The Oven Before Christmas

For the past few days, I’ve been on the hunt for “oven parts” in the piles of boxes in our new house here in Palangkaraya. It only just occurred to me today to ask Brad what exactly “oven parts” look like.

“Like a regulator.”

Right. Got it. And I do. It’s one of the many things I didn’t know before I moved overseas to Indonesia ten years ago. Now I know exactly what a regulator looks like … and how it’s just small enough that it’ll take me forever to find it buried in some box of stuff we just moved from Tarakan to Palangkaraya.

December 2015-Hopkins

(Left to right) Eric, Evan and Renea help unpack the Christmas tree.

I have a special relationship with my oven during these Indonesian Christmases. There was the year I caught a gargantuan rat that had been living in my oven while I was trying to bake Christmas cookies. (I caught that thing with both hands tied behind my back, and my feet jumping up and down on the kitchen table—along with a scream my neighbors must have heard. I’m thankful for a very calm husband who actually pulled out the glue trap with the rat stuck to it.)

Last year, my oven decided to hibernate during Christmas, after it had taken off most of the summer, too. But I learned the art of making slightly burnt, too-thick Christmas cookies in a skillet on my stove top … and learned how much my kids still loved them … and me. And eventually, we got the right oven part (not the regulator) to fix it back up perfectly.

Stove-top cookies (and that regulator) would be a welcome sight about now.

Evan and Renea, with their new Indonesian friend, Esther, had a chance to take a boat ride off MAF’s floating hangar.

Evan and Renea with their new Indonesian friend, Esther, had a chance to take a boat ride off MAF’s floating hangar.

Thankfully, the kids haven’t seemed to notice the lack of delicious cookies amidst the chaos of unpacking. They’re still pretty excited about our new town, the MAF float planes, the boat rides on the river, the rambutan fruits they can pick from the tree, and the fact that it’s still mango season here. And after months of transition, I’m just glad to have a home of my own to cook in … someday … as long as the gigantic rat that’s been running around my house doesn’t get to my oven before I do. I’ve got some sugar cookies to make.

1 Comment

  • zilla fronika says:

    I am really happy for reading such a beautiful story for others serve in my country, especially in Kalimantan. I have prayed for coming there soon but cant because I still have a job. Hopefully, I can be there as a volunteer. Thanks, God bless the service.

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