Rob Woods Sandelin
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 08:41:48 -0800 (PST)
> It is with a heavy heart to let you know that one of our founding members,
> Rob Sandelin passed away.

When I joined Cohousing-L in the mid 1990s, Rob Sandelin was a frequent and 
informative participant. He posted as often as I do (Yes, there is at least one 
other in the race to the top).

His advice was seasoned and wise. Much of it I have only now come to 
appreciate. I would call him a low-tech kind of guy. Don’t hassle over 
workshare. You can’t measure the worth of sharing. His community rotated 
cleaning of the common house by unit but most paid a particular resident $50 to 
clean it for them. 

All you need to do to measure morale is ask people once a year, Are you happy? 
A deep sociological analysis won’t tell you anything more that is helpful.

Don’t over design. Cohousing isn’t magic. People won’t (or can’t) pay above 
market rates for solar panels and heated floors. In the 1990s, banks just 
blinked, if they did anything but thank you nicely and walk away.

Fred had just started the list using one of the first email list managers and 
it was low tech too. Those were the days when spell-check would correct 
“Sandelin” to “dandelion.” Rob probably accepted it as his alternate name.

> During the 90's he promoted, taught, and lectured on the benefits of
> co-housing writing many articles, including 'Getting Started: The First
> Eight Steps, 'Ten Great Reasons to Live in Cohousing.

Rob was one of the first to write these sorts of materials for beginning 
cohousing communities. In the mid and late nineties there were more failed 
start-ups than successes. It was hard with no tested sources of information. 
There was too little experience to work from.

You can find these writings by searching the site.

> Besides promoting cohousing, Rob was an author and naturalist,
> starting his adult life as a naturalist in such grand national parks as
> Yosemite, Denali and Olympic National Park. In addition to writing books
> such as, Field Guide to the Cascades and Olympics, he wrote a 
> monthly/semi-monthly newsletter called ‘This week in the Woods', which helped 
> explain the natural surroundings we lived in. This email newsletter continued 
> for at least the past 14 years, the oldest one I found was 2002.

Rob left this list in the early 2000’s to take what he called his dream job 
teaching what he loved most, the natural environment.

I missed him when he left and am saddened that he will no longer pop-up with a 
post from time to time.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap 
of thinking you have something to lose." Steve Jobs

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