This is an easy one because I have a rich and rewarding fantasy life. So here’s my “game plan”:
- Pay off all our debts and by “our” I mean Garry’s and mine as well as our best, poor friends, my son, granddaughter, and so on.
- I will build a new house on this same property, but on the flat of the land and closer to the road. That would give us a short driveway and no more drainage issues. It’s the way the house should have been built in the first place.
- Make the house big, comfortable and flat. No stairs.
- Make sure that Owen and Kaity are “set” for life.
- Donate money. Audubon, Cornell Birds, and more. I’ll need to do some research but there will need to be enough left so we don’t need to worry about money again. Ever.
- Go as green as possible within the constraints of reality. The house will be only as big as it needs to be and not a square foot bigger. It will have wide hallways and lifts if needed.
- Since attics are out of reach, we’ll create more than enough storage in the main house.
- I’ll use as little power — oil, gas, any potentially polluting energy — as possible as long as the house will be cool in summer and cozy in winter.
- I’ll knock down the old house and hire gardners to make it suitable for the local wildlife. A small enclosed (screened from bugs, glassed in for winter) patio with a small fireplace just for fun. Small being the key words.
- A whopping big generator just in case.
Here’s a nice house on one floor. I might break down a few walls to make small rooms larger. I would also love to have a plant room with a with a big glass wall for lots of bird viewing. I’m also not sure there needs to be a dining room at all. That’s just a big open area. Put the dining table wherever you like.
I wanted to be an architect until I discovered I needed to know math. And physics. But I learned to draw house designs and got pretty good at it. I learned where to put the toilets and how to compartmentalize rooms that used water — and to make sure you could get in and out of all the rooms. In the beginning, I forgot about doorways and leaving enough room for doors to swing open. It turned out, you can’t just run pipes everywhere. Anyway, This is an idea, not a serious diagram for a house I’ll ever build. If I was building a house, I’d hired an architect. A good one.
Then, after all the T-s are crossed and the I-s are dotted, I want us to go on a fantastic vacation. Someplace where there are plenty of birds and other wild creatures — but also fabulous restaurants and maybe a few classy museums. I also want this to be the most comfortable, relaxing vacation ever for us.
I’ve got great plans but sadly, I lack money. Oh well. It’s fun to dream even realizing it is never going to happen. Meanwhile, I’m glad enough we have a new boiler and some new windows and a patched up driveway plus a re-designed bathroom.