Tuesday 27 September 2022

Four Days in September

There is a lot I want to show you and tell you about, but I like to keep things in (chronological) order and therefore will just briefly summarize the four days after the beautiful walk of Monday two weeks ago, as described in my previous post.

Tuesday (September 13) was very warm and humid; the rain at the end of the sunny day came as no surprise as there were thunderstorms not all that far away from us. 

After a leisurely morning coffee, we walked in the vicinity of the village, covering only about 7 km. Because the air was so sticky with humid heat, it exhausted me much more than this kind of walk usually does. We took most of our meals that day on the balcony, and it felt much more like high summer than in early autumn.

near the village, around lunchtime on Sept. 13

O.K. drove us to my place on Wednesday, taking a detour because of heavy traffic and arriving rather later than planned. I had just about time to down a very quick coffee before going to the nearby Covid test centre and then on to hospital to visit my Dad. My Mum was of course there, too, and I went briefly home with her afterwards to admire her new bed. 

For our evening meal, O.K. and I went to Kullman's Diner, just across the road from the train station and less than 10 minutes on foot from my house. The food was delicious and the service very good.

Rainbow over Ludwigsburg as seen on the way home from my Mum's on Sept. 14

On Thursday, we got up early in order to be at my Mum's at 9:00. O.K. drove us to the IKEA store on the outskirts of Ludwigsburg. My Mum has been rearranging things at home so that now she sleeps upstairs and my Dad downstairs, and she needed a few things for the makeover of the upstairs bedroom and bathroom. We had breakfast at the IKEA restaurant before my Mum made her purchases, and back at my parents' flat, we dismantled the old wardrobe in what used to be my Dad's bedroom. 

After a cup of coffee with Mum, I went briefly home to freshen up a little, then once again to the test centre and on to hospital.

While I was there, O.K. walked into town and waited for me in the palace grounds (the hospital is right next to the gardens). We had fish & chips at "my" Irish pub and spent the rest of the evening resting at home.

The next day, Friday, saw us driving to our holiday destination: a hotel in a village in a woodland area called Odenwald, less than 80 km away (click the word Odenwald for the wikipedia entry in English). It took us about 1 1/4 h to get there, and we arrived just in time for coffee. 

our room (click to enlarge)

the hotel grounds from our balcony

After unpacking, we had a quick stroll down into the village (the hotel grounds back on to the forest), but a shower cut our walk short. 
View of the village (Neunkirchen) from near the hotel

Rainbow over Neunkirchen on Sept. 16

Dinner at the hotel was delicious, and we were looking forward to the next five days here. 

Looking back at that week, especially with the warm and sunny weather we still had, it seems like a long time ago. I have started work again yesterday, and already it feels like we're hurtling towards winter at great speed.

This is not only due to the chilly and rainy weather we've been having and it being still dark when I get up, but has a lot to do with the current situation with my Dad who is still in hospital. 

I am not going to go into detail here but things are not looking good. He won't really recover or get well, and in all likelihood is not going to return home. But he is looked after very well by friendly and caring staff, and of course we are at his side every day (except for me when I was at O.K.'s and then away for six nights). At the moment, there is no telling how long this daily routine of going for tests and then to hospital as soon as work permits will go on. We take each day as it comes right now, and support each other according to our own ways and possibilities.


  1. Your many friends will be thinking about your father.
    I am glad you and your mother have faith in the hospital staff; the days now will have their own way of passing; and your father will be thinking of his family.
    When my own father was ailing he told me how important were the visits from his daughters, my two sisters.

    The rainbows over Ludwigsburg and Neunkirchen have special poignancy just now; and I feel I am gazing down on Neunkirchen's roofs from that grassy knoll, under September's skies.
    I love the Odenwald, its people and its landscape.
    The very name Odenwald reminds of some golden land I read about as a child.
    A mythological name, which reminds me of C.S. Lewis.
    *Let us die with Father Odin on the side of truth.*

    1. Thank you, Jack. The three of us (Mum, sister and myself) can not praise enough the chronically overworked and understaffed people at the hospital. They have been nothing but good and patient with our Dad, and even in a hurry always stop to answer our questions or ask someone else if they don't know the answer.

      I was looking at the origin of the name Odenwald; as the Norse god Odin was known as Wotan in the southern parts of what is now Germany, it is unlikely that he was the forest's namesake. Instead it is more likely to come from the word "odan", Medieval German for when a person in power gave (or lent) land to someone in their favour.

    2. Odenwald/ Odin/ Wotan : I thought it might be 'a stretch' as the kids say.
      Norse gods were in Lewis's imagination (his love of Wagner) and in mine.
      YouTube: *Our Walk in Michelstadt/ City Centre/ Odenwald/ Germany 4K.*
      The mayor of Michelstadt in the 1970s was a tall broad man with a ready smile.
      He had fought on the Russian front and would have taken his stories with him.
      I enjoy these memories while staff at your father's hospital are working so hard.
      Where would our societies be without socialised medicine ?

  2. Glad you are close to family during your father's illness. Supporting each other is so helpful and important to each of you.

    1. Thank you, Ellen. Yes, it is. We are glad to live within easy walking distance of each other (and of the hospital), so the closeness is physical, too.

  3. Sorry to hear about your family difficulties - having gone through something very similar several years ago I can empathize. On one hand every day takes forever and on the other hand things are rushing too fast to get a grip on. Remember to take care of yourself a bit every day too.


    1. Thank you, Ceci. I am quite good at taking care of myself, and my Mum is getting a little better at it, too. But I fear for my sister who is nearing collapse; on top of a demanding workload and the situation with our Dad, she is also looking after her close friend who is still recovering from cancer therapy in the spring. The only "good thing" is that at the moment, that friend is in the same hospital as our Dad, so we can all visit him when we've been to see Dad.

  4. I am very sorry about your father's situation. Love to your mother, your sister and yourself at this trying time.

    1. Thank you, Neil. They will most likely read your comment, too, but I am still going to pass your kind words on to them this afternoon when we meet again in room no. 6.

  5. A sad and difficult time for all of you. Thinking of your father, mother, sister and you. May you all continue to feel the love and concern of your blog friends. Know that we care.

  6. Sending love to you all. My husband is having palliative treatment for metastatic cancer, so I appreciate how difficult these days are
    Siobhan x

    1. Thank you, Siobhan. I am not quite sure that we have "met" before, but I appreciate your comment at this difficult time for you and your husband as well as for my family very much.
      Meike x

  7. I am sorry to hear things are not going well with your father. I am thinking of him and your family.