Tyssa was a winter fairytale

Tyssa, with its 620-meter high altitude, had so much snow and freezing temperatures in the winter that the youngsters in winter sports got their money’s worth, while those responsible for the clearance service often suffered.   Santa never feared that he did not have enough snow under the skids of his sleigh – while the Easter bunny sometimes had trouble getting his nests into the snow. Snow depths of up to 2 meters and low temperatures of 20 ° were not uncommon .  The hamlet ” fallow”Due to its location was the leader, especially in snowdrifts. The houses were partly snowed in so that the children could slide down from the roof and the house entrances from the street had to be shaved like a tunnel. Since there was no motorized snow plowing or milling, a large, drawn by powerful horses snow plow, the streets had to passable. This often did not help with extremely high snow. Then there was a need to shovel, or the road remained impassable for a while. Since harsh winters were the order of the day and therefore nothing special for the population, they organized themselves accordingly and provided enough fuel and “iron meal rations.”

Of course, winter brought joy to sledding, skiing or building snow gurges for us teens. The most popular ski resorts were the downhill slope next to the turnpike and Volkshaus, where on a ski jump the Lamer Rudi and the John Heinz jumps reached over 20 meters. Another departure point was the “Kessel” at the outskirts of Oberförster Renger . For the very brave, the steep “Wendtberg” was the perfect place to get from the “Wendt-Ausstopfer” (animal preparation) down to the “Barcher Schenke” (Berger Schenke)If you were able to crash down in time, you could crash in time before the road. Tobogganing or bobsled, although it was not “traffic law” was seen, on the fairly steep down road leading from the restaurant “Fierpaß” to curve with Dr. Demuth and even further to the Berger tavern , great fun. Here you could see all types of sledges, from the small metal “Quarkprassen” (shape similar to a quark press), on horn sledges to the great 5-seater Bob. Back we hoped to be able to attach ourselves to a wagon or the bus if the coachman or driver did not notice.

However, in order to be able to take advantage of the joys of winter, we asked Peter as a student to provide us with plenty of snow and cold, so that the “coal vacation” would be extended several times. Official winter holidays did not exist then, as they were based entirely on the weather conditions. At set times, we had to meet to receive homework at school. Then the forecourt to the school with the skis stuck in the snow looked like a big spiny hedgehog.

To ensure that the mothers and their infants made good headway even when it was snowing, interchangeable skids were placed under the wheels. Even more convincing, however, were the children’s carriages made entirely of wood, including the tub, in which the child, warmly wrapped in a fur bag, was well protected against the cold.

Also interesting were our first children’s snowshoes, in which one could also board with felt shoes, similar to a large shoe worked “ski binding”. There were walnut sticks as ski poles at that time. When everything was snow-covered, skis were not only a sports equipment but also an important means of transportation. That’s why skiing was popular with young and old.

The snow-covered forests were a romantic sight to behold, when the trees sometimes became fairy-tale formations due to the snow load and the snow crystals glittered in the sun. It was not so romantic in heavy hoarfrost, where especially threatened the free-hanging power and telephone lines by the load on them. Here, Mr. Winter (his name was correct for the time of year), the person in charge of supplying the place, had to work with his men to “knock free” the wires with long poles.

It was interesting to watch the men in the thickly frozen brick pond when they sawed large blocks of ice, sometimes even showing a frozen fish like in an aquarium. The ice blocks were deposited next to the hotel “Bohemian Switzerland” in an earth bunker. They were needed for the cold rooms of the restaurant and the butcher shop, as there were no electric refrigerators back then.

Now, when I’ve raved about the winter and see the tentative attempts to do so by Peter in my present home in Rostock, I still like to think back to the winter season in Tyssa, including the popular coal holidays.

Harald Richter