Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If I were stinking rich...

Face it. We've all probably fantasized about being fabulously wealthy. Maybe the wealth in your daydreams comes from hitting it big in the lottery, or perhaps (if you're a writer) the fantasy casts you as the next J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts. But whatever the source, I'll bet you've also thought about what you'd do with all those millions.

There are the altruistic and practical uses for sudden wealth -- paying off bills, funding scholarships, giving to causes such as cancer research and children's hospitals, helping friends and family. I'll admit that would be my inclination, to help others. Tops on my list would be buying my parents and my sister's family new homes wherever they wanted them. And because our family has lost so many members to cancer, I'd donate a good chunk to research, the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Because I'm a fan of national parks, I would fund educational projects and needed infrastructure repairs that government funding doesn't cover.

But let's say I REALLY struck it rich and I had not only enough money to help lots of other people, but there was enough left over for me to just enjoy. What would I do?

1. I would buy a beach house on the Gulf Coast of Florida, home to the prettiest beaches and water I've ever seen. Part of me likes the cute little colorful homes like this blue one.

But another part really likes the look of this beauty. It's big enough for the the Banditas and all the Bandit Buddies to come have a party!

2. I'd also buy one of those gorgeous log homes like you see in magazines, in the Paradise Valley of Montana, just north of Yellowstone National Park. It's stunningly beautiful there and a nice place to spend the summer when it's roasty hot in the South.

3. And speaking of National Parks, I would visit every single unit run by the National Park Service, all 390 of them. Places like Yosemite National Park in California.

4. And since I don't like to fly, I'd do all that traveling in my brand new Toyota Prius. I'd much rather have it and its outstanding gas mileage and lesser impact on the environment than a larger, luxury vehicle. Plus, I just like driving smaller cars. Driving my husband's truck feels like driving an Abrams tank.

5. I'd take a year just to explore Alaska. I'm writing a book set there now, and all the research is making me want to visit something fierce.

6. I'd start a bookstore/cafe with my sister. It's this wild dream we have, but we both loved the bookstore/cafe in Nora Roberts' Three Sisters Island trilogy.

7. I'd go to every fan conference I wanted to for my favorite pop culture fandoms, ComicCon, DragonCon, Harry Potter conferences, you name it. Embrace my inner geek girl. :)

8. I'd hike the Appalachian trail because I wouldn't have to worry about funds or time, and Hubby would no longer have to work in Cubicle Land and could go with me.

9. I'd finance whatever fun projects my hubby wanted to try because he's been an awesome supporter of my writing and been the main breadwinner for the past three years since I quit my job to focus on getting published. He rocks, and he deserves not to ever have to sit in a cubicle again.

And finally...

10. I'd go on a humongous shoe shopping spree until I had a shoe collection to rival those of Tawny and Anna S.

So what about you all? If you suddenly because as wealthy as Oprah, J.K. Rowling and Bill Gates rolled together, what would you do just for you? And on your altruistic side, what causes would you support?


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Can money buy the GR?

Trish Milburn said...

I bet it can. Cluck cluck. :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I've always said I'd like the chance to prove that winning the lottery would NOT spoil me!


I know, I know, that happened long ago. :-P

I'd buy a beach house too, on Maui! And I'd buy one on the Gold Coast, right next to Fo. Or do you live on the Sunshine Coast? No matter, I'll take one of each. Helen can live in either one when I'm not there.

Oh, and I'll buy a cute little cottage in Ireland. Whaddaya mean Muckross House isn't for sale?!?! And I'd hire Joanie as my live-in caretaker...

Oh, and one final real estate purchase, a sweet little estate in the Caribbean to be my home for wayward cabana boys.

Wow, this money is going fast! I'd better endow those writing scholarships right away, before real estate taxes take it all. :-)

Trish Milburn said...

LOL! Home for wayward cabana boys. :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Someone needs to be there for the poor dears and set them on the proper path and all. (AC flutters her eyelashes innocently.)

Thanx for a FUN POST, Trish! And no matter how rich you were, you wouldn't stink. :-)

Natalie Hatch said...

buy a house, buy a new car, invest for my kids education, and then go to a spa and get the works done..... that'd be nice..

Tawny said...

Oooooh, ParTay at Trish's. OMG what a gorgeous house :-)

Lessee... I'd buy a huge ole Victorian on an even huger plot of land with a big shop and 10 car garage for hubby.

I'd make sure my kids' futures were set.

I'd pay off my parent's houses and settle them safely into retirement.

I'd book a spa vacation slash writing cruise for all my writing buddies.

then... I'd hit the shoe stores. Lots and lots and lots of shoe stores :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, sadly I can't walk in anything but flats so the shoe thing wouldn't work for me.

By the way, AC, good catch on the rooster. Trish, great post! It's nice to dream sometimes, isn't it?

Seriously, I'd do the altruistic thing too. With house prices so nutty in Australia, I'd make sure all the nice young people I know had enough for a house deposit. I'd give to a couple of charities I support. I'd also support cultural organisations that have given me so much pleasure in my life - the Australian Ballet and the Art Gallery of NSW and the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Botanical Gardens. I'd give some money to the National Trust so they could look after wonderful old buildings. Anyone who reads this blog a lot knows I love old buildings.

Once I'd fought the good fight, though, I'd sit back and indulge in a stack of luxury travel. Cruises on the Mediterranean, five star hotels in Venice, the opera in Vienna, a limousine tour of Scotland. Oh, and a cottage in the Hebrides. And...

Oh, man, Trish, I hope you're talking about lots and lots of cash.

And of course, I'd have to build a library on my house and fill it with books and books and books. That's a given!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Aunty Cindy.

I would buy something next to George Clooney on Lake Como, buy a brownstone in NY, go on a Mediterranean cruise, visit all the archaeological sites in Egypt, Italy and Greece, give to charity, buy some priceless works of art(maybe a Monet or Van Gogh.)

Christine Wells said...

Trish, great post! What an interesting question. I think it's the duty of people with money to help others. The causes dearest to my heart are things like autism, cancer, the RSPCA (animal protection) and I'd like to help a lot of people I know personally in various ways. I'd set my parents and in-laws up with a luxurious retirement. I would tell my children that all my money goes to charities when I die--nothing worse than kids with expectations. They're going to have to work hard like everyone else and I'd help them when they need it just like any other parent. I will leave them a good sum but I won't tell them about it. Yes, I am the meanest mother in the world.

I'd buy an estate in the south of England and hire staff to run it. (we're talking filthy rich, right?) Then I'd fly all the banditas and bandita buds over for a yearly bandit bash, complete with Sven and cabana boys. Like Fo, I'd see the world in luxury style. I'd also buy Tasmania and I'd snap up Fraser island and give it to the dingoes. Oh, the power!

Amy Andrews said...

Let me see. I'd keep a good chunk for me and then spend a lifetime giving it away - make all my friends/family my charities. Set them up for life.
And travel, man would I travel. And no more economy, nuh uh, no way, its first class for me all the way!!!
Speaking of which 3 more sleeps...

Marisa O'Neill said...

Oh Trish, I think I'd sit on a beach for the first few weeks and read. Oh, yes my wants are simple. Of course I'd divide the money amongst my family and friends first. There are three charities I give to - so of course they would get more. I'd most likely go shoe shopping with you. Love the shoes, after all no matter how much weight I gain, my shoe size stays the same. If Tawny and Natalie would let me, I'd join them on that spa retreat! And if Anna is booking cruises to the Mediterranean, she should book one more passage for me.

Helen said...

Well done Aunty Cindy but remember keep tabs on him

Great post Trish I always dream about winning Lotto giving to my children and family helping friends donating to RSPCA and cancer research and childrens funds.

Then I would build a really nice house on the south coast of NSW build a really big library on it to house my books I would be able to get everyone I wanted and then travel the world cruises and air trips. I would be able to visit all the Banditas and Bandita buddies I could hire a hotel somewhere really nice and bring everyone for a fantastic party with Cabana Boys Sven the GR just everyone for a month long party.

Aunty Cindy I would love to live on the Gold Coast or Maui in your house and the grandkids would love it.

I am with you Anna on the shoes I can only walk in flat shoes as well. I love the Sydney Botanical Gardens I haven't been there for years must go soon.

Christine I don't think you are mean I think kids should be taught to earn what they have as well.

Tawny and Natalie a spa would be wonderful
Dreams are what life is made of

Have Fun

Deb Marlowe said...

Oh, you guys have got it all covered--I want what you guys want! Beach house, house in England, books, family, charity--I'll have what you're having!

I'll also throw in a personal chef so it will be easy to eat healthy, and a housekeeper would be nice too!

Joan said...

Huh? I'm not already rich? I've already got the Banditas and BB's


Ok, altruistic first. I have always said that if I became filthy, dirty, stinking rich I would set up a foundation that SECRETLY takes care of needs and expenses of deserving people. Kind of like a secret angel who sees a young family struggling to pay medical bills for a sick child.

Then an endowment to the American Heart Association to fund research into battling Congestive Heart Failure which is what my Mom died of.

Various other charities actually too numerous to mention here.

My bro would get a healthy chunk. A handful of close friends and my goddaughter.

Now...to ME....

I'd take you up on the live in caregiving AC, but I will have BOUGHT Muckross House at that point. You can have the east wing and I'll take the west (where the bachlors live, LOL)

Definately another cottage on the West Coast of Eire.

I'd join Trish in a house on the Gulf Coast....St. George's Island specifically.

And travel? Oh, man. The traveling I would do. First stop Helen's house for Tim Tams, then Anna C. for her specialty dishes, then Christine's to give her a hug and ask "an island for dingoes?"

Tawny and VA I'd TAKE shoe shopping because I can only do the little bitty heels (nurse feet...whaddya gonna do?)

Speaking of nurses, I'd give Suz a hefty amount and then join her in a gleeful dance around our hospitals saying "Nyah nyah nyah"

I would create a resort next to AC's for the remaining Bandita's so we could lounge on the deck and oogle the wayward cabana boys.

Pass the candied cherries....

Christie Kelley said...

Hmm, since I love where I live but would love to be in one of the houses with a water view, I think I would buyout the homeowner with the best view. Then I'd live in my house while all the renovations were being done to that house.

Next, I'd be living next door to you in Montana for part of the year.

On the charity side, a big chunk to the American Heart Assoc. and the John Hopkins Children's Hospital.

A chunk to my family and my dh's family to do with as they please.

And after that, I would travel the world.

Trish Milburn said...

Aww, thanks, Aunty Cindy, about the not stinking comment. However, if I'd been hiking the Appalachian Trail, I might. :) But I could afford an awesome bath and trip to the spa when I was done.

Natalie, you bring up a good point about the kids' educations. Not having kids, that didn't come to mind immediately. However, I'd also make sure both of my nieces and both of my nephews were set in that department.

Tawny, I like the sound of your spa vacation/cruise for your friends. Party boat!

Trish Milburn said...

Anna, all your travel sounds wonderful, as do your altruistic endeavors. And let's just say the wealth is limitless, just for the fun of it. Might as well dream HUGE. :)

Jane, next door to Clooney, eh? Maybe you could attend parties at each other's houses.

Christine, I don't think you're the meanest person in the world. I actually think that would be a wise approach to wealth and children. We see it all the time in the news, people born into tremendous wealth who don't have a clue about what real life is like or having to work for a single penny. And I'm glad you mentioned the animal protection. I'd donated to those causes as well, especially animal sanctuaries. The Elephant Sanctuary is here in Tennessee, and they do fabulous work giving retired or confiscated zoo and circus elephants a more natural setting to live out their remaining years.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Trish! Love your post!

What would I do with a boat load of money? Hmmm...Buy each of my kids a house that they could afford to pay the utilities and taxes on...so not too big, but nice ones. Buy tickets for them and my parents to a week's stay in a beach house on the Outerbanks...and then I'd have to set up a scholarship fund at my old nursing school which is now a college of nursing for well deserving students who want to be nurse because they like taking care of people, not because it's a good paying job. (pet peeve!)

Now for me...I'd buy a more energy efficient house after I remodeled this one to sell. I'd buy that beach house on the outerbanks for another Bandit get away. And I'd buy the house and land in Tennessee that my grandparents had for a mountain retreat.

And I'd travel to all the historic sites in America, and a months tour of Scotland! And a cruise of Alaska and I'd take my hubby to Hawaii. Yep, that's what I'd do.

Trish Milburn said...

Marisa, good to see you! And I know EXACTLY what you mean about the shoe size thing. I might not be able to fit into last year's conference clothes, but my cute shoes are safe! I never get depressed shopping for shoes.

And that time on the beach just reading sounds lovely. I was just in my office this morning looking at the hundreds of books I've not read yet and thought how lovely it would be to be able to freeze time for a month so I could just read and not miss any deadlines in the process. :)

Trish Milburn said...

Helen, that library sounds lovely. I think I'll have one of those too. :) And I'd never have to feel guilty about buying another book when I have hundreds already. I also always thought it would be awesome to have a fabulous research library and retreat for writers, maybe on a mountain lake somewhere. Some place inspiring where they could come and do research, write, enjoy nature and the peace and quiet, and have fabulous and healthy meals prepared for them.

Hmm, may need to buy Lotto ticket today.

Trish Milburn said...

Deb! I can't believe I forgot a personal chef. I don't enjoy cooking, and honestly I'm not very inventive with it. If it comes in a box or other prepared form, I'm good. But I'd love a chef who could make good food (that hubby would eat too) that was healthy. And I'd hire a personal trainer to help me get into really good shape. Oh, and someone realllly patient to teach me how to swim.

Trish Milburn said...

Joan, I've actually had that thought about giving in secret too because, sadly, when someone wins the Lotto or becomes wealthy in some way, people start crawling out of the woodwork wanting money. Maybe they have legitimate needs, maybe they don't. But I would imagine the task of trying to sift through it all and choose would be daunting.

LOL! Had to laugh at the image of you and Suz dancing around the hospitals going, "Nyah nyah nyah." :)

Trish Milburn said...

Suz, another great point about the energy-efficient house. That made me think -- I'd love to fund projects that research or utilize clean and renewable energy sources -- wind and solar technology, etc. And I'd have the greenest house I could get. I was watching Tougher in Alaska yesterday (writing the Alaska book, you know) and they were in Ketchikan. They were talking to the people who work at the sanitation department, and they had reworked their garbage trucks to run on used vegetable oil. Thought that was interesting.

Another totally random thought -- I'd fund programs that taught every high school senior about managing money. This because I see college students and, honestly, adults wandering around who get themselves into such horrible debt and shaky financial situations because they haven't a clue how to manage money.

Gillian Layne said...

What a fun post! Who hasn't thought of this?

Right after quiting the day job :), I'd gather my (former) co-workers who work in the public schools with special needs kids and tell them to give me an on-going list of what they really need, and then make it happen. That would be a joy. Right now, many of us still work in broom closets and hallways.

I would of course take care of my parents and the in-laws, and then I'd love to travel. I don't want to own a home anywhere else, I think---maybe North Captiva Island--but I'd love to be able to pick up and travel whenever and whereever I felt like it. One of my uncles works in Dubai, it would be fun to be able to afford a vacation there.

And it would be great fun to host family reunions and foot the entire bill, brilliant babysitters included, so the adults could talk. :)

Trish Milburn said...

Gillian, I've seen some photos of all the tourist-centered building that is going on in Dubai, and it's just incredible.

terrio said...

Now this is the kind of thinking I don't mind doing in the morning. Here's what I would do...

Buy a publishing house and find all those deserving authors out there who have been overlooked. Then set up lots of scholarships for writing conferences. On the family front, parents and siblings would get houses (after I got one that is) and kiddo's education would be all set. Plus a little something to get her started in life.

Money for education would be a definite. But it would be in the earlier grades instead of college. Donations to St. Jude, the Cancer society and the Heart association along with several others. As much research as I can fund the better.

Then for me, after attending all of these Bandit get togethers, I'd see the world. At my own pace and going whereever the urge took me. A year here, a month there, a decade somewhere else. Oh, that would be heaven.

Congrats on the GR, Aunty! Make sure he doesn't get his feathers on those whips.

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Oh what a question.

I am so with you on number six... I think that book made me want a bookstore/cafe... but I'd want it to be romance books on all the shelves :) Think how successful that could be.

After kids education and gramma's house and dad's house and brother is given some money is all settled...

I'd travel Europe. Hire a tutor for my kids and travel for many years. And the best part is I can still write while doing it, 'cause that ain't gonna stop.

I'd buy a house on the lake here too and another in some pretty countryside setting with a great view both with a full library. But I do love TO so I'll always call it home... but mucho traveling first and foremost.

I need to go buy a lotto ticket for the Wed. draw :)

And holy hawt shoes... very twenties. I'd shop for shoes, clothes, books and furniture.

Beth said...

Love this post, Trish!

Well, since I'd be able to afford to build a bigger house AND pay for more college educations, I'd add to our family through adoption.

I'd also travel and give to charities and do a lot of shopping. Lots and lots of shopping *g*

Oh, and when I went to the grocery store, I'd find a way to sneak money to the cashier to pay for the groceries of the young family behind me. And every time we went out to eat, I'd pick a family or couple and pay their bill w/o them knowing it :-)

Last night the dh and I were watching a news show about a woman who came into money (not sure if she won the lottery or what) but she ended up with 10 million dollars. And what she learned was that compared to the mega MEGA wealthy, her 10 mil was just a drop in the bucket - and if she lived like the super rich did, she'd already be broke *g*

Beth said...

Yes, I am the meanest mother in the world.

Oh, I'm sorry, Christine...didn't my kids tell you? That title's already been taken. As soon as the little darlings are all out of the house, I'd be happy to pass the title over to you though ;-)

terrio said...

Totally forgot to mention the shoes. My knees are so bad I can't wear my pretty heels anymore. BUT, I'd have the surgery I need so I could wear them again. And then I'd shoe shop!

Trish - I have heels that look very much like those in the picture. That's my favorite kind. The ones I'm wearing at Nationals are something like that. I realize Tawny and Anna will have better shoes, but hopefully someone will have shoe envy. LOL!

Kirsten said...

Always fun to dream about having scads of money, isn't it ladies? :-)

DH is a principal in an elementary school in a very poor district, and he deals with all of the problems that go with underfunded schools and government agencies, so I think we'd take our riches and work on reforming the Child/Family Services programs, giving better options to kids and their families.

And then I'd buy a huge ranch in Montana and a bunch of horses, and spend my summers riding around in the mountains with all those kids, giving them a taste of the great outdoors.

And I'd go shopping with Beth. A lot. :-)

limecello said...

Haha. All those early comments. If I had unlimited funds... first I'd pay off any loans/mortgages I and my immediate family have. [Well - with unlimited funds - I could do extended family too - and really, that's huge because only my dad's side of the family numbers in the 80s. Big family.]
Then, I'd buy up property, houses in random places - US, Europe, Asia. Maybe a tropical island too. Wouldn't it be fun to have and say?
I'd also like to travel the world. Try my hand at crafting/making a living from that [and the no stress safety net could be very freeing].
For causes... I'd look into a lot - but I think the One Campaign, Save Darfur, UNICEF, World Vision... and Free Rice. All of those would get money from me. Oh - and research for renewable energy. Maybe the auto industry too - to try to find an alternative fuel source.
And my schools and community. Local schools need help. Although sometimes, money isn't the answer. I'd also set up scholarship too. I've benefited from them greatly and I'd like to share the love.

flchen1 said...

Oh, Trish--what a fun topic! I love those houses of yours! Can I buy the neighboring ones (I'm sure you'll still be miles away!) ;) But Anna, I'm not sure a room in my house is going to suffice--I might need to devote an entire wing to the library... after all, that post-lottery TBR is definitely going to block out the sun! And maybe I can pay Tawny to do the shoe shopping... AC, maybe you can send over any stray cabana boys looking for a temporary change of scene--I'll send them back, eventually ;) Congrats on the GR!

Donna MacMeans said...

Well, I'm ready to run out and buy lottery tickets for all the banditas - I love your ideas.

First thing I'd do is hire an accountant to do my taxes *g*. After 30 odd years of doing mine and everyone elses - it's time for a break.

I'd give away a ton to altruistic causes - but secretly like a guardian angel. I'd travel around the world at a leisurely pace and have places around the globe that I could go for the quiet I need to write.

And I'd party hardy with the banditas and bbs. Some of those cabana boys better have musical talents, I want live music - suitable for dancing.

Fun post, Trish, now I've got to get back to work as that lottery genie isn't knocking at my door.

Trish Milburn said...

terrio, I think you've hit on something we all long for -- the time to meander and see things and places without worrying about a schedule.

Tiffany, you mentioned furniture. A friend e-mailed last night and said she wished she could refurnish her entire house with Pier 1 stuff. I told her I'd like to take a big honking truck to Santa Fe and load up on cool southwestern decor.

Trish Milburn said...

Beth, what a wonderful thought to adopt children. And isn't it sad that $10 million, while sounding huge to us, really wouldn't make a dent in what needs to be done? What that lady said about it being gone already if she spent like the mega wealthy is so true (along with my earlier comment about people not being able to handle money) -- just look how many people who HAVE won the Lotto who are now broke again. Or the singers or athletes who find sudden wealth but a few years later have to declare bankruptcy.

Trish Milburn said...

terrio, I want to see your cute shoes. :) And those in the picture are from a company called Naughty Monkey that Anna S. mentioned to us. So cute! I think I need a few pairs.

Kirsten, I love how you'd mix your altruistic and fun-for-you sides of giving together. I think a lot of inner city kids would be really wowed by a ranch in Montana, so unlike their normal surroundings.

Trish Milburn said...

limecello, love the tropical island idea. I think my hubby would love that. He actually has looked up "islands for sale" online. Of course, we about passed out when looking at the price tags. And that's a really cool idea about the crafting. I used to work at a magazine, and I covered a lot of craft and artisan shows and interviewed lots of craftspeople. I always came away wanting to learn those skills -- particularly cornshuck doll making and making candles and soaps.

Sure, Fedora, being neighbors would be fun. Hey! We could just buy an island and have it be Bandita Island for Banditas and Bandita Buddies. :)

Trish Milburn said...

Donna, LOL on hiring an accountant to do your taxes. :)

jo robertson said...

Fun post, Trish.

I have just about everything I've ever really wanted, except publication, and we all know $$$ can't buy that!

But I would enjoy giving it away to worthy causes.

Oh, and I want a personal trainer like Sven, even though it may be way too late for this body!

Louisa Cornell said...

Great post, Trish! Who doesn't like to dream? And I'll be the GR could go through "stinking rich" in a matter of weeks. Watch him AC!

Where exactly is the home for wayward cabana boys? I want a house right next door with nothing but windows facing the side where the cabana boys are!

After I paid off my student loans - and that is the only way they will get paid off. The way it looks I will still owe them money ten years after I am dead. Hey, they're insured. They can get paid at the funeral like everyone else. I have been paying on them so long I will probably keep sending them money after they are paid out of habit!

I would buy every inch of land around my current home, pay someone to blow up this trailer and then build the cutest English thatch-roofed cottage ever. Attached to the back would be a huge conservatory and attached to that would be a monster library and writing studio combo. I would have a set of kennels attached to one side with indoor/outdoor runs and access to a huge fenced in play yard with a pool just for the dogs.

I would buy both of my brothers really nice homes with lots of land. My Mom's house is paid for and she loves it so I would pay for any repairs it needs and for maid service and anything else she needed when she needs it.

I would give HUGE amounts of money to Heart Research as we lost my Dad to heart problems. I would give the same amount to Diabetes research as my dear CP, Erin, has Type I Diabetes and I want us to be cranky old ladies together.

Of course I would give a large sum to animal charities including organizations that go into action when there is a disaster like Katrina or the floods in the midwest. I got my dog Boudreaux after he was rescued in St. Bernard's Parish after Katrina.

I would establish No-Kill shelters in every state complete with animal hospitals to give pet care and spay/neuters to pet owners who cannot afford it.

By the way, I love the idea of an entire island for dingos!

I would go to Wales and northern England to research my ancestry to my heart's content. I would take my Mom to England for an extended stay so she could sit and gossip with her friends in the village for as long as she wants.

I would travel to Australia to visit all of the Banditas there. I would travel, travel, travel.

And then. I would go on a shopping spree that would make Imelda Marcos sit up in her grave and say "Woman, you have too many shoes!"

Nancy said...

Congrats, AC. As venal as the GR seems to be, he'd probably do ANYthing for money! *g* While you have him, how 'bout lock him up so he can't sneak to San Fran?

I, too, would like to prove winning the lottery wouldn't spoil me. If I came into a sudden fortune--you know, the kind that transfers people into the ranks of the independently and permanently wealthy--that's what you mean, Trish, right? --I'd set aside enough money for the boy to go through college and grad school. I'd buy a cottage in the Lake District or Yorkshire and/or a flat in London.

I might add onto our house so as to make more room for books. No such thing as too many books.

I'd also like to see Alaska, Trish. I wanted to go there on our honeymoon and see tundra, but the future dh was not enthused. Besides which, we only had FF miles to fly in the contiguous 48, so we "settled" for San Francisco. *g*

On the altruistic side, in addition to giving to my alma mater, I'd support Habitat for Humanity, Loaves and Fishes, domestic violence programs, and Fisher House for wounded veterans' families here at home.

I'd also contribute to the Central Asia Foundation to help build schools in that area. If you haven't read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, you should. Part memoir, part adventure story, and part autobiography, it's about how failure to climb K2 led him to (literally) stumble into his life's work. It starts slowly, but once he gets the schools rolling, it just zips along. It has spent more than a year at the top of the TPB nonfiction list of the Times. I would also support microcredit as a way to empower women in impoverished nations.

Deb--love the personal chef idea. I wonder if Sam from Top Chef has a job.

Taking an idea from Joan, I'd go visit all the banditas. And stay in hotels. Very nice hotels. With spas.

I have obnoxiously narrow feet, so a shoe spree is out (no way-cool shoes for me since they don't come in obnoxiously narrow, alas), but I might buy a gorgeous purse or three.

Eva S said...

Trish you made me dream.... I love the place where I live but my house is so old and in need of repair.. A new house would be nice, and some more around the world, on Santorini, and on the beach in Australia, and a castle in Scotland.
I'd love to come with you to Alaska, have dreamt about it since I read Nora Roberts' Northern Lights.
And I'd save lighthouses, there are so many old forgotten ones. I'd love to live in one. Just me and my books..

I'll come visit your hotel Helen, it would be a great party!

Of course much would go to helping others but I trust you Trish there would be enough for me too...

Trish Milburn said...

Jo, it's never too late to get in shape. :)

Louisa, I like the sound of your thatched cottage and conservatory. And you mentioned genealogy -- I'd pay a professional researcher to dig as far back into my family histories as possible.

Nancy, I'd like to add Habitat for Humanity to my list of charities too. They do good work. Plus, it'd be fun to reward good, hard-working people who've had it rough with dream homes -- like they do on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Trish Milburn said...

Eva, I'm reading Nora's Northern Lights right now. I'm about 150 pages in.

I too love lighthouses and have had the thought that it'd be cool to stay in one.

I've found a new use for my imaginary wealth -- just got a quote to take down a tree that has torn up our driveway. Gulp!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Trish, you brought up another wonderful cause--preserving different species of animal from extinction. I was thinking more of preventing human cruelty to domestic/farming animals but that is a very important cause and I'd like to contribute to that, too. Especially elephants! I love elephants.

Beth---I knew I'd heard that meanest mom phrase before. Love that I can inherit the title once your kids are out of the house!

Helen--- glad you agree with the tough love strategy. I went to school with a lot of spoiled rich kids and it didn't make them happy, either.

Jennifer Y. said...

The first thing that I would do is for my parents...I'd buy them a new house that fits all of their needs and wishes. I'd buy my mom a new car and my dad a new truck and send them on a vacation to the place of their choice.

I'd buy some stuff for other family members...books and toys for the nephews and nieces and whatnot.

As for myself, I'd build a big cabin in the woods with a HUGE room just for books. I want my own library, where I can see the spines of the books rather than having the stacked all over the place.

And I might travel...I have a list of places to visit before I die and I am not getting any younger nor am I traveling much right now.

As for charities, I would definitely donate to several of them...heart, cancer, children, diabetes, etc. There are all things that have affected my family so I would do research to find out the various charities that would help with them.

p226 said...

Oprah, Rowling and Gates huh. That's a *lot* of money. That'd buy pretty much anything. So what would I do?

I'd find an island in the pacific. I'd build a fortress on it. I'd also build a runway on it. Then I'd send minions to Russia to buy a couple of SU37 fighters. Those would be my play toys. They'd rest in my hangar on my island.

I'd also probably locate a Ferrari Enzo. And I'd buy Nurbugring. Yes, the whole thing. I'd hire some track manager to run it. But if I wanted to go do laps, I'd go do laps.

Then I'd start my Formula 1 team. And my MotoGP team. And that's where I'd spend the majority of my time. In racing. And you can bet I'd do some laps of my own in my own F1 car and on my own MotoGP bike.

I'd buy a yacht too. Big, fast one. Luxuriously outfitted. I hear Monaco is spectacular in the spring. Plus, I'll need some way (besides the SU37s) to travel to and from my island. And I'm sure Helicopters get boring after a few thousand hours as a passenger or pilot.

I'd buy homes for my family wherever they wanted. And I'd set up a fund for my kid. And it would be evil. From the ages of 18 to 40, he'd receive college tuition (as far as he wanted to go) plus national minimum wage + 15% weekly. If he wanted to be a lazy pile of .... well, yeah, he could live without lifting a finger. But if he wanted anything beyond a ten year old ford escort and an apartment in the ghetto before the age of 40 he'd have to earn it. Based on his decisions up to age 40, he may or may not get a significant chunk of change plus inheritance.

What else would I do. I'd probably donate a fortune to medical research of all kinds. I have no particular favorites as far as research goes. But I'd fund some of the important ones. Cancer, Diabetes, etc...

I'd hire Elle McPherson as my personal trainer. I bet she could keep me motivated for just one more repetition.

I'd build a dojo on my island. Bring in some martial arts masters to teach me, the wife, the kid, and whoever else happens to be on the island. I'd probably wind up with an actual firearms collection that probably included howitzers. It'd be fun to fire a howitzer at balsawood target ships out at sea. Right from the beach. Plus, gotta defend my SU37s from pirates somehow, right? Of course, said pirates would be in very deep trouble should one of the SU37s get airborne....

And I'd buy some sharks. With friggin lasers on their heads.

Carol said...

Oh! this Post is all about daydreams, wonderful ones!

With heaps of money, I'd give my Son a large deposit on a house, equilivent amount to my Daughter,she could take a year off to write!

Buy my husband his own fishing spot and little cabin on some great river somwhere...(not in the cold though!)

Shoes ...some of those real expensive Asic runners to walk in!

Buy up some rainforest here in Aus. and just leave it to grow!

Huge Funds to the Sea Shepard every year!

Huge Funds to the Koala Foundation!

And I love Joan's idea of the secret foundation which gives to needy people and remain anonymous... Chuck Feeney does that!

I'd buy Storm and his paddock and get him a pony companion to snuffle/talk with.

Oh and put money into refuge housing and street people housing and ....oh dear I need more!!!

Cheers Carol

Carol said...

P226...my son does motor cycle track days at Eastern Creek, Aus, he really has a great time!

Aunty Cindy... He's planning something! Can you feel it!

Cheers Carol

Trish Milburn said...

Jennifer, I'm sensing a theme with all these personal libraries. You're in good company there.

p226, what, no shoe shopping? LOL! You win for list most unlike everyone else's. :) I actually had to look of Nurbugring to see what it was. And I hooted at your description of the setup for the kid's inheritance. Hee hee.

Carol, I love the idea of buying up rainforest and just letting it grow. We're losing so much of those forests that I think that's a wonderful use for the money.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Yes, Carol and Everyone,
The GR is definitely plotting... If not to take over the world ("same as every night, Pinkie!"), then at the very least to take over the RWA conference!

He is holed up in one of my dog's crates right now, but I swear I heard him on a cell phone in there!

WATCH OUT everyone! The next two weeks are gonna be tricksey with that one...

Tawny said...

Okay, I'm a greedy bandita, because all I posted about was what I'd do for MEMEMEME with the money :-D So on the altruistic side, there are some major causes I'd support. Cancer research for sure, since we've lost so many family members to it. Childrens Arts is another. Kids have such amazing potential and so many don't get a chance to even try to reach theirs - I'd love to see that be the exception rather than the rule.

Trish, this is a great question. I've spent the day dreaming about it LOL.

Joan said...

Wow, p226 you've really put some thought into this.

LOL, though at defending against pirates. Sorry to tell you this but when you stuck that in you reminded me of a little boy....ok, a dangerous, howitzer carrying little boy with Russian planes and driving too fast (probably without a seatbelt too)...but a little boy.

Of course with the "Monico is lovely in the spring" you reminded me of Deborah Kerr...for some reason..

But you sprang back to a typical teenage boy with Elle McPherson...

All that in one little post :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooh, Trish! (Picture me clapping with glee!) Moooolah! Enough for me and the entire state of MD to roll in. Yeah, I'm likin' that.

I love some of the really creative answers too. Most of mine are the same. Set up the family, inlaws, outlaws and so forth. I like P226's college fund idea. I'd probably adopt that, tho' the DH would object. I'm more of a hard a** on that subject than he is, since I think they need to earn it. :> The usual house fixes, buy a couple of cool cars - gotta get me a Caddy Escalade Hybrid. Just love those Escalades...

Donations to charity, hmmm...Habitat, National Trust for Historic Preservation (Yeah, Anna, me too!), Carnivore Preservation Trust, Free Rice, Microloans, Wind & Solar Power research, National Cancer foundation (lost my Mom to cancer), Amer. Lung, etc. Love some of the other ideas too, gotta write them down in anticipation...

I'd build a house around the library and writing space. I'd add that conservatory too. :> HUGE estate-sized lot with a great fence so the dogs can run. Gotta have that special kennel too, even tho the pup's will be in the house most of the time. I'll plan the gardens, but pay someone to put most of it in, 'cause I'll be buying BIG trees. Grins.

Like the idea of that Personal Chef. There was another one of the Top Chef guys I'd pick...not Sam b/c he's vegetarian and I'm a carnivore all the way. Ha!

Personal trainer. Hmm. Yeah, that too. On call masseuse and chiropracter too. :>

Oh, we'd have to have a full bore garden encompassing train set too. The DH and boys lurve the trains and it's total fun to have them in the garden.

Travel. OMGosh, travel. Bandita Parties. You bet. Take two months and research the REST of the family tree in Sweden, England, Scotland (*OOOOHHHH Scotland!*)

Start that weapons collection as I travel. Gotta get me a claymore. *VEG*

Oooh, and do a HUGE party at National. Invites only, big band, cool drinks, cabana boys, Sven. The GR. YOu betcha, baby!

Like Beth, I'd be addin' to the family too. I'd have a full baseball team if I could afford it. :> Plus a few adoptions...

So many things....thanks for the fun, Trish.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hey Trish, sorry I'm late, but fun post!

I'd be like that rich guy they showed on 60 Minutes who flies into an area for the weekend with a ton of doctors and nurses and dentists and holds a big free clinic for everyone in the area without health insurance. I'd need a big staff and a bunch of planes to make that happen.

Okay, then I'd give a ton of money to research and fight AIDS and malaria and cancer and every other dreaded hideous disease on the planet. And hunger and poverty, I'd get rid of that. You did say I was stinkin' rich, right?

Okay, as soon as everyone was fed and healthy and safe, I'd probably buy some houses in all my favorite places. I'd need a beach, of course. South China Sea would be nice, but I like the Mediterranean, too. And I'd need a house in Scotland. Edinburgh, and also a little place on the West Coast, near Oban maybe. My husband would probably want a small Scotch distillery. I know there are some for sale. And a house in San Francisco, of course, preferably with a view of the Golden Gate, so Sea Cliff would be lovely. And an apartment in Paris, naturally.

Oh, and then we should talk about plastic surgery. Hmm, where do I begin? :-)

Congrats, Aunty! Glad you're keeping an eye on the Bird!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Plastic surgery? YOU, Kate? No way. You're gorgeous. :>

Like the idea of the Doctor set up. Super idea.

Given your selections, I think I'd have to buy my DH a golf course. In Scotland, perhaps. I need a place in Banff that I can retreat to when it's hotter than hades here in DC.

Not so much of a beach girl, so I'd have places in the mountains. Lake Lure (Dirty Dancing anyone?), The Adirondaks. The Poconos. The Ouachita range. Yep. Mountains that are green. (Anyone notice that trend? No brown Rockies for me)

Skiing. Oh. Yeah. Gotta do that.

Joan said...

My friend and I went to lunch today and detoured through a local development called "Homearama" (local builders build ginormous houses, they decorate and you tour through them)

We didn't go in, just drove through but Oh. My. God. Took my breath away. Just a hint as to the opulence of the place, the yard workers wore preppy clothes! Polos and khaki's for cutting grass, anyone?

Nancy said...

Donna, I love the idea of hiring someone for your taxes!

Beth, the adoptions and sharing grocery money are wonderful ideas.

A downed tree, Trish? You'd better realize this hypothetical wealth fast!

p226, I pity the pirate who lands on your island. Your tastes clearly run to the engine-oriented, and all of it sounds like great fun. Except maybe the laser-equipped sharks.

AC, can you lock the crate real quick? You might want to check on that cell phone. Ever since the dog ordered Omaha steak delivery, I've been suspicious of cell phones in animal lairs.

Oooh, historic preservation, Anna and Jeanne--me, three!

Kate Carlisle said...

Duchesse, you're too sweet! But alas, the years have not been kind to old Kate. Snork!

And yes, I'm a beach girl through and through (although I'm very serious about my SPFs). Must be near waves and water, and I nearly forgot I'll need a house on the beach Down Under. Suggestions, anyone?

And aren't there vineyards on Tasmania? Can you please save the dingoes AND the vineyards, Madame? :-)

Joan said...

There are dingos in the vineyards!!!!!


Know anybody with a howitzer?


Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Snork. Dingoes in the vineyards, Banditas in the castles, spas, yacht clubs, beaches and mountains. (Oh, my!) What IS the world of the wealthy coming to?

Caren Crane said...

Congrats on the GR, Aunty Cindy!! Try not to work him too hard, eh? I know you've been hoping he'll get to dusting the knick knacks, but he IS merely a chook. *g*

As to the loads of cash, I would have a house next to yours on the Gulf, Trish. Preferably in San Destin, which I love! Man, that white sugar sand has no equal anywhere. Growing up, we went to the Gulf when we went to the beach and I thought all beaches were like those. I was sorely disappointed with the rest of the beaches I've seen!

I would also have a house in the mountains of NC (gorgeous!) for summer and beach in the winter. I would travel extensively and maybe, someday, I would hit more ports than Aunty Cindy!

I would have lovely built-in bookcases in both my houses. Floor-to-ceiling, dark wood. And an honest-to-goodness library, complete with window seat and huge leather armchairs. I love that picture!

Now I just need a way to get the cash. Any recommendations? *g*

Joan said...

Now I just need a way to get the cash. Any recommendations? *g*

Get film of....

The dingoes in the vineyard!

and put in on YouTube....

Caren Crane said...

Christine - I totally agree with you about the kids. They need to work and learn to make do! (I'm a mean mom, too.)

Deb - you forgot the personal trainer! I would definitely need one to keep my butt from taking over the planet!

Oh, and the charity thing is a given. Y'all already know what a do-gooder I am. I think the best thing about not having to work would be having time to write and volunteer even more than I do now!

Caren Crane said...

JT, I think a dingo ate your DQ Blizzard! *g* Oh, no, maybe that was just a regular dog...

You know, they keep telling me on the internet and those signs beside the road that I can make thousands working from home. Somehow, though, it's all a bunch of blah, blah, blah to me. Scammers. If it were EASY to work from home, wouldn't everyone do it?

Caren Crane said...

Hey, Nancy, you TOTALLY MISSED THE POINT. If you have loads of money, you just have cute shoes TAILOR MADE for your abnormally narrow feet. Just like I would have them made for my poor feet, which suffer mightily because of my very loose ligaments. Poor feet...

Pat Cochran said...

1. I would first fund my parish
church, which has been having a
problem with finances.
2. I would make a substantial donation to our school district's
scholarship fund.
3. I would also establish a fund
for providing instruments for the
Music Departments of our school district.
4. Provide substantial financial
coverage for our children, for our
grandchildren, and our siblings
and their families.
5. Scholarship funds for all of
our grandchildren.
6. Fulfill all our travel dreams.
7. New home for Honey and I.

Pat Cochran

Trish Milburn said...

Jeanne, I LOVE the idea of a masseuse on call, especially after a long day of sitting at the computer with my back kinking up.

And I LOVE the Lake Lure area. Love Chimney Rock Park. We've been there twice. For those who don't know, one of my favorite movies was filmed there -- Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

That new home for the honey - girl or guy - seems to be a pervasive theme, doesn't it? I love my house now, and I'd keep it, but there's just not enough room for the size library I crave, nor that conservatory, nor the plants, dogs, kids...yep. New house.

Kinda like P226's idea about the fortress too. Maybe I'll buy an island near by and buzz the compound. Mwah-ha-ha! Then again, he's gonna have that Howitzer and those sharks...maybe not.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Trish, LOTM was also filmed at Pisgah National Forest - another famed one to fund - near Asheville, NC. (Susan and I have already raved about this place on another post, so I'm betting some of both of our riches would be resting there!) My brother was an extra in the movie, isn't that cool?

Cassondra said...


I actually have given this a lot of thought. But I keep changing my mind.

First, I'd finish THIS OLD HOUSE the way the guys from THIS OLD HOUSE would finish it, only I'd hire THEM to do it instead of me and my husband. Ha!

I would have a mountain house, and I'd probably have a beach condo, but I'd also have a cottage on a harbor--maybe New England or Nags Head or somewhere equally artsy--where I can hear the gulls and watch sailboats and fishing boats come and go.

I'd buy my husband a Lear because flying slow things is just not exciting enough for him. I don't know if even a Lear would do it. Maybe I'd have to buy him a fighter jet. Of course, he'd have to have every weapon known to man--grenade launchers, 50-cals, you name it--and a great big range so he could play with them safely.

I'd study Tai Chi and get really good at it.

I'd landscape my yard the way I want it done--and buy the properties around me and turn them into an arboretum (I already have the plan drawn out for what it would look like).

I'd have a nice car I guess, but I don't really care that much about stuff--as long as it's a car I like and it's comfy and runs well-- I'm not into status stuff at all. Shoes--I'd fold and get some pretty Jimmy Choos.

For others:

I would set up funding for students who wanted to study the arts but could not afford to do so--and BEYOND THAT, I'd set up funding for them to go out into the world and DO their art for a number of years--FIRST they'd have to get a job and work in the real world for a while, THEN they could apply and get funding to do art for a few years--JUST art. This would go for songwriters, writers, visual artists, and musicians.

I'd fund the preservation of historic buildings--I'd save old houses and cool old city buildings.

I'd fund agencies which are dedicated to the preservation of the Individual rights guaranteed by the Bill Of Rights, in particular the First Amendment and Second Amendment.

Then I would buy LOTS of land and let it go wild. Plant gobs of trees.

Then I would fund research and foundations that pursue sustainable living--so that humans AND the Earth are both cherished.

There's a lot more on the list. :0/

Cassondra said...

Oh, and I'd pay to learn to fly a Harrier. That's my favorite aircraft. And rotary wing aircraft. I'd have so much money they'd HAVE to teach me to fly them even though I don't have good vision. So there. TAKE THAT Mr.you-can't-fly-cuz-of-your-vision-RECRUITER.


Cassondra said...

And Oh yeah...I'd arm my Harrier and attack helos with paintballs and strafe P226's island, and he and I could dogfight. (grin)

Then I'd hire Cabana boys to clean up the paint and wash our aircraft.

Trish Milburn said...

Joan, the lawn guys were wearing khakis and polos? Good grief.

Nancy, we don't have a downed tree, rather a pine tree that has gotten out of control. It's broken out concrete driveway into large chunks, and the limbs are scraping our house and our next-door neighbor's.

Kate, I like your fly-in health clinics. That made me think of something else. I'd like to fund educational and economic development efforts as well as housing on Indian reservations. They are some of the absolute poorest places in the country with enormous unemployment rates.

Trish Milburn said...

Caren, I love the San Destin area. It does make other beaches pale by comparison.

Pat, good point about the school music departments. Arts education seems to be the first thing to go when funding is cut.

Cassondra, LOL on strafing P226's island with paintballs. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh Trish, the Economic Development Marketing Specialist buried within just stirred and said..."OH? Reservations? Hmmmmm....that would be fun...."


Cassondra, had to LOL that you already have the landscape plan. *VEG* Have you hired the site clearing co. yet? Grins. Playing Snoopy and the Red Baron with P226 would be pretty fun too. As would having the cabana boys there to clear the paint. Nice visual.

Trees. Lots and lots and lots of trees. Big ones. Yep. I'm there.

Trish Milburn said...

Jeanne, that's so cool about your brother being an extra in LOTM. That's one of my dreams, to be in a movie or TV show. Every year when they run the contest to have a tiny part in Stargate Atlantis, I enter. Alas, I never win.

LOTM came out when I was in college, and I worked at the school paper. I interviewed a student and a professor who were extras in the movie. Very cool.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Okay, I'm lame. I'm late to the party & can't think of a charity I'd like to support outside Feed My Starving Children & Heifers International.

But if I was indulging myself with newfound riches? I'd fix my darn house. Nothing's wrong with it right now that a couple hundred thou & a dedicated work crew couldn't fix. change that sun porch off the kitchen into a fully four-season dine-in addition, bump out the back wall of the house for a pretty little bay window in the living room, surrounded by built-in book shelves, grab an extra few dozen feet of floor space in the master bedroom & master bath, put in a bathroom on the main floor, maybe a mother-in-law suite above the garage...

Well. As you can see, I've given this considerable thought. :-) My writing career's really going to have to take off, isn't it?

p.s. I'd also buy my hubby a couple years to follow his bliss as he's been the sole breadwinner for our family ever since I decided to stay home with the babies & write.

Trish Milburn said...

Susan, if I could even win, say, $100,000 in the lottery, I'd pay off our mortgage and do all the repairs that need to be done, all at once instead of one or two a year as we can afford them.

Thanks for all the comments today. This was fun.