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Snow ... And More Snow

December 7-10, 2010

Written December 11

Friends and Families ,

Early December 2010 will go down as a record-breaker for snow in Germany, so what did it mean for us? There are two aspects: work and home. Home is nicer.


My normal pattern is to spend the early part of the week up in Offenbach, near Frankfurt, and end the week in Erlangen, near Nuremberg, and near home. Normally I drive my own car, for the flexibility and freedom it provides. This week however, the weather forecast was too daunting, even for my four-wheel-drive car. (MY ability to move is more determined by other cars and trucks after all.)

So, I took the company bus Monday morning, even using a taxi for the ride from home to the bus pick-up in Erlangen. That's a bit of a splurge but even the 25 kilometer ride to the bus could have been problematic. As it turned out, the Monday rides were uneventful -- except the normal autobahn commute problems near Frankfurt. In theory, it should take about two hours from Erlangen to Frankfurt. In practice, it is closer to three.

Heavy snow started Monday evening. The view from my hotel room was better decorated than usual. But, the best part, was that my "commute" was a simple walk across the street. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Germany, flights were cancelled, trains were delayed, and roads were considered "chaos" -- the same word in English and German.

Thursday evening I took the return ride and I was glad I had not chosen to drive. Traffic out of Frankfurt was, indeed, chaos. I was perfectly happy to just sit back, snooze, read my book, and leave the driving to our "profi" up front.

Friday morning started with another round of shoveling snow -- 30 centimeters (13 inches) of deep powder before I could get my car out for the ride to work. The drive was a pain, not because the autobahn was terrible, but because the side roads had not been plowed and were covered in packed-snow ice. Not fun, even with the Audi Allroad.

Work, however, at least offered me a nice office view.



As far as the home story goes, I'll have to say that the story is second hand. I was working, remember? (and considering earlier retirement.) Marianne did take lots of pictures so the home story will be pictures.

Start the day, in the dark, shoveling out the car, but then our little valley becomes a winter wonderland.

This was an early road picture. By the time I made it home, the plows and salt and warming temperatures had cleared the mess away.

The downside of the snow being melted away is that the streams behind us become a pair of lakes. We hope they stay "out there".

Now it is Saturday morning and the snow is melting, not immediatley but it is melting. That's why we have a couple pictures of the "pond" behind our house. Normally, these are little streams but when we get lots of winter water, the valley behind us transforms and we end up with waterfront property. We are told it will not reach the house, but who knows with Global Warming!

John and Marianne

ps: For Alice and Charles: Your suite is ready!


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