Project Coordination
From: Sheila Braun (
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 13:10:01 -0600 (MDT)
As founder and project coordinator for Shelburne Falls Cohousing in Vermont,
I too was glad to see your post. Our group has grown very fast, and
expectations seem to be shifting constantly. People who don't know what's
going on seem to have lots of opinions about how it all should be done.
Thanks for letting us know that you can get past all of that to living
happily together.

Sheila Braun
Sheila [at]

 -----Original Message-----
From:   cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]  On Behalf Of Lashbrook, Stephan
Sent:   Thursday, April 12, 2001 2:22 PM
To:     'cohousing-l [at]'
Subject:        RE: [C-L]_Cohousing as a rigorous way to live


So glad you weathered that and can feel good about it today.

It's clear to me that big things do not happen in our world unless someone
is willing to step forward and make them happen.  Sometimes it's a pain in
the butt.  Lots of times feelings are hurt.

I know you to be one of those people who steps up to the challenges, takes
some risks, steps on some toes, and still makes things happen.

Cohousing would be going nowhere without that sort of drive.

Good to see your message on here.


-----Original Message-----
From: JoycePlath [at] [mailto:JoycePlath [at]]
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2001 8:42 AM
To: neesie [at]; cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Cohousing as a rigorous way to live

It is reassuring to read that others have a difficult time during the first
year of a new CoHousing experience.  For me, after eight years of planning
and nurturing Marsh Commons it was painful to move in and discover that a
substantial portion of my fellow co housers resented my efforts as project
manager (fortunately everyone seems to really enjoy the built environment).

The first year was a lot like a bad marriage with undercurrents of
that made even small negative exchanges intensely hurtful.  At that time we
had eight of our twelve homes completed.
 Six months ago the last four homes have been occupied, giving us a healthy
twenty to thirty folks at dinner three times a week, and new energy to
complete assorted projects.  The center of gravity has shifted and suddenly
it is a very special place to live.
A month ago I had knee surgery and was amazingly well cared for by my
community.  There were flowers, meals, books, bottles of wine and help
drinking it, trips to the bank, postoffice, and pharmacy, and the use of a
bicycle delivery service for anything I needed during the first few weeks.
During the time that I could not walk, it was comforting to know that with
the phone next to my bed I could get help if needed it with in a couple of
minutes from half a dozen neighbors.
Recently there has been a casual group that goes to the movies on Tuesday
night after dinner,  Another group sings, with the help of two guitars one
night a week. In a week or two our recreation room will be done and we will
celebrate with a dance party for a couple who are both turning forty.  This
Sunday we will have our first egg hunt and brunch with many friends are
planning to attend.
We still have some healing to do from earlier experiences but gradually our
level of trust is improving. I have gone from a position that I might well
have to move out (that bad marriage feeling) to a sense that this indeed is
growing into a neighborhood that is caring, supportive, spontaneous, and
 It took two years of living here to begin to feel this way.

Joyce Plath
Marsh Commons, Arcata, California
JoycePlath [at]
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