The Great Depression, probably not, but we sure have a mess on our hands. On Sunday, October 5th In Fresno, CA the Cohousing Partners and McCamant and Durrett Architects (MDA), and an awesome cohousing group celebrated the grand opening of La Querencia cohousing among hundreds of well wishers, under glorious blue skies and next door to the new Gold LEED Unitarian Church. The church and the community, both designed by MDA, have been recognized for their cutting-edge environmental leadership.
An acquaintance of mine, Chris Zimmerman, owns and operates a couple of assisted-care facilities in Alameda, California. He inherited one at age 23 and subsequently built a second one. He’s now 60, and despite the limitations of an assisted care environment, he has developed astute theories about seniors and elders.
Like many observers of the cultural scene, he agrees that seniors today are given little respect, but he also believes that they have to earn the respect that they’d like to command. He argues that seniors have abdicated their role as respected elders. Being an elder once meant earning respect by playing an active role in teaching younger generations, a role that’s seldom fulfilled today. He believes that seniors earn elderhood by helping younger generations understand how to be accountable.
If you’re looking for a cohousing core group or existing community to join, you’re probably thinking about what you want. You may also be considering what personal characteristics tend to lead to enjoying —even thriving — in cohousing.
Cohousing is a hoot – it really is. When I walk onto the site after a hard day at work and chat with a couple of the 37 kids, or see cutie one-year-old August smiling in his mother’s arms, well, it makes my life worth living. When I walk into the common house an hour before dinner, and Dyann and Frank tell me they can easily accommodate my Danish guests (who fed us seven nights a week when we stayed in their cohousing), sometimes it seems just like one long party.
Fostermamas (see blog entry below) also mentioned that their family is multi-generational and multiracial. And on June 27th, Annette wrote a blog response, "Regarding ethnic diversity, what are the statistics?"