A GATHERING PLACE
We have a big tent and all are welcome. We tend to sit at the center of a lot of different ecosystems and have an amazingly diverse set of friends and colleagues. We love to be active and are often planning something that includes lots of other people. No matter what the size of an event though, people always say they feel welcome, comfortable, part of the family. We want a place that brings people of all ages together.
We have been told that growing up at our home was "magnetic" and "charismatic" and we want that to continue. We hope it is a place where people want to overstay their welcome and know that we want them to. We hope we build a home where it is ok to just drop by. We want it to be the place everyone, including kids, wants to come to because they feel loved, safe, engaged, respected, part of the family. We want it to be a place where people can play, learn, and celebrate. We want it to be fun!
We need large open spaces for people to gather (standing and seated) that aren’t cold and impersonal. The Dutch have a word that doesn’t translate well, Gezellig, but imagine those places you have been where there is an instant sense of familiarity, comfort and positive energy. You feel happy.
We host a lot of community activities and fundraisers for people and causes we believe in so big, open spaces for gathering are a necessity. We want the home to give back, to be a learning place where individuals, schools, organizations and others can come understand and touch green building and all of its relevant systems and technologies.
We also need spaces for more intimate gatherings and the flexibility for real time adjustment of space. We believe in gathering as a family and in shared spaces that bring us together.
Not only do we want to entertain and feed lots of people but we want places for them to sleep as well. Besides the obvious bedrooms/guest house, rather than more bedrooms, we want creative sleeping options (pullout sofas, window seats, futons, etc) in many of the general rooms, kids lounge, library, etc. so anyone who wants to have a sleepover at our house is easily accommodated.
We definitely want multiple places for kids of all ages to gather throughout the property. With three children close in age there will be times they gather together as a group but need options to gather with their own friends in different places as well as places to be alone. Options and variety are key whether it is a children’s lounge, an attic, a loft, a pool area, the kitchen.
You don’t give back to the same people who give to you. Not at all. You give to different people and they in turn will give to someone entirely different. Not you. That’s the sloppy economy of gift and love." — Lorrie Moore in Who Will Run Frog Hospital
"Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you." — Luke 6: 36-38
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." — Attributed to Emerson