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.
When asked to share our thanks in 2006, some comments were focused on how far we had come and other comments projected ahead to anticipate what our future lives in cohousing would be like.
In our community culture, we do take time to focus on the “good news.” It is an ongoing acknowledgement of both how far we have come and our hopes for the future.
In 2010, CoHo launched an initial long-range planning effort. Step 1 involved a process called appreciative inquiry, where the focus is on what is working well. The symbol for step 1 was a shining star, so CoHoots were asked to describe ways that CoHo “shines.” Here’s a sampling of responses under some major themes… Social Sustainability — Living/Playing Together
- We are well on the way to becoming family; appreciating each others qualities, accepting each others limitations, and contributing to each others lives on a daily basis.
- The kids seem to be blossoming and thriving in this environment of mutual trust, safety, and caring.
- Our conflict resolution team is helping us learn how to cooperate and create win-win situations as well as develop deepen our relationships.
- We look after each other: taking care of property and pets during absence; lending stuff and lending a hand; giving advice…………
Partnering / Working Together
- We can keep talking about what we are here for and use what we learn to make clear and conscious choices.
- Working through process such as our budgeting, project review and design reviews has helped us learn how to be a community versus a group of individuals. That is to look at community needs as well as personal needs.
- We use our NVC skills to be honest with our selves and each other.
- For me, CoHo is a local lifeboat in which we transition from the consumer society of our parents to the low energy one of our grandchildren.
- I’d like to see us as a caring, sharing community, with a focus on sustainability and making our local place as earth-friendly as possible.
- Encouragement to live “greener.”
Outreach – Model for Others
- So we are called to model a different way of being in the world and demonstrate its value to the Corvallis community.
- Model for more sustainable small communities.
- CoHo…can become a model for how to have a great quality of life while meeting the social and environmental challenges of a changing world.
- Kids growing up thinking cohousing life is “normal.”
- Connect to outer world and folks who share our Vision & Values.
Appreciations at Meetings
CoHo also adopted a tradition to offer appreciations at meetings so the spirit of gratitude could be shared regularly.
Here’s a sampling of some recent appreciations…
Everyone who came to dance recital. X for taking dad out to lunch. J and girls for bringing over food. Kids who checked with grownup before turning on water for play. J for sharing flowers. D for taking pics of eagles. Community in general for trust for way of going about making decisions. The work that everyone puts in, and the level to which you think about things. Everyone playing on path. D for re-repairing the washing machine. People who live here who still communicate with e-mail and come to meetings prepared. S and J for associate-member process. Community response during blackout. D for teaching tai-chi. Home-inspection team today with our kids. S for nettle picking. C and other kids on path when A fell down. T for picking up pieces while I was gone.
We REALLY appreciate our neighbors, including this pair of feathered friends that perched next door in the cemetery.