Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cohousing - an idea I'm contemplating

I haven't posted in a while. Life has been busy, with finishing off my course I'm teaching, to getting the youth year kicked off, to simple every day things. However, one new thing I'm considering is the idea of cohousing. I've met with a group in Calgary (Dragonfly Cohousing) and I'm strongly considering connecting with this group and becoming a part of it. I like the idea of living in community. Maybe in my current situation of being single, I am thinking of ways to build that community around me - to have some connectedness. I also have never liked the idea of suburbia. I don't like living in a place and not knowing those around me. Maybe part of that is my experience of growing up in a small town. At least for many years, we knew all our neighbours. Neighbour kids often came by to play street hockey. A neighbour girl who had some problems at home felt at home coming to our house, and I remember my mom teaching her how to sweep the floor. She also baked with us sometimes. This same girl ended up being someone I became a 'big sister' to for a while. I had close friends who lived on my street or just a street over, and we often went to each others' houses. Our parents didn't seem to be too concerned - they knew in general where we were and that we were being taken care of. I don't like the idea of all the houses looking the same, which is common in suburbia. I like having the convenience of things within walking (or scooter) distance. I like having the opportunity to go downtown, or go down to the river. Although I love driving, I also like the idea of being able to get groceries while on my scooter, or just strolling around the neighbourhood taking pictures. There's not much in that way where I live right now. They are also planning on having a garden for fresh vegetables and herbs (if I heard correctly). The cohousing project won't be ready for at least a year or two. They are all interested in healthy eating, which would be a great side benefit - encouragement to eat healthy. The year or two wait will probably be good timing for me when considering buying a place. This particular group of people are also committed to making the place accessible and a place to age into. I need something like this. I like the idea of having input as to what the place and community I live in will be like. I also like the idea of being in community.

There are concerns, though. The site chosen is on a big hill. It's scary for me to think of buying into something when I don't know what it will be like in the end. Will this slope be problematic for me mobility wise? And, with my experience of growing up in the country, and also, right now, of living at the edge of the city, will I feel too enclosed with buildings all around me? The one thing I didn't like about being downtown was the concrete jungle. For me, being at the top of the hill may feel less like being in a concrete jungle as I'd be able to see further. At the bottom, I'd be looking up at buildings all around. That part has not been decided. I'm guessing, though, there will be ways to get around that feeling, particularly if there will be gardens on the property and other outdoor features that will feel less like a concrete jungle. I also wonder about snow removal. What will that be like on that street? Then again, it's never been good anywhere I've lived. It's Calgary, afterall. Living at that location will mean a longer commute, but then, I have come to the conclusion, one can never guarantee where they will work in a few years. Purchasing a place based on current work sites is maybe not so wise. Mind you, it would probably only add 5 minutes to my commute to the hospital, and would be less to SAIT. My veterans work is wherever they are, and can't be planned for. Being central would be nice for many reasons. I just hope that a grocery store will be built nearby that location soon. So, I guess lots to think about. Lots to pray about. I really do like the concept, though, overall.


Rachel Dick Hughes said...

Very exciting Patti! Keep us posted!

patti said...

Will do :)