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Initial meeting of cohousing for Northern Illinois was focused and productive – we have begun!

A small core group got together to discuss creating cohousing in northern Illinois.  We shared what we meant by cohousing, what we are looking for, why we’re drawing to living more in community.  We talked about the importance of sustainability in housing and community design.  We shared our interest in multi-generational living, the importance of the arts and our shared passions for healthy food.

We agreed that we are all eager to get going on this – to move it forward.  As part of our next steps planning we registered a domain name – Prairiemooncohousing.com!  The entire community that forms over time will decide on our ultimate name, but the initial group was good with Prairie Moon.

NEXT STEPS:

  • Write blog entry about the meeting – Diane (this is it – done!)
  • Create Facebook page for Prairie Moon Cohousing – Diane
  • (first step for this is to look at the McHenry County Food Cooperative FB page as a template – Diane)
  • Create website for Prairie Moon Cohousing – Deb
  • Finalize monthly meeting date (we had said “around the 15th of each month, but that’s hard to schedule – I will propose the 3rd Sunday of each month) – all
  • Talk about it with people we know – as we build more materials (flyers, etc) we can publicize more broadly, but to begin with, we want to let people know informally – including via this blog – all

Sue and I were excitedly discussing the meeting afterwards and she pointed out how fortuitous it was that we began our project in earnest at the full moon – full moons talk about things coming to fruition!

We are all very excited at the prospect of forming cohousing in Northern Illinois!  Want to read more about what we mean?  Here’s a post from my blog.  Here’s the cohousing.org website.  And from that site, here is a definition of cohousing.  As a quick sum-up – it’s a community of people who wish to live more cooperatively – each in their own dwelling, but with a ‘common house’ – central gathering place – for group activities liked weekly shared meals, celebrations, craft areas, etc.

Interested?  Let me know here in the comment stream and we’ll continue to keep you posted.  Next meeting is Sunday, March 16 from 2-5 PM, location TBD.

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I’ve mentioned here and here that my friends and I are interested in cohousing in Northern Illinois.   My best friend Sue will be up here from February 13 – 17 to help me celebrate my Big Girl birthday.  I’d love it if we could connect with anyone interested in discussing creating cohousing in Northern Illinois.

At an initial meeting we could:

  • Talk about WHY we are interested in cohousing
  • WHEN – Discuss timeframes that we each have in mind
  • Mull over WHO we would like to live in community with
  • Clarify WHAT we mean when we say ‘cohousing’
  • and begin to sort out WHERE we mean when we say ‘northern Illinois’
  • Finally, talk about HOW to proceed

I am thinking Sunday, February 16 from 2-5.  As a starting point I’ll suggest Cook St. Coffee in Barrington since that is near me – but if we have people coming from all over we can certainly find a place that is more equidistant.

Please let me know in the comments if you are interested in attending.  To create cohousing there will have to be many planning meetings – this is simply a start to the conversation.

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Last year at New Year’s I said I would blog 2-4 times per week.  It wasn’t a “New Year’s resolution” per se – just a “this feels right, let’s do it” start to a new year.

Then my Dad died very unexpectedly (anaphylactic shock).  The reverberations continue.  And as I posted in Diane 3.0 – Wandering Sage – Where’s the Ceremony I’m at a liminal state of life.  I AM ‘test driving’ “retirement” – my last day in my corporate gig was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  As I mentioned in the earlier post this feels a lot like first grade or adolescence – I don’t know how to do this, where are my playmates, etc.

One of the things I know I want to do is to get back into my exploration of cohousing in Northern Illinois as mentioned in this post.  I’ve been heartened that several of you have responded to my initial posts and have felt regretful that I’ve not ‘sprung into action’ earlier.  Grief is a strange land to walk through and losing someone as important as my dad was to me took a lot out of me.  But it’s time to re-embrace life!

With winters such as we are having now in Chicagoland, I have to say I question my sanity in considering this land of my roots as the land of my elder years – what’s with this -10 today?!  But roots run deep.  And the fact that there is no cohousing in northern Illinois seems to present an opportunity to forge a trail.

So this post is just to say hello again – to thank you for your patience.  My thought right now is that this year’s blogs will focus on two primary themes – this “Life 3.0” stage and cohousing.  Oh, I am peripatetic, so there likely will be all sorts of things to say, but the conversations I seek are around the issues of moving into the next phase of life and of living in community.

Thank you for your patience – and let the conversation begin!

Please chime in with YOUR experiences of moving into a new life phase (doesn’t have to be ‘baby elderhood’) and or your interest in building community (doesn’t have to be cohousing per se).  As always, I really want to know!

iRISH SWEATER JAN 2014

 

 

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Today I was on the Cohousing site and I noticed that the one cohousing group that’s been trying to form in Illinois has now officially disbanded, leaving Illinois as one of only 14 states without an officially noticed cohousing site.  And – worse yet (for me, at least) we are one of only 3 ‘blue states’ to be cohousing-less (the other laggards are Nevada – which really is more ‘purple’ if you ask me, and Rhode Island – which we can give a pass to for being tiny).

Seriously, Illinois?

So if you’re interested in the possibility of changing that dynamic, stick around!

As I noted in my last post on cohousing, my small group is considering starting a cohousing community in northern Illinois (for the record, we’re also talking about Madison, WI and Asheville, NC).  We’ll be doing a website (and I’ll move posts about cohousing there once it’s up and running) and a Facebook page, but for now this is our initial ‘mouthpiece.’

So what I really want to know is simple:

  • Do you have any interest in this topic at all?
  • If so, what questions do you have or what topics germane to cohousing would you like to know more about?
  • Do you have any interest at all in actually moving into a cohousing community in the next 3-5 years?

And if you have ZERO interest in cohousing, tell me about that too.  Now – over to you!  Click on comments and add to the conversation!

 

It's old - and still shows 1 in Illinois (since disbanded) - but you get the picture

It’s old – and still shows 1 in Illinois (since disbanded) – but you get the picture

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