In October 2011 in this part of Massachusetts, we had an unusual snowfall. Leaves were still on the trees, but big, fat flakes of wet snow fell from the sky. As the snow kept coming down, there was an increasing chance that snow-laden tree branches might fall on power lines and cause an outage. Now it just so happened that I wanted to thaw out a whole chicken that night to bake the next day. But I have an electric range (which, by the way, is what I recommend for good indoor air quality).
It is time, my cohousing compadres, to plan for total global domination.
We shall train an army of children to storm the streets on tricycles, tear up pavement and leave greenspace in their wake. We’ll crush the fearful isolated suburbanites with a brutal onslaughts of holiday cookies, smiling neighbors, and spontaneous music jam sessions. Entire sprawling neighborhoods will get buried under tiny-home urban infill, lush organic gardens, and cooperative agreements. We will subvert the corporate HOAs and zoning boards with conversation and consensus.
Sociocracy for All
Making Meetings Shorter
Much appreciation to Ted Rau for presenting WebChat #5 earlier this month. We had a great audience who were drawn by Ted’s enticing topic “Keeping Meeting Shorter.
After reminding us that meeting are about connection and that long meetings can breed resentment and lower participation, Ted offered 3 great suggestions for making meetings shorter:
Keep groups small so meetings can be faster.
Consent decision making
Rob Sandelin, a member of Sharingwood Community for nearly 30 years, was a prolific poster to the cohousing-l email discussion group, and positively influenced the development and growth of communities throughout the U.S. with his wisdom. Although he passed away nearly 2 years ago, his words continue to guide cohousing communities. Below is a post he made to our cohousing listserv back in 2005. Thanks to Marty Maskall of Fair Oaks EcoHousing for bringing it back to our attention.
For most families it is easy to imagine the benefits of sharing a cohousing community with other families with kids the same age. Naturally the kids will play together, the parents will have peers moving through the same stages together, and carpooling to activities is likely.
You may have heard that a new cohousing.org website is on its way. The website is a central part of the services The Cohousing Association of the US offers. As a clearinghouse of information and connecter of people and communities, our website is one of our most effective tools for doing what we do.
When I think about non-profit organizations, I mostly think of helping those who cannot help themselves - those suffering in some way from poverty or illness or both. So why would I support The Cohousing Association? Isn’t cohousing about the place you live? Aren’t most of the people who live there middle class or above? Why would I want to be part of an organization like that?
This story was written in 2003 and first published in David Wann's book Reinventing Community: Stories from the Walkways of Cohousing. We are republishing it here with permission because it is such a great example of how cohousing communities nurture and support beyond the community itself.
We’ve been living with foster children in our house for nine months. In many ways this experience has served to remind us just how supportive cohousing can be to those who live there and how far its influence can reach to improve the lives of people beyond our immediate neighborhood.
For any forming cohousing community, finding a building site is a big event. Skagit Cohousing is especially blessed to find land nurtured for the past 30 years by Ann and Bill Testerman. After raising their children (and many animals) on their 4 plus acres, Ann and Bill decided that in their retirement, it was time to downsize and adopt a lifestyle less tied to the land and nearer family. Many couples would consult a realtor, put up a "for sale" sign, look for the highest price purchaser, and be on their way. Bill and Ann do things differently.