The Mysterious Beyond

Grandma’s House–The Mysterious Beyond

We live in a small town–actually more rural than that–we are a couple of miles outside of that little town.  Our place is affectionately known in our family as “The Mysterious Beyond”. I grew up in the city. That is where my extended family continue to live, so to some, living in such remote place is mysterious and beyond comprehension.  But that’s not how it got it’s name. There’s a story.


The Mysterious Beyond

We live in a high desert of Utah on 10 acres of a few trees and lots of hills. My children grew up playing in about 100 acres that they shared with rabbits, prairie dogs, porcupines, skunks, snakes, birds, bugs, cats, rocks and alfalfa  fields. Their playground took in our neighbor’s farm, a large dry wash (a deeply eroded stream bed that is usually dry), an irrigation canal,  some large old trees, and four hills. They had a great time out there exploring and being free to seek adventure. The boys especially–I guess I need to admit here that the girls would have rather had a  shopping mall close by –but their backyard playground holds a lot of happy memories for them as well.


One of our giggle girls.

Our grandchildren mostly just play in our 10 acres, but that’s a big yard for city kids. Our children married and moved away, and all of them live in a city now. Most  of our grandchildren have lived in area where they can’t go outside alone. And none of them can wander by themselves. So when they came to Grandma’s house, they went for walks with their parents around our 10 acres, and I took them on imaginary adventures outside, but as they got a little bigger they were allowed to wander our back yard as much as they wanted.  One of our little guys was old enough to join the other kids, but he just stood on the porch, hesitating as he looked in the back, and said, “It’s the Mysterious Beyond out there.” (From the movie “Land Before Time.”  The name stuck.

The Laughing Place


My oldest grandson wrote out the sign for it when he was five.

I’ve tried to make Grandma’s House fun place for the kids to come.  When my first grandchildren were small I set up a toy and train room in my house. We called that room “The Laughing Place.”  We sing that song a lot, and it has become our Grandma’s Camp theme song.


Three year old grandson
“Everybody’s got a laughing place, a laughing place to go-ho-ho. Take a frown turn it upside down and you’ll find yours I know-ho-ho.” (From Disney’s Song of the South)

I believe kids should have a chance to be kids, but being kids means occasionally I have to remind them that this is a Laughing Place, and not a Fighting Place!

Here are some good things, I’ve collected through the years, to make Grandma’s House a “Laughing Place:” (see Which Grandma Do I want to be?)

  • A library of children’s books that they can read themselves or I can read to them–both picture books and chapter books and lots in between
  • Art supply box with a carrier handle that can be taken upstairs, downstairs, or outside.
  • An easel with chalkboard on one side and paper on the other–from Ikea
  • Toys, Legos, Dolls, etc.


    Two little cousin BFFs dressed up for fun.

  • Dress up box for girls –princess dresses, crowns, shoes, jewelry, scarves, old dresses, pieces of fabric, etc.
  • Dress up box for boys –cowboy hats, knights’ swords and shields, carpenter aprons, tools, guns, etc.
  • Dishes and Chairs that fit little hands and bottoms
  • A tree house
  • Big Wheels, or Plasma Cars or some kind of wheeled toys.
  • Four wheeler/ATVs for the big kids.
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Racing Big Wheels down one of our hills.