Embarking on New Endeavors in Senior Cohousing

If you think residents of senior cohousing communities are kicking back in their rocking chairs, think again. Choosing to move in and live in a cohousing community – whether its intergenerational or senior-focused – is a new energizing endeavor itself.  Once you do though, there are many opportunities to pursue a new venture, learn a new skill or share one you enjoy with your cohousing neighbors. Here’s a sampling of what’s been reported in recent senior community e-newsletters. By the way you can subscribe to senior cohousing e-newsletters and find out directly what their busy lives are all about. 

From Quimper Village, Port Townsend, WA 

Rat Island Regatta 

“Excitement has been building for weeks wondering if we can get our stamina up to race-level in time for an hour at full speed around Port Townsend Bay for the Rat Island Regatta. What boat? What crew? What wind from what direction? Rain? Tides?

More than 40 human-powered boats began the race in a mass start from the Marine Science Center, across to Rat Island between Marrowstone and Indian Islands and back, dodging the Washington State ferry, and pulling through tidal currents termed rapids.

This year, our Janet was in the stroke seat of an octuple shell with 7 other rowers in a 60-year-old Pocock wooden boat with 16 oars! Hard work paid off with a blue ribbon – First place (and only boat) in their category!”   

Excerpted from the July 2022 Enews article

From Shepherd Village, Shepherdstown, WV

Villagers Help Complete a Habitat for Humanity Home 

“After months of hard work since the groundbreaking a year ago, a new Habitat for Humanity home on Sage Place, a block from Shepherd Village, is finally finished. The home was built on a lot donated last year by cohousing members Phil and Charlotte, in partnership with other cohousing members Doc and Melanie, who covered permits and other costs. Other community members also supported the project, and many offered their labor to assist with construction.  The recipients of the new 1,762-square-foot duplex are Luis and Cora Abrahante, two local ministers, and their three children, Aidonilys, Elias, and Adiya. ‘Lots of sweat, hard work and tears of joy have been placed in this project,” they said in an email. “We are ecstatic to be finally joining such a joyous, loving community! Thank you so much. We are thankful to have so many memories already that have been made.’”

 Excerpted from Shepherd Village Voice, October 2022

From Wolf Creek Lodge, Grass Valley, CA 

Completing My Memoir “Watching for Dragonflies: A Caregiver’s Transformative Journey” 

“As you may know from my bio on our cohousing website, I joined the Wolf Creek Lodge back in 2006, about six months after my husband’s death. Being part of this forward-looking community brought new meaning and connection into my life along with a compelling way to move forward. Writing my memoir was also a way to move forward, and I hope it will resonate with other caregivers and inspire them on their own transformative journeys. Please check out my story by visiting my website: https://suzannemarriottauthor.com 

Many of us have embarked on new endeavors since becoming members of Wolf Creek Lodge, and for me it’s been finishing and publishing my memoir. Watching for Dragonflies: A Caregiver’s Transformative Journey will be out in June this year, and it’s already available for preorder at online sites, including Amazon, and in bookstores.

Here’s the back-of-the-book description: ‘Amid the many obstacles she and her husband, Michael, face after his diagnosis with a chronic illness, Suzanne Marriott learns to be a compassionate caregiver both for him and, ultimately, for herself. Through love, psychological insights, and spiritual inquiry, she cultivates her abilities–and gains the courage to confront a medical system that often saves her husband but at other times threatens his life. Despite Michael’s many hospitalizations, he makes miraculous recoveries that allow fun and adventure back into their lives, including his numinous experience with dragonflies. When Suzanne faces her own medical crisis, their world is once again shaken–yet throughout it all, love is their bond, one even death cannot sever. Candid and illuminating, Marriott’s story of growth through caregiving will appeal to anyone facing a life-changing crisis.’”

Excerpted from the May 2023 Enews edition

From Oakcreek Community, Stillwater, OK

Annual Community Strengthening Activity

“Each spring Oakcreek reserves one Saturday for a Community Strengthening activity. There may be a communication workshop, a fun team competition, or a relationship building project. This year the Well Being Team arranged for us to spend a morning volunteering at Our Daily Bread, the city’s food bank. In preparation, large boxes of packaged foods were collected to be donated.  At the facility, each of us was assigned a task — stuffing envelopes, stocking food shelves, re-packaging disposable diapers, etc. Even those with limited mobility were able to participate. In addition to strengthening our community, this activity reinforced Oakcreek’s value of Community Involvement. A number of neighbors will continue monthly volunteer visits to Our Daily Bread.”

From Village Hearth Cohousing, Durham NC

Bitten by the Kayaking Bug 

“Some members of Village Hearth have been bitten by the kayaking bug, and they try to get out on the water as much as possible.  They often go on trips with a local paddling group, usually to area lakes such as Jordan Lake and Falls Lake. Three kayaks are owned by Village Hearth members, and there are also rentals available just a mile up the Eno River. The big 2021 trip for this group was a guided trip down the Black River, where they paddled through ancient cypress forests. Another highlight of the summer was a beautiful full moon paddle on nearby Lake Holt. Geri and Kim festooned their kayaks with little lights that glittered out over the lake, and they enjoyed a nice group picnic, capped by the $2 ice cream cones from the little cafe. Robertson Pond, with its course through a cypress swamp, is also a favorite.

Amazingly, other than the aforementioned kayaking bug, there aren’t many bugs at Robertson. Instead, there are large populations of roosting great blue herons, a plethora of turtles that like to sun themselves, and Virginia sweetspire hugging the roots of the cypress trees. Exploring the best local river paddling options is a new group goal: Neuse River and Alamance Creek here we come!” 

Excerpted from August 2021 Enews edition


Category: Aging in Community

Tags: Aging, living in cohousing

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