I was asked recently to describe my dream house – it could be any which way I wanted it and money was no object. The sky was the limit, so I went for it!
It would have a large living room with plenty of space for a grand piano (I always wanted to learn to play the piano). I like plush furniture, so there would be lots of that. Not one, but maybe two or three sofas that didn’t have to be pushed up against the wall. And expensive coffee tables and end tables would be scattered about with crystal ash trays on them, even though I wouldn’t permit smoking. Comfortable arm chairs with ottomans that you weren’t allowed to put your feet on.
Lamps would glow in soft hues when darkness came to spend the night. Perhaps I’d have a large gas fireplace with a large mantel to hang stockings on at Christmastime. There would be other things too. I just can’t think of them right now. A large magnificent living room but, sad to say, I would not allow anyone to live in it, including myself. It would just be for looking at in a world of pretend. But it would be grand – oh, so grand!
My dream house would have 20 bedrooms with an en suite bathroom off each one. Fifteen of them would be for the servants. Not really servants but people who needed a job. The other five would be for guests – people who had no home or bed and needed a place to get their heads together.
The kitchen would be spacious with a large island in the middle. It would have two large microwaves built into the wall and two huge ovens and two humungous refrigerators. I mean with 20 people living there, these wouldn’t be luxuries. They would be necessities.
The den would be my favourite spot. It would have a gas fireplace and three or four leather chairs spread out before it. Burgundy leather high-backed chairs with tacks stapled to give them that old-fashioned look. I’d have a large desk with a comfortable office chair behind it. And around it, shelves to give comfort to all my books; and a huge television set taking up a whole wall (remember: money is no object).
There would be a bar stocked with ice cold iced tea and Pepsi cola and lemonade in the summertime (No booze. One way or another, it always tempts trouble, and I wouldn’t want any kind of trouble in my dream house.).
The dining room would be magnificent. It would stretch from the hallway down to the door to the kitchen with a table so long it could seat 30 people. Fifteen for the folks who worked there and 15 more for invited guests (I’m sure glad we put in that extra oven!).
There would be a long porch down the front of the house and along each side with rockers to wile away soft summer evenings and, in the day, to enjoy the smell of freshly mowed grass and the sound of singing birds in the trees.
I wouldn’t live there myself. The house would be far too rich for my blood, but it just might bring joy and hope to the pilgrims who wander our shores of plenty but just haven’t spotted a treasure in the sand yet. It would be fun to look in on them and hear the laughter and witness the celebration of hope.
Dreams are just dreams, I know. But depending on the circumstances, we have the power and ingenuity to make some dreams come true. When dream becomes vision, it gains legs to run the distance. Twenty bedrooms? Why not? It isn’t much in the overall of what we have and what we could do if we really wanted to.
As for me, I am content to live in the house that has been allotted me. Three small bedrooms, a tiny kitchen, an even smaller bathroom and a living room that can be crossed in three steps. A small electric fireplace with a small mantel. A dining area that can sit 12 as long as six sit on the laps of the six with chairs.
I guess you could say I’ve got my dream house. I don’t need to dream or wish for more – what might have been, might have been but isn’t. What will be will be with or without dreams. Oh, I still have my dreams! And I will have until the day I graduate into a better place. I guess you could say that that place is my dream house. A place of many mansions. Until then, I’ll snuggle into what I’ve got.
SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE MAY 2012