My husband John and I belong to Green Country Cohousing. Our group meets a few times a month with one goal—to be intentional neighbors. We want to own our private living space, but we want to share a common area for meals and entertainment.
Live longer, happier and healthier with a close support system
I realized how isolated I was a few months ago when I went to pick up a prescription at the drugstore. The pharmacist asked me to verify my address. I gave her the number on Dogwood Street and noticed her amused look. She said, “I live on Dogwood Street.” “Really,” I said, “What’s your number?” She lives next-door to me— I’ve lived in that house for more than two years. Even if I didn’t drive directly into my garage and enter my house through the inside door, most of my current neighbors do exactly that and I wouldn’t see them anyway.
Back when I was a new mother to my oldest son, my first husband and I briefly shared a house with a couple of other people. While we had the entire upstairs to ourselves, we cooked and ate our meals together on the first floor. We loved it, but… It wasn’t long after the first month that we found that our housemate Bill was spending our rent money instead of paying his parents who were the landlords.
The cohousing experiment
I always wanted to repeat the cohousing experiment without the dishonest housemate.
As my family grew to include three more children, I often fantasized living in a commune where babysitting was shared. But, as they say, life happened and the commune never materialized.
In May of 2016, John and I heard on NPR about the group forming in Tulsa. We soon realized that it wasn’t the old-fashioned hippie community from the 60s but a better, more workable version. A version where we actively get to know each other before we move into our shared home. Our private quarters will each have a kitchen, a living room and one or two bedrooms. Most of us have expressed the desire to downsize from what we have now. Since we each have lived in more conventional housing, we’ve all acquired furniture, tools and equipment which we plan to pool for use in the common areas.
This particular group appealed to us (uh, hmmm) older people who want an intentional community to support us as we age in place. Much like a Senior-Living Complex, but where we own our apartments or cottages individually, and the common areas together.
We will make the rules.
There is no large corporation in New York or LA that dictates to us and changes hands every six months to adjust the rules and inflate the rent.
John’s and my share of the complex will always be ours until we sell or pass it on to our children.
We will keep our pets with us.
We will be able to take extended vacations because there will always be someone to retrieve our mail, tend our communal garden and pet-sit.
We’re all looking forward to the efficiency of carpooling and spending less on our shared meals, utilities, and supplies.
Another advantage of age is that most of us know how to cook delicious healthy meals that we’ve already shared in our frequent potlucks. We’ve attended each other’s celebrations and memorial services.
We have the community, we just need the place to call home.
Our latest fantastic news is that we have almost five acres under contract within the Tulsa city limits and we’ll be able to announce the location in a couple of weeks. Our dream of Co-housing, a new community way of living, is coming to a reality. And we still have room to share with you. Connect with Green Country Cohousing on Facebook for updates and more info.
You, and anyone who is interested in the concept, is invited to learn more about this inclusive opportunity at All Souls on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. Presented by Green Country Cohousing, this info session is part of All Souls’ Wednesday Connections program. Everyone is invited to the community dinner at 5:30 p.m., the mid-week WOW Chapel service at 6:30, and classes for adults start at 7:00 p.m.
Cohousing: A New Community Way of Living Coming to Tulsa
Wednesday, November 7 | 7:00 p.m.
Cohousing is a community that values connection, health and wellness, acceptance, diversity, fun and support. Each person owns their own home, may share meals, and makes decisions about the community together, while supporting one another through life changes.