My grandpa was right all those years ago when he’d tell everyone he knew with two nickels to rub together, “Buy all the land you can get your hands on . . . it’s the only thing they’re not making more of!” and, taking his own advice to hand, succeeded in buying up 1000 acres during his sixty-something-year lifetime. At his death the 1000 acre estate looked a lot less impressive divided up as it was into 100 acre portions for 10 survivors. Now, more than 50 years later, the 25 of those 100 acres for my father that trickled down to me look even more puny what with the large “sink hole” in the middle of one. Nevertheless, that land is in Florida, there’s the Santa Fe River flowing from several natural springs nearby and, well you never know!
I was reminded of all this while reading the Trib this morning about a couple of problems in this growing “religious theme park” city as people from many other places continue to move here to buy up a little piece of their American dream. Problem No. 1: Homes built here 50 or 100 years ago were usually on the small side with 3 bedrooms and a carport with the kitchen, bath, living room and basement. Though families were traditionally large, it was assumed that the kids double up (or more) in the bedrooms, and also spend a lot more time outside. No need for a one-bedroom per child to hold individual television sets, computers, electronic games and the like.
Naturally the newer up-and-coming-generation, many of whom made considerable profit from the sale of their own properties in other states (especially California and Nevada), find these smaller homes simply don’t have the space to accommodate their Hummers and SUVs so they look to different ways to expand. Rather than spread outward on limited plot sizes, they go upward, and the resulting Monster Mansions block the views of the longtimers whose small homes were–and for many still are–just fine for them thank you very much, and probably paid for as well.
For the prevailing religious population here there’s a significant second problem looming. Land experts predict that cemetery plots will be pretty much bought up in 25 years or so. Now consider that the normal LDS family will produce at least 5 children; on top of that many are encouraged to adopt from other cultures such as Native American, from other countries to swell their numbers. Throw in the Catholic population on top of the LDS, and the rest of us who more or less reproduce themselves (i.e., 2 children per couple), well you can see where this is going. Eventually we’ll have a layer of bodies buried 6 feet under throughout the country. And please don’t even mention cremation. As far as I can tell it’s not allowed in the church rules.
Some cemeteries have initially remedied this by “stacking” burial sites so, instead of the traditional plot 6 feet under, there are now two to the plot, the first occupant being on the bottom bunk.
Though I have no explanation for connecting the thread of thoughts that bring me here, it does occur to me that Mormon women now have at least a chance to get back at the men in the church who continue to keep them in their places in the kitchens and bedrooms of the church hierarchy. They simply have to live the longest, then, at long last, they’ll finally have their turns on top.