Through the looking glass
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 15:35:13 -0500
A lot of times, those of us who live here sort of take for granted our
situation. I  Had an interesting experience of having Sharingwood described
through the eyes of a very enthusiastic visitor. Here is a piece of it:

Mary, you have got to check Sharingwood out! To start with, the place is
alive with kids. They run through the bushes and chase each other and popup
out of nowhere, then dash off again, clearly having the times of their
lives. You know how shy Tina is? Well, when we arrive for our tour, she was
approached immediately by three other little girls and invited to a
wonderful little tea party. They had set up on a log stump a delightful
little camp and Tina was immediately part of their group. We couldn't get
her to come with us as we walked around the place. The mother of one of the
other kids assured us she would watch her for us. It was so, I don't know,
easy. I guess they do this all the time, watch over each others kids so a
new one just gets added to the flock.

The neighborhood is like houses set in a national park. The houses are
tucked amid these giant trees and its all very nicely landscaped. There is a
little patch of woods right in the middle of the first group of houses where
the kids have camps and trails. In the greenbelt, which is huge and
surrounds all the homes, they have their own campground! They have campfires
and sing songs and roast marshmallows. Can you imagine?  Huge trees and
trails through the woods. We saw two deer that just stared at us, then went
about their business like they owned the place! A whole group of kids and
adults were having fun, laughing and throwing hay at a work party to cover
up their new playfield. Playfield! They even have a playfield. The new phase
is designed so the homes will all surround a big central park area. Its
incredible, like a dream place to raise kids.

The commonhouse is smaller than I thought it would be but very comfortable
and homey feeling. A large peace group (from outside) was meeting there over
the weekend, which tells you something about these people. We are going to
the community dinner this week. They cook meals for each other! Everybody
takes a turn helping a couple times and the rest of the time you just come
to dinner. Can you imagine? Its like I died and went to heaven.

We had the most wonderful conversations just standing around in the street.
Many of the neighbors came over to meet us and say hello. Remember that
church we went to in Buffalo? It was kind of like that, the warm, easy
friendliness of everybody and the sense of instant inclusion. We got three
invitations to peoples homes for tea. I could have stayed forever.  This
cohousing is going to change the world. No really. Its like everything you
ever dreamed about from a neighborhood, only really happening, not just

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