So, maybe winter hasn't really been gone at all and it was actually just me who was gone (from home and from blogging). I spent the holidays in Texas where winter can throw just about anything at you, including snow. But Houston snow just isn't the same as alpine snow. As a Houstonian, I rarely had the opportunity to drive in real winter conditions. There was that one morning back when I was in high school where I can vaguely recall having to drive on ice, but that was just a cup full of ice cubes someone spilled on the ground compared with what I've been dealing with in Austria this winter!
The first year I spent in Austria was a real learning experience. At the end of October, after having been there for just 3 months, my guy mentioned that he thought we needed to change the tires on my car. I countered by saying I thought the tires were fine and would probably last me another couple of years. That's when he informed me about snow tires. What a concept! Never heard of those before. But now every November the summer tires have to be exchanged for snow tires and the opposite is true in April (usually after Easter because nature will inevitably surprise us with snow for that holiday). And because my man is who he is, we (or mostly he, to tell the truth) do this work ourselves. And I am truly grateful to have tires that make it a little less scary to drive on snow and ice. But God fobid I should ever have to deal with chains!! If the weather ever gets that bad, I'm just going to lock myself up inside and enjoy the wintry landscape from my safe and cozy apartment, wrapped in a fleece blanket and sipping a cup of hot chocolate because anything else would just be asking too much of this Texas gal.