Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Cohousing Christmas — Emily Gable

This year we had a wonderful Christmas dinner with our future cohousing friends at the home of Wendy and Hans. It was a great preview of things to come. Although we don't have a common house yet, or even our own houses in community with each other, it felt so good to have friendship, which seems to me the strongest part of community. We arrived with our two kids, to find Coleen, Wendy and Hans already settled into a cozy kitchen and bits to eat. Mitch and Catnip (with their dog Max) arrived a bit later. I came to realize that Mitch had been deliberating over recipe variations in her house a few miles away all afternoon. When we have a common kitchen, there will be others to chime in and help, not to mention we won't have to schlepp food in and out of cars and to another house- it will all be right there. It felt so good to be eating such wonderful food with such amazing people. Not to mention that my son Sorrel's first whisper this morning was "pie" (so all that time spend Mitch on the pies surely left an impression on Sorrel).
We all got to know each other a bit better, share our holiday cooking together, and play games with dogs and kids. Parula and Sorrel had a blast exploring Wendy and Hans's kitchen, playing with Coleen and Catnip and eating yummy food cooked by all. It was such a treat to watch my kids feel so comfortable with the folks we will be living in community with soon! It was a great way to spend the first of many holidays together in cohousing!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Halloween in Coho — Arielle Bywater

I know this is a month late, but what can I say: life with two young kids!

Anyway, a month ago, on Halloween, my family was making the decision about where to trick or treat. We love Halloween and trick or treating, but it's always a bit, well, tricky, because we have a four year old who is pretty easily frightened by spooky things, and you just never know when you walk up to a house on Halloween whether you are going to be greeted with a gentle hello and some candy or someone in a gorilla mask accompanied by scary background music. And that's not even to get into the fears around unsafe candy, unsavory neighbors, etc. (none of which I worry much about, but some people do).

This year, as we walked around our neighborhood, some houses were safe and lovely places to trick or treat with my two young kids. Other houses were much too scary and had to be avoided at all costs. Some houses were not decorated in scary ways but had loud dogs or weird people at the door. Still other houses were dark. It made for a somewhat uneven experience. And it made me think of some future Halloween in Cohousing, when the community children can go door to door around our tightly clustered thirty-six home neighborhood without any fear at all. Perhaps without chaperones, even, because the children will know all the adults behind every door they knock on. All the people will be kind to my kids. All the candy will be safe. And, for maximum candy efficiency, and ideal for cold Maine Octobers, the whole circuit of thirty-six Halloween-friendly houses can be made in no time flat, since we are all within a few yards of one another!

Halloween. Another reason to join Cohousing.