two winters have learned that sometimes the scariest adventure are those that take you from your front door to car door. That first step out of the door can be a dangerous one if you don’t mentally prepare yourself. And since I spent four weeks in a cast with a broken hand last fall, I am painfully aware of what a fall can mean.

So the Midwest Shuffle involves extending one’s arms and gingerly advancing across the treacherous pavement. Sometimes, it helps to counter-balance with a handbag or small tote.

But really the best idea is to pick up a pair of those trekkers – devices that strap to your shoes with small metal spikes in the bottom. I’ve seen mail carriers wear them and a few newspaper carriers. Of course, if you don’t have access to those, perhaps some golf shoes or football cleats might work?

I’ve taken to keeping a small container of IceMelt in my car. That can come in handy if you disembark to discover icy patches. Scattering a few handfuls of the stuff can give a little traction, not to mention peace of mind. I also keep a container just inside the front door of our house and grab a plastic cup to sprinkle some traction down my front walk.

So, what’s your technique with the Midwest Shuffle? Be sure to take it slow and if you don’t have to go out on icy, slippery days, then stay home, for goodness sake.

Please stay safe, friends.