2021 (continued from Spring Newsletter)
Welcome To New Members Joni and Rich
Joni brings us a masters in social work and Rich an energy efficiency/engineering mind; together they bring passions for community meals, organic gardening, woodworking, crafts—and even a willingness to exercise.
“Now that we are retired, we are looking to live in a community where the things that make aging hard for most people are shared.” They are willing to relocate as soon as six months and have already jumped into site searching, taking seriously—hallelujah— “Everyone’s part to work together and listen to each other and solve problems by working together to find solutions”.
CGB Co-Book Club Begins
Going forward, the group plans to meet every eight to nine weeks, with the next meeting scheduled for Sat., May 1 at 5:30 p.m., when the group will discuss Outlawed, a novel by Anna North that was nominated by Sue BMcD and chosen by the membership. Amazon calls Outlawed “a riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers, and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.”
All CGB members (and prospective members who have attended an orientation session) are welcome to join any discussion, whether they have read the book or not. We do discuss “spoilers,” meaning we won’t promise to avoid revealing plot or other information to those who have not yet read it. Come join the fun!
Second Senior Cohousing Cohort Study Groups-No Homework!
Based on Charles Duratt's groundbreaking The Senior Cohousing Handbook, the study group helps members get to know one another and explore the various issues that are central to the development of a successful senior cohousing neighborhood. Co-led this winter for CGB by long-time member Joyce Duncan, a trained and experienced facilitator, and Kathy Sirota, relationship therapist, group members are going deep together into the challenges and advantages of aging in community.
Two Sunday evenings a month for five months, in small groups and in the group as a whole, participants explore questions such as:
“How much privacy do we need and how do we ask for it?”
“What do we know about giving and receiving care?”
“What do we know about how we communicate and negotiate, and what do we think we’d like to learn?”
Questions like these help us get to know ourselves and one another better in rich ways—like who is Not A Morning Person and who Really Needs Alone Time (but who should probably be checked on if she hasn’t appeared in a few days) and who are our happiest cooks, handiest repair-folks, exercisers, and dog-walkers.
Study Group 2 will focus on the mechanics of structural development and design, and Study Group 3 will help with policy development for a vibrant, ongoing community. To get on the waiting list for the next study group, contact a member of the Membership Services Circle.
Our CGB Coho-Godmother, Katie McCamant
Katie earned her BA in Architecture at UC Berkeley and completed her graduate work at the Royal Academy of Art and Architecture in Denmark. In 1987, she cofounded McCamant & Durrett Architects/The CoHousing Company, and embarked on her career in cohousing development. In 1988, she coauthored Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, which essentially introduced this housing model to North America.
Since then, Katie has designed and developed dozens of cohousing communities in the United States and Canada. In 2011, she coauthored Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities, which recounts lessons learned after of two decades of the work. She has published many articles and chapters in other books; she was a founding board member of The Cohousing Association of the United States and co-chaired several of their national conferences. She has been recognized as a Dwell Leader by Dwell magazine, and in 2008 she was named Developer of the Year by The Cohousing Association. And, of course, after living in Doyle Street Cohousing in Emeryville, California, for twelve years, Katie now lives at Nevada City Cohousing, both communities she founded.
January: business meeting to review our preferences for a site, in preparation for meetings with city and county planning commissions.
February: Last in person meeting before Covid 19 hit! Meeting by Zoom is not as much fun! Nevertheless we persevere.
July: Flurry of work to vet a promising site.
We begin conversations with cohousing consultant Katie McCormant and contract with her to clarify how to pursue a site and organize ourselves in decision-making.
Besides all the wonderful shared meals and the hard work by our committees, here's 2019 in a recap:
Earlier in the year, we held multiple structured sessions exploring issues in aging and spirituality, using the Durant Study Group 1 model, led by Joyce. We learned a lot about ourselves and each other.
In March Mike was interviewed by The Beacon, a local monthly newspaper for Baltimore seniors, in an article "Co-housing: a different kind of Community". Check it out at https://www.thebeaconnewspapers.com
June's jam session with guitars, banjo, fiddle, recorder and drum, not to mention some excellent voices for the song-alongs was a big success!
In August we went to the 32nd St (Waverly) market on 2 Saturdays. It was fun to talk with a wide swath of the community about cohousing.
In October we announced that we have partnered with Katie McCamant of Cohousing Solutions. Katie has helped developed numerous cohousing communities, and we know she will be a big help in moving us forward. In November we had our first Zoom meeting with Katie.