Utopia, Interuppted

I live in Utopia.  I nearly always have, except for that one time I moved away for a bit to husband catch and degree get.

My father has a farm.  My grandfather own a huge stretch of ranch land.  My grandmother’s home has always been right there -and it is beautiful, warm, clean, and wonderful.  There’s always been an abundance of love and respect and order and family.  I’ve been handed so much of everything the world is short on these days.
And gee -you should see it all at Christmastime. The only thing more perfect than a red barn covered in snow is grandma’s Christmas village twinkling under her tree.

(That was the view from my yard one early December morning last year.)
There’s no Christmas music more gratifying than my grandfather’s organ melodies.

And there’s such freedom in knowing I can drive to my grandpa’s huge spread of land just outside of town for my personal devotionals. I can be alone out there. I can feel the spirit and refresh and get heavenly hugs.

It’s all so perfect and we’re all so together and life has always been this way.
Sure, it’s crossed my mind that maybe things will change. But they never actually HAVE, so it’s hard for me to really wrap my mind around the idea and fully accept it.
My great grandmother gave birth to five boys. The first died in infancy. The other four built their own houses within a block of their mother.
And that neighborhood, friends, is the center of my Utopia. I was lucky enough to physically live there for a season of my life, and now I’m barely a block or two away.

And yesterday, we lost a member of our Utopian society.

Uncle Jay. I found that picture HERE, and you really ought to click on that link because it tells the story of his POW days.
After Uncle Ross passed away, Aunt Sarah May married my best friend’s grandfather: Uncle Jay. It was like a dream come true. We’d spent our entire lives wishing we were REALLY related (as if being third cousins just wasn’t quite ENOUGH) and then one of my family members married one of hers.

Today I’m starting to feel that my denial -something I emphatically embrace -is in peril.
Things are changing. Utopia is slipping.
Maybe I should mesh those two sentences together: Utopia is changing.
It’s still Utopia in it’s own way. It’s always been changing, so why should it stop now? It has no regard for me, that’s why.

Will the farm always be in my backyard?
Will the ranch land outside of town always just BE there for me to gallop around on whenever I feel the need to feed my soul?
Will grandma’s village be there for my great grand kids to enjoy?
My denial says YES! That’s why I love my denial so much. It’s so appeasing.
But my head knows better… and so today I won’t worry about too much of anything that doesn’t matter. Maybe I’ll whip out my great-grandmother’s old journals and type away the words of Utopia as it was in 1972, when she was living in the house that was the center of the village.
Maybe I’ll take a picture of the red barn.
Maybe I’ll go hug grandpa and beg for an organ lesson.
Maybe I’ll go cry for a while because I’m plagued with sentiment and pregnancy all at once and it’s fairly lethal… and if I don’t let it out somehow I’ll probably die.
And speaking of Christmas, my daughter decided she needed to write a letter to Santa Clause. I told her we would write them later when we could all sit together as a family, but that she could practice if she wanted to. Without any help from me or anyone else, this is what she brought me a few minutes later:

“I want a very cute dress
that is very
very cute dress.

And I am 10 size.

She’s really 6 size, but whatever. It was the most adorable thing I’d ever seen, and I took her to the computer and let her window shop fancy dresses.
THIS one was her favorite (get a load of this):

Lacy is asking Santa for a fancy, fancy dress... and this is her favorite.


“What are you going to do with it?” I asked, honestly wanting to know.

“DANCE!” She threw her arms up in the air and grinned from ear to ear, “AND EAT CAKE!”
And that, friends, is why kids know more than we do.
When I die, I hope I can leave that behind for my kids. If you do anything at all with this life… make sure that you dance. Make sure you eat cake. Make sure you wear fancy clothes when you do it, and most of all:
Make the most of your Utopia.

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