Winter is Coming!

The Woes of Black Ice

The evil spirit that broke my mother’s arm

Robert McKeon Aloe
3 min readJan 15, 2022

My parents grew up in Michigan, but I mostly grew up in Texas. I didn’t know much about driving in the snow until I lived there for university. Every once in awhile, I was told about an evil foe, lurking in the dark.

My mother would tell me with a seriousness of Armageddon: black ice.

Free image

She would talk about it like it was a serial killer out there to get me. Black ice is water frozen on the street, but it is black and blends in with the road. If you were driving and didn’t see it, you could suddenly lose control.

However, she would talk about it like the car would blow up or start flipping over if just the tip of one wheel touched any black ice. It was one of those dangers that you didn’t want to encounter for fear that she was right.

So she would warn me and my siblings, and eventually it became a joke. Black ice was the boogieman, and we stopped being afraid. We were like the kids saying Candyman three times in the bathroom.

Little did we know, black ice was lurking to attack when we least expected it.

My mother was taking out the garbage one night, in the dark. It was the middle of winter. Snow covered the grass. The driveway was plowed. But an evil demon hid in the shadows, ready to strike.

Mom got the garbage car to the end of the driveway, but she never made it back alive…

Actually, she did survive.

That’s an exaggeration. She slipped on black ice, and the winter devil broke her arm. It mashed her bones requiring multiple surgeries, a metal bar, and a year of recovery.

The one thing we had been warned about for years had attacked the one person most vigilant against this winter thing whose name we shall not utter…

black ice…



Robert McKeon Aloe

I’m in love with my Wife, my Kids, Espresso, Data Science, tomatoes, cooking, engineering, talking, family, Paris, and Italy, not necessarily in that order.