Welcome to my
dome-building adventure! Shamrock Acres is a 6.3 acre
parcel of land in Wisconsin, with heavy clay soil and a spruce
swamp at the north end, but it's my little piece of
heaven. Or hell, depending on whether I've recently had
hernia surgery, a hammer-smashed thumb, or a failed sump pump
leaving power tools underwater.
My house and garage are geodesic domes, 40' and 33' in diameter.
Some visitors have thought they are called geodetic domes or an
octagon house. It's even been called a Hobbit house. And contrary to popular opinion,
the thing on top of the house with the spectacular 360 degree view of the countryside is not
a deer stand - it's called a cupola. Really. Just because I can see deer
from up there and "deer stand" is way easier to pronounce, doesn't mean it's
not a cupola.
One co-worker is fond of ad-libbing songs about my dome: To the tune of
House of the Rising Sun, he would sing, "There is a Dome in Wi-scon-sin, they
call the Maaaarsha Dome..." and to the tune of The Devil Went Down to Georgia: "Marsha
went down to Georgia, she was lookin' for a dome to steal. She was in a bind because she
was way behind and she was willing to make a deal".
What does the word "geodesic" mean? Simply put,
it is the shortest distance between two points (usually on a curved surface). Thus, my dome home is geodesic
in more than one way. The basic shape is obvious ("Is that a nuclear power plant you're building?" Sigh.). Elements
of the internal design are geodesic as well. For example, a long closet separates the bedroom and laundry room.
The closet opens from both sides. I can pull clothes out of the dryer and hang them directly in the closet. No more hauling
heavy baskets up and down flights of stairs, or even to another room across the house! Example number two
is a kitchen cabinet with an open back to shelves in the pantry on the opposite side of the wall. This concept
can extend to design as well as practical things like laundry, such as the fish tank in the wall between the
bedroom and the great room, which can be viewed from both sides. And the loft sports a 3 foot high bookcase
all the way across instead of a railing. So, it's not just a geodesic dome I'm building, but a geodesic lifestyle.