What Would You Do . . . ?

1458528_717942198258613_1716610046_nWhat would you do if money was no object and fear was just a word?

A little while ago, Pam, at the blog “The Muse,” asked this question of her readers.

I had a lot of fun thinking about the question, and reading the responses (some from folks who read this blog, too). So, in my exhausted, post-holiday-boutique state, I’m going to blatantly copy Pam’s idea and ask you the question.

If money was no object and fear was just a word, what would you do?

As for me, I’d make some charitable donations and help friends and family pursue their dreams. I’d buy the farm formerly owned by my family, currently abandoned, and fix it up so more generations of children could grow up knowing the joy of being a farm kid.

But the big thing I’d do is buy the building called the Old Stone Barracks, on the former strategic air command base in Plattsburgh, NY, and set up an arts and crafts cooperative.

I’d use my money and energy to restore this beautiful, huge building and preserve its history. The building was erected in 1838 and made of locally quarried limestone. It is currently empty and falling into increasing disrepair.

169817_158727830846722_7442467_oIf money were no object and I were a bold visionary, I’d fill the rooms of this 200-foot long structure with people making things. We’d have experts coming to teach fiber arts, and metalsmithing, and ceramics, and woodworking, and everything. We’d have studio spaces where artists could work and share equipment and ideas and support. We’d have open houses and bring school kids in, to learn about the power that comes from making something with your own hands. We’d bring history and tradition and vision and inspiration together, together!

It’s such fun to dream! What would your dream be, if money was no object and fear was just a word?

35 thoughts on “What Would You Do . . . ?

  1. ooooh, I hope you win the lottery!

    If money were no object, I would first quit my job, then do the usual to get everyone in my family stable and secure. THEN I would open a little shop in town that sold fabulous yarn, fabric, good quality craft supplies AND had movie rentals. 🙂 We have a great little bookstore right in town, or I owuld have books, too. But this shop would be open right near the bookstore, and like your idea, would be a place where creative people could gather and be inspired.

  2. The barracks restoration is such a good idea Kerry and the farm idea is lovely too. I am going to take this idea away with me to the greenhouse and will be back later with news of what I would like to do……until later…..Karen.

      • I am really struggling and I think I know the reason. My own position is a little tenuous at the moment and I actually could use a magic wand to create some security for myself. I was a Sunday School teacher for many years and was brought up never to ask for anything for myself, only for others. But I find myself needing help at the moment due to some difficult circumstances. I am thinking that I might have to say that I would need to use some of the imaginary funds to secure my home, once that was done then my imagination could fly.
        It is very sobering how real life difficulties can affect even an imaginary fancy and typical of me to have to struggle with the rights and wrongs of your lovely challenge.

        • Have you been on a plane, where the flight attendant is talking about the oxygen masks that will drop down if cabin pressure is lost? They always say that you need to put your own on first, before you help others. Why? Because if you haven’t assured your own well-being and you couldn’t breathe yourself, you’d be completely useless to help others. It makes perfect sense for you to take care of yourself because the stronger and more secure you are, the better you can be at carrying on to make the world a better place.

          I hope you find that magic wand and that security.

          • That makes sense, even if it goes a little against the grain.
            I am working on the magic wand and I believe that I am an expert in that field, so all will be well.
            Thanks Kerry.

  3. I wish your dream for the Barracks would come true. How sad that beautiful building is being left to decay. If money were no object etc….I would sleep for a month or longer, then fully refreshed I would visit all the people and places I have been wanting to see for years, and then I would return home to work on my well-being, book project with the assistance of as many people as required.

  4. Kerry,
    I knew we were kindred spirits! I would make similar choices. The historic restoration would be a wonderful component, but my first choice would be to have creative people working in a space that would encourage cooperation and community. And a big part of the vision would include children and youth involved in learning to do and make. Camp, classes, workshops, and living in a creative community – supporting one another, sharing ideas, chores, meals, and learning to tap into the creative source that is available to us all.

    • The great thing about the blogosphere is being able to find kindred spirits! The downside is that we are all so far apart we can’t band together to make real change happen. But I love the ideas you and I are discussing–it’s fun to dream. I need to think about more realistic ways to move in the right direction.

    • It really is. And it’s very near the lakeshore, in a great location. I wish someone would do something inspired with it. But, right now, it’s owned by a Canadian who just bought it for a song and is just trying to make money from it, without doing anything to improve it.

  5. Your idea is fabulous. I would probably do some travelling, see lots of art, in lots of museums! Go back to university. Some sort of voluntering, maybe a project for the elderly.

    • I’d do the museums round, too–maybe I’d use my unlimited money to arrange private access. I really hate dealing with crowds. And instead of university (I’ve spent more than my quota of time there already!) I’d go to one of the amazing folk craft schools we have here and learn more about weaving and quilting, etc.!

  6. That is a fabulous vision to hold. Don’t let it go and something must come of it!

    My professional passion involves helping disadvantaged people change their habitual thinking patterns and beliefs so that they can change their lives. I would start community outreach programmes and train more facilitators in my methods to reach more people. The programme would be free to participants with the proviso that they volunteer their time and skills somewhere in their community when the course is complete.

    My personal passion mirrors yours in a smaller way, providing a venue for artists and crafts people to work, meet, support and share their talents.

    Great post!!

  7. That’s such a fun question and I love your answer. It’s so sad to hear about a beautiful building going to ruin, and a crafts cooperative sounds incredible! I think I would do more travelling – India, South America and California are high on my list! xx

    • That’s a pretty diverse set of destinations! You’d learn and see so many amazing things. California, just in itself, is so big and diverse, I think I could spend weeks there.

  8. I would come to visit you at the Barracks, that’s for sure. I would love to open a center like that too- and back when I was teaching, I used to tell the kids that one day I would open The Book and Cookie Factory where everybody could come in to read (and maybe buy used books) and eat fresh cookies while they read – and we would all sort of drift off into a momentary daydream of how wonderful that would be, and they would say they wanted to work there when they grew up!
    The other thing I would love to do if money was no object, is to responsibly demolish old empty commercial buildings like car dealerships and big box stores – around here, the businesses move out to the new neighborhoods and leave giant tacky buildings behind. I would love to remove them and their asphalt, and create little pocket parks or community gardens instead.

    • I love that idea of getting rid of old eyesores! It’s a real issue–it costs so much to just take a building down so they never do. Even in the small town I live near, it’s a problem. I also wish I had a Book and Cookie Factory nearby . . .

  9. I love this question, I’m afraid I would run out of time. I would start out by going to Penland school of crafts in North Carolina and then I would transfer over to the other coast and enroll at Brooks Institite to learn the technical side of photography. Then I would go to an international cooking school, in which case I better work on learning a foreign language, more than what I know now, a few phrases. I would love to be a curator at a museum but would happily be a docent, especially at this point I’m getting pretty tired from all the serious learning I have been doing.

    I would also pick organizations I believe in and make donations to help them. I’m sure they would be based around animals, our environment, elderly, and the arts.

    It would be wonderful to help in restoring older establishments too.

    Geez I might even try my hand at flying. See, it’s just endless!

    Thanks for allowing me to dream a little in your blog space 😉

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