A Christmas Goodbye

A Christmas Goodbye

Decking the halls of our Panhandle Creek cabin.

After our separate Thanksgivings, our family hopes to be together for a string of December holiday celebrations. Mom will help us finish decorating the tree this weekend and we’ll celebrate our small cabin Christmas on the 18th with four generations. On Winter Solstice, we’re having a special reading at Mom’s Independent Living Facility, with readings by members of our writing group, other residents, and two special guest readers, Vicki Lindner and Sandra McGarry. Christmas Eve we’ll enjoy a quiet celebration in town with Mom, then the next morning we’ll see what Santa brought the grandkids. All of this depends, of course, on continued health. With the bugs circulating through schools and the community-at-large, we’ll take precautions where reasonable and hope for the best.

This Christmas will be bittersweet. If all goes according to plan, it will be the last year we enjoy Craig’s stonework. When we moved here five years ago, the previous owners had placed an old woodstove on tiles nearly in the middle of the floor. One of our first improvements was to purchase a stove that could be placed closer to the wall. Craig researched the codes and built the beautiful stone hearth and surround, and the pine mantle above it. I love those rocks, and I hope we can keep at least some of them, but next year the stove will move to new living quarters over the garage.

In the spring, we hope to break ground on our bed and breakfast. A longtime dream, the addition will dramatically change the configuration of our livingroom, while adding two gorgeous guest spaces with views of the creek and the valley. In this room, we’ll add a new stone fireplace, along with room for my piano.

In our family, we have always appreciated the extra goodness that comes with building, or baking, or creating with our own hands. When the grandkids ask for my carrot cake for their birthdays, or Craig’s homemade bread for sandwiches, it’s because these things taste a little better when they’re made with love. We’re excited about the changes, and look forward to being able to share our mountain B&B with friends and family. Like everything we apply ourselves to, these changes will be made with love. But now, working at the table while snow falls on the forest around us, I am looking through the white lights of our tree to the woodstove on Craig’s beautiful hearth. I’m grateful for him and the many ways he shows his love.


Copyright © 2022 Carmel Mawle. All rights reserved.


4 thoughts on “A Christmas Goodbye

  1. Thanks for sharing these snippets from your family life with us, Carmel. The photo of your current living room, with the beautiful stove and stone hearth, draws me in; I want to be sitting there! Wishing you patience and peace as you navigate all the unknowns this season, and as you head toward all the coming changes with your home. Sounds exciting to be fulfilling that dream of a B&B!

    1. Thank you very much, Katharine! I hope you’ll come for a visit! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

  2. How exciting for you both. Here’s to a beautiful Christmas together. And I can’t wait to try your carrot cake!

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Rachel! The next time I make carrot cake, I’ll let you know! 🧡

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