Christmas 2015 is history. What a great way to end a year; celebrating one of the greatest events in human history. I sincerely hope that each one of you now harbors a new hope and optimism in your heart. With all the nastiness going on around the world, we need a time of joy and hopefulness to buoy our spirits.
Our home was blessed this Christmas with the presence of our son and his family, including our two young grandchildren. What a joy it was to watch the two young ones sit on the piano bench together and play the songs they have been learning; Pachelbel’s Canon, The Entertainer, Christmas carols and many others. And this with no formal musical training! Grandpa and I decided that natural talent like this must be encouraged and supported, so their Christmas gifts included help to start piano lessons in the near future. We feel very blessed to be the grandparents of two such fine young people. Our grandson, Jacob, is 15 years old, a good student, soccer player and drummer. His 12-year-old sister, Patience, is also athletic, creative, and just plain fun. Needless to say, our Christmas visit was most enjoyable.
Now it is time to get back to work. We have plans to improve service to our guests in 2016 in a number of new ways, so during the winter months we will be developing and finalizing those plans and preparing ourselves and our staff to bring those plans to reality in the new season. During the winter, when Dick and I are on R&R in Arizona, a friend will be staying here at the ranch to take care of the horses, and watch over things in general. We have every confidence that the horses and tack will be in excellent condition come spring.
This fall and early winter have brought us a great deal of much-needed moisture in the form of both rain and snow. While it is more comfortable to be basking in Central Oregon-style sunshine, a good soaking rain is what the crops, lawns and gardens need. And if the crops are to do well next summer we also need a good snow pack in the mountains. That is happening; the mountains are gorgeously white already, and we still have several months for possible snowfall. Of course ski enthusiasts must be jubilant since the last few years have seen meager snowpack.
Last winter’s extreme cold and dryness damaged many trees on the ranch grounds, so dead and damaged trees have been removed or trimmed. This will improve the looks of the grounds while minimizing the possibility of trees blowing over in a windstorm. I plan to grow many more vegetables in the gardens and greenhouse next year because guests love the idea of eating veggies that were just harvested that morning. Our dining porch and guest rooms will be upgraded for increased usability, enjoyment, and comfort.
All in all, the management and staff of Long Hollow Ranch are excited about the upcoming season and are looking forward to meeting new guests and seeing many of our former guests again. We want to wish each of you a very Happy New Year.