Friday, January 18, 2008

Our Utopia

One day last year our 8-year-old grandson, Spencer, and I were talking about how nice it would be living nearer to each other. I think that we were subconsciously influenced by the home their family had on the base in Mountain View. Right across a little street in front of their house was an enormous, round, grassy area where the children of the neighborhood could play. There was a huge tree and then lots of open space. All around that circle were the houses of the other residents as well. It was ideal for parents as they could simply sit on the porch and see their kids playing from any vantage point.

Spencer and I decided that that is what we would like in the center of our family neighborhood. Since in our imagination money was no object, we wanted to have a fabulous house for each family. One for us, one for them and then one for Uncle Lowell, Aunt Jen and the girls, and one for Uncle Chris and Aunt Missy and their kids. Then off Uncle Lowell and Aunt Jen's house would be another circle that housed all the S's and their families. Off of Uncle Chris and Aunt Missy's house would be another circle with all the G's. Off our circle would be a circle for the M"s and the C's. Off of Spencer's house would be a gianormous circle for all the W's. You get the idea that an aerial view would reveal this huge bunch of over lapping family circles.

Now our circle center would include far more than just one big tree. It would be several acres and would have lots of trees and a big recreation center with a big fully equipped kitchen with a well-stocked pantry for family gatherings. There would be a dining hall with a table big enough for the whole family without adding any leaves or hauling in chairs as seen below. (No, that woman is not me...she is our dining room, matron, Helga, and she keeps the kitchen running smoothly. And please note the Christmas stuff is still up and it is past mid-January! For absolute shame!)

Also included would be a large game room with a pool table, ping pong, a stage, a juke box with a dance floor, etc. We would have a media room with theater seating for family movie viewing and a large screen TV and all the electronic equipment we would need. There would be lots of board games, puzzles and a huge library. There would also be a play room with age appropriate toys, Legos, and other educational things for the kids. It would also include a weight and exercise room with showers and a lap pool for swimming rain or shine. There would have to be a computer center with a few computers (Imacs and PCs) for blogging and other fun computer things. We would have a large sewing and craft room with lots of art supplies and craft items for all ages. We could also have a little family store where we could bring things that we no longer needed and other family members could have them for free. Inside the rec building would also be a music room with a large fireplace, with a grand piano and other instruments as well as an extensive music collection and the equipment we need for optimum listening and relaxation and to hold our Family Home Evenings. We would have family assignments to help us care for all this common area. Everyone would have jobs to learn to work and live together as a family. All the work would be assigned according to age and abilities and talents but no one would be over burdened. Everyone would feel just right about what they contributed. If there were huge jobs that we did not want to tackle..there would always be the possibility of hiring it out. Our community would be run on a four day work week so everyone would have a day to work at home, one day to play and a Sabbath day of rest and spiritual rejuvenation! Maybe it should be a three day work week so we have a day to prepare our lessons and various callings for Sunday?

Outside there would be a huge family garden, a flower garden and arboretum , a swimming pool, and a large deck and barbecue and a patio for picnics and outdoor activities and a meditation garden for solitude, prayer, and quiet conversations. We would have a big fire pit for campfires and roasting marshmallows and singing songs. We would have lots of friends over to share our wonderful place.

There would be a playground and a tree house for the younger kids with a tiny lift for Hazel, and a lawn for croquet and lemonade . We would have a very nice pet area that the kids would love and a nice fish pond with a waterfall and a duck pond also. One of our herd, they are very tame!

We would bring all the deer from our current house so we would have our own herd! We will leave behind the wild turkeys and the coyotes that give our deer so much grief. Maybe we could have a pony or two? Tennis courts might be a nice addition as well and maybe a track for walking and running around the big playing field for baseball, football and soccer. We would have some bleachers and some lights for those warm summer nights. There would be a big garage for all the vehicles and sporting equipment and a big workshop for the men and boys and any girls that want to build something. OK, I think we will definitely need to hire some gardeners and a grounds keeper or two. We should also throw in a couple of guest cottages for weekend visitors.

Each family's house would be exactly what they want and need. Even though we would share this common area we would still respect and maintain everyone's individual family privacy. Everyone would maintain a nice balance of togetherness and their individuality. Remember this is our Utopia, our family retreat and our protection against the rest of the world; not a compound. This is a place where everyone can grow and learn and use the commonality exactly as they wish, with no "big brother" type pressures. Immediately outside this family neighborhood, life is pretty much as we know it already. Lots of friends, church, community activities, work places, etc. and tons of shopping and great restaurants, cultural events and recreation areas for hiking biking, camping , etc. are available and accessible. Our neighborhood would always be open to guests, family and lots of friends. There would be great opportunities for serving others and contributing to the world outside our family.

The best part of the whole things would be the opportunity we would have to be together more and to strengthen each other on all levels. For Spencer it would mean always having his brother and his cousins to play with and for Grampa and me it would mean that we could bask in the joy of having our family together and watching our children and grandchildren be best friends forever. It would be our pleasure to help each family member in anyway we can. If you are still too young to appreciate this whole idea just wait until you are a grandparent!

It all seems so celestial...and maybe that is exactly the point. The fact that what we view as heaven in our imaginations can actually be a reality someday...OK, OK minus all the stuff, I admit that was a little too temporal and totally over the top in creature comforts. (Which moth and rust doth corrupt, but not for a long time!!)

Just being together forever is the real deal. The circumstances would not be nearly as important as sharing a community with our beautiful family with like- minded values and principles, a strong work ethic and an abundance of love all around. Spencer, thanks for the memory of a fun afternoon and a vision of what can be! We love you!


Miss Jen said...

Wow! Who's footin' the bill for this and when can I move in?!!? You did forget on call nannies but I guess with all the aunts and grandparents around we won't need them much!

Miss Jen said...

PS Julia is really wondering when you will do a blog about your spa nights. She wants you to list the hours the spa is open and what services will be available. Is that hilarious or what???

Bon's Blog by Design said...

Well I am working on the financing...we can put in a about you? Yes, I have also been rethinking the staff and I believe a few nannies would be in order and maybe Laura can bring her Italian housekeeper too. Helga could head up the houses' staffers and I think we need a full time garden crew too so the guys can devote themselves to their passions and interests more easily. Actually rethinking this even further, just between you and me, we did in fact find the Elvis hide out and he has given us millions in hush money to keep it out of the tabloids. He is nearly 70 now and just wants a little uninterrupted rocker time. So keep your hundred and I'll keep mine..not worry about the $.

Bon's Blog by Design said...

As for Julia's "spa night" they are coming soon. I will try to do that one next. What hours and services is she offering now? Tell her she is coming right up!

laura.elizabeth said...

Thanks Grandma, this is Spencer! That is a good idea, hu? I have other ideas too. We could have all that stuff on earth and on another plant or moon. That would be cool! I love you grandma.

Bon's Blog by Design said...

Spence, you are right! I never thought about it being somewhere else but it would be great to have it somewhere in space, espeically if space travel was inexpensive enough for us to travel back and forth to see friends, etc. This brings up a whole new possibility of creating a world that does not have in it the things that we don't want around us, like traffic jams, peanuts and soy, people that do bad things, etc. I love you, Spencer, it was fun having this conversation with you about a perfect place for us to live together. Everyone who has read the blog post from our family thought it was a great idea!