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Thread: Cohousing for companionship

  1. #11
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    This is the one near our house. I like that it's in the middle of the city in an older section rather than out in the sprawls. I have mixed feelings about living that way as I love my privacy.

  2. #12
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    "Our energy-efficient homes are clustered around a central green, enabling little ones to enjoy safe independence and allowing all neighbors to enjoy spontaneous and meaningful social interaction."

    Oh dear. "Little ones" under the hawklike eye of the whole spontaneous and meaningful bunch. Note to observers: there is no such thing as "safe independence."
    On the upside, the condos seem cheap enough.

    Communes have always held a limited appeal in this country. Old age makes interdependence more acceptable, so I can see housemates, condo communities, and "Village*" organizations as strategies for dealing with decline. "Intentional communities" seem, on the face of it, to take that concept too far--for me, at least.

    *https://www.helpfulvillage.com/the_village_movement

  3. #13
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Haha... ! Yes, Portlandia does come to mind in your description. (I LOVE that show)

    Is this an example of what you're talking about? I found this community while tooling around last year looking for a VT home.

    https://www.champlainvalleycohousing.org

    I'm too much of an introvert to choose to live in the same house with other people--co-existing with DH and BIL is challenging enough. Yet, I see a need for a) some type of communal experience in your neighborhood based on common values and b) some way to create that environment without making it into a commune. I know that our snowbird friends have called Florida "Spring break for adults" but I'm not really interested in the mah Jong, martinis at 5 lifestyle. But, razz, there has to be something like what you're looking for without having to share the TV remote with an "intentional friend."
    I very much agree that, for us anyway, your #1 “Some type of communal experience in your neighborhood based on common values “ is the essence of it. To me the central problem of these artificially created intentional communities is that their common value is themselves. They gather together to celebrate – themselves, to get to know – themselves.Pretty boring core value if you aren’t a people person.


    In my very tight neighborhood we get together to celebrate – our old buildings. We work to save – our old buildings. Our focus is outward, not inward. Here in Hermann there are groups with similar focus, the history of this place and its old buildings are super important.

    Catherine it is so cool that you found your place in Vermont. You all share a love of that place. Place is important. That core value enables strong human relations around it.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 12-22-18 at 11:59am.

  4. #14
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    I agree with Iris Lilies. I have all those same visceral reactions. I just want to live in my 100 year old 850 sq ft house and talk with neighbors only when I feel like it. 😄

  5. #15
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    Iris and Tammy, I fall in with you two. I do wonder if I were single if I would feel differently, but I suspect not.

  6. #16
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    I don't even want to go on vacation with anyone except my husband....

  7. #17
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    DW and I are friends with maybe 4-5 couples she's known pretty much since college. So, okay, self-selected upper-middle-class college-educated largely-suburban (we break that mold) white folks. But they (and now I) have been friends for years, helped raise each others kids (and, now, grandkids), have camped and gone on trips together. There is (half-serious) talk about a "compound" somewhere in which we all could live.

    We entertain the idea because of the way it's been structured: separate cottages or building "wings" against a common area so each couple could get away as needed, assignment of who does what (with some discussion of what happens when A cannot do assigned task B), location (along some form of mass transit) and some discussion of who would own what and how "shares" could be disposed of in the event of death/needing to move, etc. It's not fully fleshed out by any means; in fact DW and I think it probably will never happen because the expenses of converting an existing location to what we want would require an outlay that not all involved might make and because location plays into current work locations and when some plan to retire (a ten-year span of ages).

    With the abiilty to get away and not need to do everything with each other in lockstep, I'd be good with this. But the devil is in the details.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  8. #18
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    DW and I are friends with maybe 4-5 couples she's known pretty much since college. So, okay, self-selected upper-middle-class college-educated largely-suburban (we break that mold) white folks. But they (and now I) have been friends for years, helped raise each others kids (and, now, grandkids), have camped and gone on trips together. There is (half-serious) talk about a "compound" somewhere in which we all could live.

    We entertain the idea because of the way it's been structured: separate cottages or building "wings" against a common area so each couple could get away as needed, assignment of who does what (with some discussion of what happens when A cannot do assigned task B), location (along some form of mass transit) and some discussion of who would own what and how "shares" could be disposed of in the event of death/needing to move, etc. It's not fully fleshed out by any means; in fact DW and I think it probably will never happen because the expenses of converting an existing location to what we want would require an outlay that not all involved might make and because location plays into current work locations and when some plan to retire (a ten-year span of ages).

    With the abiilty to get away and not need to do everything with each other in lockstep, I'd be good with this. But the devil is in the details.
    Steve one of our friend broached that topic about 15 years ago when we were aged 48-55. I was ok with the idea since I already knew these people, but I couldnt visualize what we would *DO* if we were not in our neighborhood trying to reset cobblestone, raising funds for the ParkHouse renovation, managing house tours. Sure we could play mahjong and drink, but those are side activities and we already had card groups and drinking events.

    And then life changed, that particular friend and his partner moved to California for income -producing reasons, and most all other friends have moved away. When retirement comes, the pull of grandchildren and other family competes with the old neighborhood.

    I have said this several times:we know enough people casually and better in our neighborhood now that, if we worked at it, we could have another set of close friends like the old group but I am not sure I care about doing that. We have friends to go our to dinner with, to invite home for dinner, to see art shows and movies. I am not sure
    I’d go camping withh them, though—haha! That makes you close friends pretty fast! I am debating going on a long overseas vacation with one couple, so that might be worse than camping.

  9. #19
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    stuff like this hardly seems to exist, but I guess because it's so rare it gets press, roommates exist but that doesn't get press, maybe because it's actually a real thing.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    And why do they have to offer a non-violence workshop that is private, when other stuff is public--hmm
    . . .
    It appears that there's a training workshop on techniques for Non-Violent Communication, as formalized by the late Marshall B. Rosenberg. In a NVC workshop, participants would be encouraged to communicate verbally in ways that may feel new and different to them. Unfortunately the linked web page is vague about what is meant by "private". I have a hunch that the NVC trainer wants to give assurance to potential participants that anything they share will handled confidentially.


    Cohousing, as originally practiced in Denmark, required decision-making on the basis of consensus. Consensus is difficult if not impossible when people make moralistic judgments of each other, compare achievements of others (good-bad/winner-loser), or deny responsibility. Non-Violent Communication tends to foster consensus-building.


    For what it's worth, I believe that "Golden Girls" sharing the amenities and the costs on a house together might like to have a copy of Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life to refer to.

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