Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Of Sledding and Flat Tires

This has been the mildest winter I think I have ever seen. We never had any accumulation that lasted more than an hour and we never even had a hard freeze. Then after a week of mid-60's temperatures (where we had put away winter coats, mittens, and boots) the report came. Snow... snow was coming. Warnings were issued for March 22nd. at first it was 8", then 6", then 4"... and then finally a few showers fell in the area, but nothing stuck. It was mostly mixed with rain and so 3 sad faces sat staring out the window at the slush with their boots dug out of hiding and scarves wrapped around their necks.

Then on Friday I received a call from my friend Michele. She lives about 30 miles from me. She had been laid up all week with some bad migraines. Through the course of our conversation I learned that her town had received about a foot of snow so far, it was still falling, and more was being predicted!! She said that her 4 kids were playing in the yard, but wanted to go to a nearby hill to sled, but she (Michele) just did not feel up to getting outside. I quickly jumped at the chance! I told her I would be there as quick as we could pull on our boots. As we got further and further out it was like a different world was beginning to take shape. We left our gray and rainy village with the first flowers of spring in bloom.... we began to see little patches of white, a flake or two mixed in with the rain would fall - and then we went up a hill, around a bend and Noah said, "oh look we're in Narnia now!" That is exactly what it looked like too! Big fluffy flakes were falling, the trees were COVERED with snow and there was at least 1 foot or more on the ground.
After we arrived eight of us trudged about a half mile walk through the forest to the sledding hills. The littlest sledders, Hannah and Micah, hitched a ride on a sled for most of the way (and my back has just now recovered). We spent a good hour and a half sledding down the steep hills. Once we had blazed the trail the kids were catching some serious speed. Their expressions were mingled with excitement / fear like those of a rider on a roller coaster. I couldn't capture them as they zipped by with my poorly equipped camera, but I got a few decent shots of the kids.Sarah took Micah down as Rebekah looks on. Micah only went down the hill 2 times. He had more fun having a snow ball fight with Rebekah and eating snow!!
Rachel and Noah are about the same age and really enjoyed one anothers company as they found they could get better speed if they went down the hill together. Here they are stopped by a bank, but the camera focused!!
After we arrived back to the homestead the kids played in the yard making forts and throwing snowballs until one by one they succumbed to the cold and promise of a hot beverage. We stayed and played inside to warm up for a little while and then wanted to head home before more snow fell as well as the temperatures. About halfway home we had a little bit of a mishap (and you need not comment, Bob, I can already hear you in my head). I wanted to take a picture of a funny sign, so I pulled over to the side of the road and accidentally grazed my tire on the guard rail. hisssssssssss........I had a flat tire and 3 stranded kids.
Thanks to a nice little old Oma who stopped to tell me where I was and ADAC (aka "the yellow angels", Germany's equivalent of triple A) We were back on the road in just under an hour. Not exactly the perfect ending to our fun snow filled day, and I never did end up getting the funny picture because I was distracted by my flat tire, but we sure had an adventure!!

The little yellow angel mobile and our ADAC "Hero"!!

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