Karolyn Hofer: Home holds a long list of comforts

Eerily recently, I have come to realize a humbling pattern in a hotlist of uniquely Hutterite lifestyle aspects that raised me.

In an attempt to acknowledge these, I noticed all these gifts are served to me solely by inheritance and circumstance. The following doesn't do justice to the real thing. It's merely an attempt to be their voice.

The stability my own community offers.It features a very dependable agenda. Sometimes it feels inimically restraining, and does everything that's good for you at times. Most days it's reassuring to have and to witness that, at least if I don't, someone in this world still has discipline. There are capable people who teach, clean roads, construct, cook, parent, manage separate work, operate the shop, maintain the school computers and ITV system, shop for groceries, and untold additional compartments. All pride to zero, from the bottom of my heart, I couldn't map it out better myself.

Half a mile long, tucked away from dusting traffic, featuring a full view of the night sky is the imperishable shelter-belt of our driveway.The outer layer is a palisade of elegant, imperious poplars, randomly skipping like a 7-year-old's front teeth. Then there's a lanky, elfin chain of Green Ash before my favorite, a row of boisterous, bushy pine trees merrily wagging their head to the wind.

It is a fairly characteristic Hutterian community shelter-belt trimming the entry that we can all spy from the sunset and sigh with relieve "we're-almost-home." If I don't traverse it once a day I feel bad, I really do. But according to my health teacher it's a good thing and it's called "failing intrinsic motivation."


My Huttrishes Klad, distinctive dress.I'm quite fond of my entire dress code because of the way it looks, feels, and its capacity to shape others' perspective of me. My dresses are made of a long skirt and a medium-loose blouse, in colors that can make me feel like the sunrise and the ocean. My style ranges from dégagé slash comfy-casual to the paradigm of classical elegance. I love the long, sail-in-the-wind skirt; the whole message it casts makes me feel sheltered and dignified.

I justify our woodsfor this hot list as our community was built here because of those oaks. Historically and technically the forest owns us. Her paths I trooped when my albino rabbit, Snowball, abandoned me when I was 8 — you guessed it, Snowball was hiding in the woods. All of heaven mourned with me, and in mourned I mean drizzled and moaned and glowed a perfectly sickening gray for an unadulterated week. Either betrayed or betraying — I still can't decide on a reasonable balance, I spent that week glumly pacing my trails, growling no less than 400 times that I wished this woods would explode into thin air. Boys against girls, we built huts and empires and fought the raiders underneath her waving trees. I looove wading in the river, picking wild grapes, just walking and poring over my playlist, jogging and maple sapping.

Again, no fault of my own, I stand merely as the recipient of this nurture. I take it maturity means shouldering the role of the producing what I just credited. And by the way, Jerome and I later captured Snowball. Then she died mysteriously two days after the arrival of our dog Riley.

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