Through the Looking Glass #3
From: PattyMara (
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 23:04:46 -0500
Hello list,
I'm writing from the chaos of packing and moving.  Tomorrow the big moving
truck will arrive to move us into our cohousing home.  This will be our last
night in our Halcyon cottage.  

And this may be the last post for a few weeks as well, since when the
telephone installer came on his appointed day, and opened up the ground box to
find it absolutely empty of cable, we discovered  that our contractor missed
some fine print in the Pac Bell contract that required him to measure the
cable runs.  So phone service (and our e-mail connection) won't be available
for at least three weeks.

We'll share a cell phone with our coho neighbors, dear friends, who moved in
last week.  And for a week we'll be the only two families on site.  Then two
more will move in, and in one week, two more.  

Work has ground to a halt on the common house because moisture tests of the
concrete slab have indicated that the slab is too damp (mysteriously so, since
it was poured last fall) to lay the parquet flooring.  This is true for over
half of the homes as well, and our flooring sub-contractor is refusing to
warranty the parquet if it is installed on damp concrete.  So we are searching
for solutions, and the common house remains "off limits" to us.  So
frustrating.  Hopefully a solution will be hammered out and we can move on and

When the first family moved in, many folks showed up to help load and unload
the truck and the move seemed to happen very quickly.  In one morning, the
yard (sand dune) surrounding their house was transformed by all of their
whimsical outdoor furniture, sculpture, potted plants and yard art.  Very very
encouraging to me.  I look forward to the same transmutation around our home,
which is immediately up the hill from theirs.  

Our family has chosen to do the move by ourselves, since we have two strong
teens and two additional strong backs.  Our motivation is that we don't want
to be obligated to move all the other 25 households in during the next three
months.  I wonder how other communities have solved this issue.  There will be
times when I know I will be happy to help out, and will, but I am less than
thrilled with the expectation to do it for everyone.  So we have begun to
process this at our business meetings, and folks seem to be in agreement.
Although there are some senior members who clearly expect the entire community
to move them.  More communication and process work to follow, no doubt.

What seems to be a high need now is a transitional house for several
households who for many reasons will not be able to stay in their current
homes long enough for construction to be completed on their new homes.  We're
looking into finding a large home to rent in common for this interim time.

I am feeling more and more connected to our new home, especially since art has
been moved over and propped up against walls and windows.  Glitches still
remain, like wall sockets that don't work,  and goofy doors, and missing
medicine cabinets.  But all temporary glitches.  

Looking forward to watching the stars transit our new windows tomorrow night.
My next post will be from the construction site by day, cohousing community by

Patty Mara Gourley
Tierra Nueva Cohousing
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