Lesson Learned…or Not. In which our heroine has multiple unfortunate encounters with snowdrifts, while riding her trusty two-wheeled steed.

According the the Ostsee Zeitung, last month was unprecedentedly cold, dark, and sunless.  We were granted about 27 hours of sunlight in 28 days.  Ugh.  No wonder there is a plethora of sun lamps up here.  Greifswald spent almost all of December, January, and February under snow.  Once in  a while, there would be a couple warmer days, and then Greifswald would be very slushy.  Last week, however, we saw the sun, for days, and the last vestiges of our snow blanket melted.  We sat outside, on our balcony, sipping tea and soaking up the sunshine.  When someone told me it was going to snow this weekend, I wanted to cry.  I wanted to beg, please, no!  Not more snow!  Let the sun stay!

Yesterday was a prelude to what would come.  Yesterday, the wind was icy, and the sky overcast all day.  I woke up this morning to a once-again snow-covered city.  It snowed almost six inches overnight, The awful thing about Greifswald’s weather is the wind.  There is always wind, and it turns even nice, sunny days, chilly.  When there is rain or snow, it worse.  The wind is very strong, and sends thousands of tiny, icy needles into our faces.  Even if it is not actively snowing, the wind picks up snow lying on the ground, and flings it into us poor mortals.  Today, it was only ~24 miles/hr.  I wanted nothing more, this morning, than to stay warm and dry, curled up in bed and maybe reading a good book.  However, on most Sunday mornings, I volunteer at a local animal shelter, and I knew they would need my help today, even more than usual, because of the weather.

Reluctantly, I dragged myself into semi-awake state.

This is Lucifer. Despite the name, he is an absolute sweetie. He is not quite a year old, and a little bit shy, but he loves to cuddle.

The bike ride to the animal shelter is usually only 10 minutes, very easy.  However, at 8:45 am Sunday morning, the sidewalks and bike lines were not yet cleared of snow.  I hesitantly pedaled out into the street, finding it only marginally easier to navigate.  Each driver was being exceedingly cautious, because of the snow, so they were driving only slighter faster than I was biking.  Keeping my bike going straight was probably the hardest, and scariest part of the bike ride, because I never knew if the snow would slip beneath my tires, and send me sprawling in front of a car.  Eventually, I came to a busier street, and the sidewalks were partially cleared, so I moved over and onto them.  As I had feared, I did indeed fall, although thankfully not in front of a car (and they were going so slowly, I probably would not have been hit).  In total, I fell 5 times; 3 times on the way to the animal shelter, and twice on the way back.  One time, my bike just sort of stopped going forward, because the snow was too deep.  I suppose one could either applaud my perseverance, or criticize my inability to learn that biking in snow is not feasible.  I am just glad to be inside, again, chugging hot tea, and telling you all about my morning.  The snow made it a lot more exciting of a morning than it would have been, otherwise!

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