It’s a typical Sunday morning for the Gruber family in the Bavarian town of Frühling (Spring): while mother Steffi has already gone to work at the hotel and father Georg is still sleeping, six-year-old Emma takes her bike to go visit her grandpa. She’s brought her little rabbit with her, which practically spells trouble. By the time Georg reaches his daughter’s bicycle, Emma is chasing after her nimble rabbit, who has obviously escaped. The merry chase across the fields ends abruptly; though Georg gets hold of the rabbit, he pays for it with a serious lumbago attack. Shortly thereafter Steffi Gruber inquires at the clinic about her husband’s condition and is told that a medicinal allergy has caused Georg to fall into a coma. His organs collapse, and soon he is dead.
A few weeks later Katja Baumann enters the life of the Gruber family. After her separation from her husband and her successful training as a “town helper,” she has set up house in Frühling. When Katja meets Steffi, she finds out – contrary to her expectations – that she is not only supposed to care for little Emma and the household, but also for the grandfather, an old mountain shepherd who lives in a hut that can only be reached by a ski lift. The old man is hopelessly overwhelmed with the care for his animals and the upkeep of the farm. Her husband’s death has made it clear to Steffi once again as to how transitory our lives are. She decides to look for someone to take care of her father.
But old Sepp seems to have a completely different view of his frailty. When Katja arrives at his farm, she is bombarded with rubbish and household objects. The old man is clearly not sociable... Katja proceeds to do her work wordlessly. In the barn, the animals are standing in their own feces, and they weren’t fed for a while either.
Thanks to her uncompromising attitude, Katja slowly manages to soften the old badger’s heart, and to obtain insights into the past of Steffi and her father. But here she commits a fateful mistake.
Next to her new project, Katja must also deal with her daughter: Kiki has just returned from a year in America as an au pair and is not thrilled by the prospect of living alone with her mother in a godforsaken Bavarian village. After talking on the phone with her dad, Peter, he immediately takes a leave of absence from his job and drives off to spend six weeks at the farm where Katja and Kiki have found an apartment. The chaotic situation worsens when Peter notices that Katja is becoming more intimate with the attractive veterinarian Mark Weber, and that Kiki – who finds rubber boots too uncool at first – feels increasingly drawn to the young farmer Matze.