Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Farm in Odenwald

Rafael and I took a journey to the lovely countryside in the neighboring country Germany. We stayed with my father and his family in an area called Odenwald, where they have renovated a small farmhouse. Raffi spent the days there wandering between tractors, horses, kittens and cows. The air was so clear, and the forests and grasses lush and green. I was surprised by how dark and quiet the nights are in the countryside. It was very cold for the time of year, and rained almost every day. But the landscape was beautiful, and it was good to spend time with family. 

Traveling alone with a toddler was difficult for me, even though he was very well behaved and patient. I had a panic attack on the flight there, and broke out into cold sweats dealing with luggage, car seat, baby, schedule, crowds, long airport halls....

I don't want to frighten anyone who is planning on traveling with their child alone. But many people told me it would be easy, and I want to be honest and tell you it wasn't, not for me. Rafael handled it all very well, only screaming and crying a little bit on the plane, but for me it was incredibly exhausting and overwhelming. I suppose I won't be doing it again until he is older. I am still glad I tried it, though. Because now I know, and I can say with confidence that it is not something I want to repeat. 

Having a home you love and miss is so fortunate. It seems that every time I take a trip, I lie awake at night seeing my home and my life from the outside, thinking of all the things I love, and realizing all the things I want to change. I decided that I want to hang up more photos and art in our home; that I want to build on to our terrace and turn it into a little walled garden; and that I want to start buying bouquets for our rooms again. You see, I've been fantasizing about buying a house lately, and now I decided I need to stop that, and begin putting more energy into the wonderful home we already have. 

When we got back, I spent the first few hours milling happily around, cleaning, unpacking, watering plants, putting this here and that there, settling back into HOME. The next day I bought two large bouquets at the farmer's market, and burned a candle at dinner time. I also bought two tins of luxurious Kusmi Tea, which not only tastes delicious, but fill your kitchen with it's sweet, warm fragrance while it seeps. I felt so cozy and content that I took a photo of our living room, adoring all the little details that make it mine.

The world is so big and beautiful; if you are lucky you can enjoy all of it's splendor and adventure. And if you are even more lucky, you have a safe, warm, comfortable home that you love and adore to come back to afterwards.



  1. How very brave you were, Dawn, to take a trip like that with Rafi all by yourself. The photos are wonderful. I was especially amused by the cat.:-) Your home is absolutely lovely!

  2. Oh Dawn, I'm sorry you had such a difficult flight! But, you did it, and I'm so proud of you. The photos are amazing as ever! Love Raf and the kittie..precious! Your home is so beautiful and inviting...yes there are lots of us who love our homes and miss them when we're gone!


  3. You just defined "Home is where the heart is" and I so get it! But I'm sure your Dad and family will treasure your visit, as you will!

  4. I love the photo of Raffi reaching to the cat. Adorable! I would take road trips with my son when hubby was out of town on business trips and never had a problem. It was fun and in the vehicle he usually slept til we arrived at a destination.

  5. It's so wonderful to hear from you, Dawn, and have a bit of news about your travels. The photos of your stay in Germany are just beautiful; Rafi looks SO grown up, and the rich greens of the countryside are eye-candy for me! Oh, and I love the markings on the cat's face! ...I've forgotten how stressful it is to travel with a young one. All the responsibilities of the journey are on your shoulders! You can't say, "I'll sit here on this bench with Rafi, while you sort out the luggage, etc." And now you're back in your warm and inviting home, nestling in to your comforts. You have a magic touch! Thanks so much for sharing!
    xxxJudy in CA

  6. I am exactly the same way when it comes to traveling with my little ones! I avoid it as much as I can. It is so very difficult and stressful, and it makes me long for home. I'm so bad that I don't even like to shop and run errands with my boys. I usually wait for my husband to get home to do those things. I have plenty of friends, though, that take their children everywhere and seem to have no problem with it. I just think that some people are built to handle it better. I am not one of those people! Just know that you are not alone. :)
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. I love the green hillside and woods. I can't get enough of it! It makes me want to visit Austria one day. For now, I'll stick to the forests in my least until my boys are a bit older and easier to travel with. :)

  7. Dawn, traveling alone with your little one might not have been a great experience, but good for you for doing it! I firmly believe people should attempt things they are fearful of, to prove they can do it. Sometimes you find it's not as bad as you thought, and other times, the opposite is true. But you should feel proud that you accomplished it. I know a woman who traveled from the US to Germany with her three-year-old and twin one-year-olds. By herself!

  8. Raffi's is getting so big! And you have a wonderful home, Dawn. I always admire your decorating and style.


  9. Wow this is so nice. Looks like you reset your living room, looks great and sweet. Love the pics with Raffi and the cat and him walking in nature, so tuned in...

  10. I once planned a simple one hr flight to avoid an 8 hr drive to visit family with my toddler. I got bumped off my flight, had to travel to another airport, take all sorts of shuttles, lugging around stroller, diaper bags and luggage while negotiating new flight. My son was pretty good all things considered but it was a freakin nightmare! I was hot, smelly and sweaty by the time I arrived and felt a bit traumatized! It was another 8 yrs before I flew with him again.

  11. The horses and farm are beautiful, out of a fairy tale! Your home looks so cozy! Flowers and candles make all the difference! I know what you mean about flying, I flew alone with my son when he was 2 and when he was 3 , 5.5 hour flights! Very stressful and I hate being stuck, not able to get off! Plus my son was so good (when he was 3) and he laughed at a movie he was watching and the lady behind us was sleeping and it startled her and she made the rudest comment, I wanted to yell or cry! I wish other people, including the flight attendants, would be kinder!



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