The wisdom of the young
For a class essay at his school in Livermore, California, the 12-year-old grandson of Eric Meyer and great-grandson of Joan Meyer wrote about his ideal environment.
Because it mentions Marion and the ideals that our community aspires to and regularly conveys to annual visitors like Henry — and because grandparents have an inalienable right to mercilessly brag from time to time — we reprint it here:
I would want to live in a small town like Marion, Kansas, where everyone knows everyone. I would like to be, at most, an hour away from a decent airport. Kids would be running around playing, and you would be able to see, hear, and “smell” friendliness in the air. Everyone would be happy, and it would be impossible to stay grumpy for long. Laughter would fill a warm or cool autumn breeze. An all-out friendly town is where I want to live.
The idea that I have for my ideal environment would be a big farmhouse-style house that would have all stainless-steel appliances and be incredibly smart. The house would have a big yard with a swimming pool and a vineyard in the back. It would be two stories, and I would also like to have a basement and a large garage. I would have a wife who is around the same age as me and three kids with a dog and a cat.
The garage would have a nice workbench with a pegboard tool rack with mostly Dewalt tools and saws. A sense of wanting to build something would happen every time you walked in with the gleaming tools. The cars that I would like to have would be a Honda Odyssey, a Ford F-150, and a Tesla. Our Tesla would have a 24-hour battery life with a plug-in, super-fast charger. There would also be room for balls, bikes, and other outdoor equipment. I would also really like to have a Lowes or Home Depot five minutes away.
For the basement, there would be a home theater with a nice gaming system. There would also be a cellar for wine bottles and for making wine. The cellar would not let any of the wine smells out though, because the smell of wine is not my favorite. Next to the theater would be a playroom for the kids that would have some of their toys. Finally, there would be an exercise area that would have punching bags and a full Beachbody subscriptions for the Body Beast Insanity Max 30.
Upstairs, there would be all hardwood floors and fresh, crisp paint that would bring out the character of the floor. A formal dining room would be on the left with a 12-seat table. On one of the walls, there would be a secret wall that would hold wine bottles and crystal glasses. On the left, there would be a formal living room that would have a grand master piano and other instruments, including the tuba. There would be nice couches and chairs that the kids would not mess up. The formality of the room would make it impossible not to invite someone over to sit in it.
The kitchen would have stainless-steel appliances that might be Vikings. Lots of cabinets would surround the open-concept kitchen and would have slam-proof doors on their beautiful bodies. The kitchen would border a walk-in pantry that would have lots of delicious food. The aroma of the food would encase the kitchen, and you could smell something good all the time. Breakfast bar and a five-person table would border the kitchen. The kitchen would be overlooking the family room, which would have a good-size TV and La-Z-Boy recliners with a soft rug in the middle.
A large book room that would have tons of books and a gas fireplace would be extremely relaxing. It would always seem like it was raining just to create the heart-warming feel of reading a book next to the fire while it was raining outside. Large and comfy armchairs would be next to the fire for comfort and rainy-day feeling. It would be my favorite room with a limitless supply of books.
My bedroom would have a big master bath and separate walk-in closets. Not next to kids’ rooms would be nice, and the kids would not wake us up on weekends. The kids would have their own bedrooms and bathrooms. The house would be entirely smart, and all of the light switches could be turned on from an Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
Our neighbors would have kids that ours would want to play with. We would have parties that the whole street went to and had a blast at. There would always be happiness radiating from our street and laughter throughout the day. The pool on hot summer days would always be occupied, and friends would have a great time in the pool.
I would be close to work and no more than an hour’s commute away from home to work. Although I might be working 60 hours a week, I would be happy The country flying by out the window, the cows mooing, and farmers cutting wheat — everything would just be perfect.
The town in my perfect environment would be perfect, and it would be calm and happy. Everything would be perfect and a great place for family to visit — a small town, but a mighty town.
Amid all of our consternation over politics, economic development, transfer stations, poverty, crime, shootouts, emergency medicine, and the other things we constantly seem to get caught up, perhaps we need to heed the mature wisdom a 12-year-old who seems to clearly understand that it’s not the house and furnishings, however lovely they might be, that make for an ideal environment.
It’s the people who make the house a home and the community the best place I’ve seen.
Last modified Jan. 24, 2018