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.
Newsletters 8 and 9 focused on family-friendly features in cohousing and in Corvallis.
The prediction of later sign-ups by young families held true for CoHo. Most of our families joined CoHo in the last year prior to move-in.
Today, there is a 2 to 1 ratio of adults to kids. Since move-in, four babies were born to CoHoot families.
Our age range is now 3 to 93.
A major accomplishment for many kids is learning to ride a bike and The Path is a great spot for that inaugural event.
We started a kindergarten ceremony to help CoHo kids mark another big step–starting school. We are now looking ahead to other rights-of-passage ceremonies as the kids reach new milestones.
Talent Shows feature a wide range of ages. At the last Talent Show, the roster of kids taking music lessons and eager to show off their talents increased considerably.
Kids also provide musical entertainment (both vocal and instrumental) at our annual Madrigal performances.
A Kids Klub meets for fun activities. One of the highlights of their busy schedule is a Kids Klub Meal prepared by the kids for the community.
A child care collective enables busy parents to easily schedule child care. A parenting group has started to meet to tackle issues of parenting kids in community.
An informal mentoring exchange is being organized so kids can develop connections with different CoHo adults. All ages are free to “seek” and/or “offer” skills/experiences.
CoHo adults sometimes wonder what it is like to be born and/or raised in cohousing. At one Wellness Retreat, a mom shared her daughters’ comment that they pitied their friends who didn’t live in cohousing.
As the kids have grown up, the character of our intergenerational community has changed. As part of our long-range planning process, we charted our projected ages in 10 years and contemplated what CoHo will be like with clusters of teenagers and septuagenarians.
At the community level, family-friendly events continue to be widely available in Corvallis.
Another topic briefly touched on in issue 8 was our facilitation team. This team now has a mentoring program to help new team members learn facilitation skills. Our facilitators still wear hats (“hat on” means the facilitator is speaking as the facilitator; “hat off” signals a personal comment) and our meetings usually end on time. Because cohousing is a meeting-intensive lifestyle, on-time endings are a blessing.