That Long Ago, Far Away America: It’s Not So Long Ago or Far Away After All

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I love vintage scenes depicting simple family life. It warms my heart to gaze upon pictures of children playing with train sets around beautifully decorated Christmas trees or families sitting by roaring fires, engaged in lovely activities such as reading, sewing or playing board games.

The media would have us believe such scenes no longer exist. In fact, some describe the idea of a quiet family evening around a fire as something archaic, obsolete and ridiculous. Sadly, there also appears to be an underlying agenda to convince people that living as a nuclear family in the modern world is an offense of some kind.

Today is Thanksgiving Eve, 2016. (Is that a thing?) Soon, our home will be filled with succulent aromas, sounds of dicing and chopping and electric mixing, music (I love to set Pandora to stations with music from my parents’ generation like Dean Martin and good ol’ Frank) and lots of laughter. It’s one of my favorite days of the year. We look forward to the “married kids” coming home again tomorrow with their families.

Beautiful Autumn decorations, and the joy of looking forward to the upcoming holiday season, vacations from work and school, hunting, and all the other wonderful traditions we enjoy that help me realize those days of “long ago” or families who are “long gone” (as some would have us believe) are not only “not gone” but right here, blessing me, day after day.

I try to raise my kids to live unashamedly Christian lives. I pray they have confidence and willingness to share their joy in being a “traditional” American family. Perfect? Not by a long shot – but, (hopefully) humble, hard-working, generous, kind, adventurous, dedicated and striving for holiness.

I kissed my husband as he headed out into the freezing, dark morning, carrying his Igloo cooler on his way to work (like always). I thought of how many times we have shared this exchange over nearly three decades of marriage. My heart swelled to overflowing with gratitude and joy.

Last night, we all sat around the living room as I read the next chapter in a story we’ve been sharing aloud. (I ended up reading two chapters as my hubby and kids begged for more when I tried to close the book.) Then, my 9-year-old son asked if we could play a game of Monopoly (There’s a new kind that only takes about a half hour!) before bedtime. After the story, four of us lounged on the floor, giggling and enjoying a new version of an old favorite. Outside, the last of the leaves continued to drop from our forest of trees, wind blew, hens roosted, dogs barked, deer scampered. Inside, all was right with our little world.

Scenes of men and wives who love each other, children laughing (and fighting), stories, games, food, and simple Christian-family-living are not long gone. They have not faded away. They are not ridiculous or obsolete or in any way offensive.

They are alive and well, and for that, I am thankful.


Writer Bio

Judy DudichJudy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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