Mary Kraus Architect's blog

Power Outage in Cohousing

In October 2011 in this part of Massachusetts, we had an unusual snowfall. Leaves were still on the trees, but big, fat flakes of wet snow fell from the sky. As the snow kept coming down, there was an increasing chance that snow-laden tree branches might fall on power lines and cause an outage. Now it just so happened that I wanted to thaw out a whole chicken that night to bake the next day. But I have an electric range (which, by the way, is what I recommend for good indoor air quality).

Cohousing Conference at My Home – Then and Now

The Northeast Cohousing Summit is coming to Amherst, Massachusetts, and that sure brings back memories for me! Want to know why? Almost two decades ago, in October 1999, the National Cohousing Conference was hosted by two Amherst communities: my home community of Pioneer Valley Cohousing, and nearby Pine Street Cohousing. For three glorious days, people interested in cohousing – aspiring cohousers, professionals, and members of existing groups – descended on our communities and filled the air with their energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity about cohousing.

Compassion: A Secret Ingredient

Imagine you have been a member of a forming cohousing group for several months now, and you have just joined the circle for a big decision-making meeting about the vision and future of this community where you hope to live. You’re nervous. You have some health concerns, and you absolutely need to have a clean environment and access to organic food. Will the other group members care about these issues? Will they think it’s too expensive to accommodate your needs?

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