INTRODUCTION TO THE “THEN AND NOW” SERIES
Visitors touring CoHo sometimes ask how our expectations for community prior to move-in differ from our current day-to-day reality.
Comparing “then and now” is the framework for this series of blog postings. The source of historical perspective is the CoHo newsletters published in 2006 and 2007 (they are still available on our website). This was an intensive time, with the primary focus on actively building the community (both in terms of actual construction of buildings and the collection of folks who would be our neighbors).
What were our dreams in 2006? What is our daily life like now in 2014?
First, read the original newsletter (link below), then return to this posting for current perspectives.
Cohousing in Corvallis, Issue 4 – March 2006
With our first Welcome Weekend, we strengthened our teamwork and marketing skills (in those days, we often said we were all members of the Marketing Team).
Over time, we received many comments from visitors that observing one of our community meetings was a powerful factor in their decision to pursue membership. This attraction was even stronger when a difficult issue was tackled in the meeting. Visitors were impressed with our willingness to listen to each other and craft options that worked for everyone. Attending community meetings was (and is) an important step in the membership process.
In the photo of the meeting, you can see a white poster on the floor. We used lists of NVC (non violent communication) feelings and needs to guide our discussions. The lists are still used from time to time, especially when an issue is emotionally charged.
In the photo of the meeting you’ll also see “colored cards.” The colored cards (one side for discussion, the other side for consensus) are no longer used routinely. A simple “thumbs up, sideways, down” is our current communication shortcut.
The April 2006 ground breaking did take place as scheduled.
Not surprisingly, the forecast of a summer 2007 move-in was optimistic. Move-in started in October/November, the beginning of the rainy season.
Happily, CoHo is now speckled with lovely daffodils which often start to peek out during our annual “week of summer” in February/March.