Saturday, December 21, 2013

Glad to leave the 6 month long 'snow season' behind... Photos of where I used to live

I was looking through some photos... and came across some photos of my house in Germany that I never posted (because the Internet was so slow/bad that it was almost impossible to download photos to post to my blog and of course... I had pneumonia for months at a time due to the horrible cold, damp, long, winters... but, that's another story.)   This is my backyard and the balcony that leads out a door from my living room.   My backyard was small and triangle in shape.   They used 'tree or shrubbery' lines to divide the property.   You can see that at least 5 houses (there are 2 you can't see) that all have yards that meet in the center.  The 'yard' space is actually a big circle and the back yards are like parts of a pie shape-- my slice of the pie was small and I didn't mind-- less leaves to rake up. 

I was doing a 'science/snow experiment' in this corner but my landlord made me remove the snow.  I was just going to see HOW DEEP the snow would really get in this one place!   The table top is open mesh so it took many inches of snow falling before it even starting sticking to the top surface of the table.  

This is early in the experiment.  The rest of the snow- I would shovel -- I just left the far corner of the table and one chair.  I had a theory about the painted houses in Germany.   The houses were painted in very bright colors- orange, lime green, purple, (the house in my photo is a light purple), greens, blues, etc.   My theory?  It snows so much-- that they needed the bright colors to be able to find their houses in the snow!??

House down the street-- they all end up looking like this... tiny front yards... with huge mountains of snow 'taken' only from the short sidewalk in front of the house.

This is my house in Germany- you can see that my 'front yard snow mountain' is in the early stages-- but, it is almost as tall as my Jeep parked in the driveway.   This photo was taken on a RARE SUNNY DAY.   I think that was what I had the most difficult time with... no sunshine for 7 months a year.  I'd drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark.  (It did get dark by 4:15 in the winter.)   The snow from the driveway... I had to haul by snow shovel full to the empty lot across the street.

Front of my house in the early part of winter.  The snow mountain got taller and my shoveled sidewalk area got more narrow- eventually it became the 'width' of the snow shovel. 

As I drove away from my street (that only had 3 houses on it) and onto the main road and just after I turned onto the last street that would lead me to the highway... one of the locals always put this Santa on a real sleigh on their property.  I finally had my camera with me and took his photo. 

His face is made out of hay!   There is a barn that you can see in the other Santa/Sleigh photo.   I'm not sure what the zoning laws were... but, you often saw barns right in little towns... Animals are kept in barns not on the grassy fields/lots/pastures like I was used to in the states.

This is what happens if you park and THEN THE SNOWPLOW comes down the street.  Note the color of the fire hydrant.  I always notice the different colors of them when I travel.   They are red in the states.

This is what happens when you don't move your car for a few days... Less than a week results in this type of 'car trapped' situation.  I was glad that I had a driveway to park my car in and that I did not have to park on the streets.

My old sled that I found (bought of course) and brought home.

This is the tree that I was able to put up in my living room in the rental house in Germany- I was glad to finally have enough space to put a tree up.  See the wooden arch in the window?  Movers broke it when I moved to Italy.   See the glass snowman in the window?  Movers broke his head off.  : (
I enjoyed my time living in Germany- but, I really didn't like the lack of sunshine during the long winters combined with the 6 months of snow.  All of the above photos were taken on a couple of rare sunshine days.   Here in Italy?  Sunny most of the time, cold; but bearable... if it gets down in the upper 20's it is very cold for here.  So far, the temps have been in the 30's - 40's.  

Sometimes, they do get snow in this area-- but, it is only a few inches and it leaves quickly.   I am always excited when it first snows.   Always hoping that school will be cancelled... just like the kids.  "Teachers" hope for snow days too!!

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