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February 2020

- The Cross-Country Ski Run in the Forest -

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Our kid should finally experience real snow, we determined. So my husband Klaus and I drove with our son Joel into the deep snowy Thuringian Forest. Building snowmen, sledging, bobsleighing – and then the three of us went on cross-country skis through the winter forest. "Stop!" I shouted, when Oberhof was already in sight, "you go back to the guest house. I'll stay here and paint a picture of the ski run." After all, why did I have my painting equipment in my backpack?

When Klaus and Joel had disappeared from my view, I unbuckled my long skis, draped my watercolour paintbox  on my left arm and stood on a narrow track that turned off the main path into the forest and got lost in the distance between the trees, gently swinging up and down. It was very beautiful here, quiet and lonely. The cold was bearable, although I didn't wear gloves. But in my clothes I felt comfortably warm like a teddy bear. Quickly the painting was finished. Why I now had the idea to deviate with a big step from the cross-country ski run, I don't know myself anymore. Anyway, I did it and immediately sank with one leg in the soft deep snow. My whole body got into a sloping position and I just tipped over – my arms stretched up in the air, the painting and brush in one hand, the paintbox in the other. The attached water pots toppled over and their contents sprinkled the white snow in a colourful way.

There I lay motionless like a thick beetle on my back – soft as on a fluffy cotton ball, but also damp and cold. Fortunately, nobody had seen my not very elegant exit – but damn: Why was nobody there to help me out of this predicament? To make matters worse, a snow flap fell from the tree, hit my jacket and slipped down my neck. My cap was now crooked, my hair got wet. 'But now let's get out of here before I freeze,' I thought. First save the painting and the colours. I carefully lifted them up onto the solid snow of the track. But even when I tried to get up I sank even deeper into the white splendour. Now I felt the snow in my sleeves and shoes. Oh dear, how deep had I sunk? In terms of height, at least one meter. I had to try to climb up the cross-country ski run, which now seemed to be a real rescue wall. It wasn't easy, but at some point I managed.

I was glad when I was back in the guesthouse and could peel myself out of the stiff frozen clothes. In the hot water of the bathtub I thawed out very slowly and let the day pass in review. Yes, in this way not only Joel had experienced the deep snow. I, too, had experienced what it can mean to stray from the right path in the winter forest.

 

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