Domehenge: Sleeps 30!

This year (2012) was the 8th Annual 4th of July Moynahan Family Reunion. Thirty of us were here over a period of at least 10 days––and within the 10 days all of us were here at once for three days and nights; all 30 of us slept here!

It wasn’t always that way. In 2004 when we had our first gathering and many didn’t have tents, some of the family slept in the old inn at the foot of the mountain. This building belongs to a friend who gave us permission to use it––and she hadn’t used in ages. The refrigerator had rotten food in it from her last tenants, which we had to clean out, plus we had to clean the place in general. We had no electricity for awhile and we had to call the electric company. The water pipes were broken so Mark and Barry hooked up a hose from the outside faucet to flush the toilet, and the propane never did get hooked up. Not a fun way to start a family gathering!

The “small dome” had been cleaned out and a loft put in during the spring. It still wasn’t finished inside. Kim, Barry, Andrea and Dana slept there. Moya had the luxury of the guest bedroom, and Xan (who had no way to carry a tent on the airplane) got the studio futon! Those who did have tents put them up in the lower field next to the Sowers’ camper.

The tent site maintenance crew

In 2005 the “small dome” was finished, complete with electricity (all installed by Mark), running water, a toilet and a small kitchen. That took care of one family. We rented a couple cabins down at Silver Lake for those with no tents – acceptable enough to rent them again in 2006, but that was the last year we did that. After that we all slept on the property.

In June 2007 we had 3 campsites built down in the forest. Mark had to rebuild some of them as the builders had used old logs to prop up the sides. What a disappointment. But Ben and Aidan were here at the time and helped Mark. I bought them work gloves. They cleared out logs and debris, cut away the thorny vines and raked the wood chips flat. They were a big help. The three of them were exhausted but the camp sites were beautiful. Mark later installed walkway lights. That 4th of July all 3 tent sites were used, plus tents in the field and one behind the house. Inside the house the studio futon, waterbed and guest room were occupied, as well as the cupola.

Camping in the cupola

By 2008 the kids were ready to sleep in their own tents; thus we began having the “boys” tent and a “girls” tent––much more fun than having to sleep with parents. The tent sites were filled as well as the studio futon, the waterbed, and guest room inside. The “small dome”, of course, was also occupied.

Eventually, during the following years, the “small dome” was turned over to either the boys or the girls, and there was also a boys or girls tent. Parents were in tents or campers or in extra rooms of the house, even on the deck. When we’ve had rain and tents leaked, we’ve had kids sleeping on the living room couch, on the living room floor, curled up on the 2-seater couch in the TV room, in sleeping bags on the dressing room floor, and yes, in the cupola.

I must say that I’ve noticed now that since the parents are within age 50 (one side of it or the other) that sleeping in tents is no longer such fun for them. This past year Kim and Barry had a luxury double bed air mattress in Mark’s workroom, and Chris and Melissa had theirs in the office. Megan and Bill slept on the futon; Hilary and Bill in the water bed, and Mark and I were in the guest bedroom––10 of us, comfortably, downstairs.

Alison and Bob had their beautiful pop-up camper with room for a couple kids. However, the younger generation had tents all over; we even had a tent up on Mark’s antenna field and a “honeymoon” tent down in the forest.  The boys stayed in the “small dome”; some of the girls shared a girls’ tent. There was still room left over in the house. The dressing room was unoccupied downstairs and no one slept upstairs or in the cupola.

Sleeps 30––with room left over!

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Comments

What a wonderful account! It fills in the great pictures we saw of the event. What a blessing for all of you! Love, Anne

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