I’ve mused about creating a neighborhood group, right here, right now, rather than wait until I physically move to (or create) a cohousing community. If you’re new to the idea of cohousing, it’s not living in a hippie commune or one big house where other people annoy you and there’s never any toilet paper. Rather, it’s more like “an enlightened subdivision” where neighbors help neighbors and you share stuff, talents and time.
I’ve written several posts in this blog on cohousing – it’s been a passion of mine for many years. (See cohousing, advantages of cohousing while staying right here in my suburban house, more cohousing ‘lite’ – cooking parties, baby steps towards cohousing – the shared shredder, and more baby steps towards cohousing – aka neighborliness).
And in at least one of those posts I vowed to start a group with some of my wonderful neighbors.
Last night we had our kickoff meeting. Kids running around (oh, my kittens slept SO well last night!) and good potluck food accompanied our planning. We agreed upon our intent – as stated above, to share stuff, time, resources and talents. We agreed upon a forum – a Facebook group for routine communications, good old-fashioned phone calls for the impromptu ones. And we agreed upon meeting for a Sunday potluck every other month – to fine-tune the process, to socialize, but also to share stuff – bring the things we want to give away and give neighbors the first crack at it.
For now we’re keeping it very simple. Though I’m at a simpler stage in my own life, the other 3 families consist of two working parents and 2 or 3 kids. Busy lives. For this to work it has to be easy.
We’ve talked about maybe doing a ‘time bank’ in the future to keep on top of the sharing of time/talents – but for now we’ll trust the process – that it will be equitable and fair. We’ve already shared resources – I shared a link to the McHenry County Transition and Pete shared a link to a page he heard about on NPR – OhSoWe. David and Katja offered use of their composter.
We talked about checking in with one another before store runs – while I’m at Costco, does anyone need anything? Two years ago I did this in an impromptu way, calling Pete & Julie and Lisa & Jon when I was at the Farmer’s Market and saw something I thought they’d like.
I’m very excited about creating conscious community with my neighbors. What’s your reaction? Is this something you’d like in your life? How could you make that happen? What would the benefits be? I really want to know!