I was suddenly looking up between two walls of snow. The walls had the smoothness that only a snow blower could have carved. No more than two feet apart, the walls of snow were about a foot high.
I had fallen. No warning. The thickness of my down parka had protected me as I tripped on the sidewalk within sight of my home.
I looked down at the sidewalk and listened for the approach of anyone nearby who might have seen my tumble. Apparently no one had. I checked for pain as I rolled over. No movement caused any immediate discomfort.
Soon enough I was up, easing my weight on each leg as I walked the remaining distance to the gate and my front walkway.
Inside the house I explained to Jim what had happened. There wasn’t any indication, though, that I could not continue with the tasks he and I had planned. So out we went.
I just hadn’t imagined lying outside flat on the pavement, the temperatures about me as cold as they had been. Would I have looked to random onlookers as a man in his sixties unsure of his step? Did I fit the description of the kind of neighbor about whom forecasters had been alerting us all last week?