|Chuck Durret: Missing cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)|
|Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 09:30:58 -0700 (PDT)|
Chuck Durrett charles.durrett [at] cohousingco.com is the author of the message below. It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at] cohousing.org> Note: Chuck with his wife Katie McCamant wrote the book _Cohousing_ which was largely responsible for bringing the idea to the US. -------------------- FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS -------------------- The Cohousing Company McCamant & Durret Architects Spaces for Children 24 September 2004 Wow, the single-family house, what a workout. Especially after 12 years of living in Doyle Street cohousing in Emeryville, CA. We have moved to a 1,150 square foot single-family house with a white picket fence, a detached garage, and a dog. Not because we became disenchanted with cohousing, but because we are working with getting a beautiful new 34 unit cohousing project built in the woods, but in the city at the same time. And Nevada City, CA is charming to be sure, but the whole single-family house dream thing is, like my daughter would say, "like so over-rated". I had forgotten. Like you have to shop, cook and clean up seems like every night. That's one thing. But really, you have to get in your car, sit in traffic, find parking, play bumper cars, stand in line, find your car, find the exit, sit in traffic, put away the groceries, and now you're just ready to start cooking. Obviously, when dinner is available in the common house, you do none of that. Even on the other nights, there is common dinner left over for next day lunch, midnight snack, even, on occasion, the next day's dinner. Speaking of snacks, its amazing how often a neighbor would serve Saturday afternoon snacks, or Sunday, or whenever. And I'd do it on occasion, too. I baked a fresh pear crisp the other day - we ate a quarter of it and there was no neighbor to readily give the other three quarters to without having to make a big deal out of it, visit a while, and all the rest. With cohousers, you can hand them something and rock on. So now that I'm having to cook / shop / clean up all that more often, then the garbage has to be taken out more frequently, and the compost, and the dishwasher has to be loaded everyday and sometimes twice. It's one thing after another. Clean the stove, clean the cutting boards, and on and on. You're always doing busy work - it feels oh so important at the time and then you start over, just as you finished the last cycle and none of it is important at all. At Emeryville, we only had dinner at the common house three times a week, but there was one spontaneous joint meal a week with a neighbor when they cooked too much, and one breakfast provided by the coach of the work committee. Or someone was just finishing up with the grill and you put your stuff on and they had some extra squash, and showed you just how to cook it and it was all just so much more convenient, practical, and economical - just like we planned it and is if the neighbors were all entertained by cooperation which they seemed to be I was - And boy does it make cohousing feel "oh so not over-rated". And I haven't mentioned sharing, something we all learned in kindergarten. At Emeryville, Katie or Jessie or I (mostly Jessie) would go knock on doors if we were missing two eggs for French toast or milk for the pancakes. It made it possible to not have to go to the store to get a dozen eggs when you only needed one or two, or a quart of milk when you only needed a cup. You stock the fridge with stuff you might need. You need a 14 cubic foot refrigerator that you forage like a coyote who can't remember where he buried his bone. And did I mention the leftovers that are just oh so not interesting because you ate that stuff last week but you can't throw it away until it's "ripe", but have to forage around it. I can't wait to get back into cohousing so I can get my life back. With an opinion, Chuck Durrett Charles R. Durrett, Principal Architect The Cohousing Company Spaces for Children 241 B Commercial St. Nevada City, CA 95959 530.265.9980 charles.durrett [at] cohousingco.com
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