Monday, December 27, 2010

The Ghost of Christmas Past

The aroma of steaming hot Chai floats out of my new "Olaf" Christmas mug, filling the kitchen with a warm and cozy feeling of all things winter. I lovingly grasp the handle of this handmade mug remembering its giver—Henry—my Secret Santa for Christmas 2010—now already just a memory. Having long been a fan of our own Wallowa County Ted Juve's famous pottery (Olaf), whose earthy creations depicts familiar county landscapes in his unique, fanciful way, I finally decided to ASK for it this Christmas rather than GIVE it again.  "Ask and you shall receive", I always say, as evidenced by the cherished mugs pictured! (Olaf Pottery is as much a part of Wallowa County as its mountains!)
Intermingled with the exotic tea spices in them are the smells of a hunk of left over prime rib in the crock pot, expertly prepared by Chef Zachary on the Traeger Bar B Q and smoker for our dinner Christmas day. I am hopeful it will soon become the stock for a very lovely French Onion soup, though at the moment its looking a little pale. Still, its smokey odor mingles with the spiced Chai, creating an exotic blend of smells and hunger pains.

Ahhhhhhhh, Life is good, I am thinking.

There is no sound in my house now except the one that comes from my new Nikon touch screen camera (a Christmas gift from Rahn), as I deftly click away trying to capture Christmas Past for this blog-- thus bringing to mind the chaos and din of only a few days ago.

Although I am sad the holiday has so quickly come and gone, I am still deliciously savoring (along with the Chai) the day ahead of me. This is the first day in a long time when I will finally be able to sit down in front of my computer to write with abandon and without guilt. I'm feeling so good, I may stay in my PJ's all day, doing just that!
Yet, thoughts of the past week still linger like the discarded pile of Christmas stockings before me, and I find it hard to believe just a few days ago our home looked like a hurricane went through it; and in a way, I guess it did! For the first time in a long time we had all four children, their spouses' and kids together here for the holidays.
 As you can see, the Christmas carnage lay strewn about like Santa-Gone-Wild. Never mind! The chaos only added to the contentment and satisfaction of knowing this mess was made by a growing and now very BIG family--one thoroughly human and yet divine. (At least, in the eyes of this beholder!) No doubt about it, Wallowa County is the place to be to feel the ultimate in Christmassy and close; and we did. Even my mother joined the happy throng this year.

Now my thoughts turn to 2011, approaching faster than a freight train. What will it bring for the Hostetter family? What goals and dreams are on the horizon—what trials? Where will we all be next Christmas; and better yet, will there be another little family member in the making?

But wait! What am I doing?? I just remembered I don't have to think today!
And so, I let out a long sigh and go back to simply being here in the moment, enjoying another sip of my Chai tea. I am realizing tomorrow will be soon enough to get back to reality.
And so it will!

~the end~


  1. I just used our prime rib bones (and two hearty slices of prime rib to boot!) and made a soup that was heavenly.

    I also went out to my once upon a time garden and there after weeks of being covered in snow and enduring freezing cole temperatures, grew rosemary, celery, thyme, and parsley. I snipped off those green beauties and added them to the stock. Simply amazing!

  2. Nice post Becky. I've been thinking about doing a Juve story as well.

  3. Glad you like your mugs! Henry loved the color of those ones too=)


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