One of the things I love about blogging is the ability to meet people anywhere – anytime. When Sue Counts (guest blogger) wrote about co-housing a few weeks ago, we got tons of emails and comments from readers everywhere. One such person was Bob Miller, and the next thing I knew, I was inviting him to be a guest blogger – our first male blogger on Oops50! Thank you, Bob.
My wife and I became members of a co-housing community called Wolf Creek Lodge earlier this year. The lodge is currently under construction in Grass Valley, California. We expect to move in sometime late in 2012. We have chosen Wolf Creek Lodge as an appealing environment for our senior life style.
The conventional American living environment can be hostile to the senior species. They want community, walking access to stores, entertainment and recreation. They want low maintenance, sustainable housing.
Community is important to me and my wife. Earlier in our lives we found this at our workplace, through our children’s activities, our extended family, our church and sporting activities. We no longer go out to work and our children are living their own lives and our older family members have passed away.
We watched our parents become isolated in their later years. We believe we can do better by taking action now before change becomes challenging.
At Wolf Creek Lodge we will have our own condominium-style apartment, one of 30. However, we will also use the common room, living room, patio and gardens. We will invite friends to stay in one of several guest apartments. We will stroll on the adjoining trails, walk to the nearby shops and enjoy the cultural activities of Grass Valley.
Community will be at our front door. Most evenings we will dine in the common room sharing cooking and clean up activities. We will join others over coffee and relax on the patio. We will continue to ski, bike and hike in the northern Sierra, which are only an hour away.
We realize that as the years pass we may become unable to drive and our physical capabilities may become more limited. The Wolf Creek Lodge environment will continue to work for us. The lodge even includes an apartment for a care-giver, should we need extra help.
Wolf Creek Lodge is a creation of its evolving community. The community worked with the architect on the design to oversee the construction and formulate the processes which will guide the members’ common activities.
Already, months before moving in, we are enjoying the community. We are in constant electronic communication with all the other members and attend the General Meeting in Grass Valley once a month. My wife has a key role on the landscape committee reviewing the planting plans and identifying members who want to work in the gardens. I help on the marketing and technical committees.
On the marketing committee I am working to find people to join us and fill the remaining 6 apartments. It’s fascinating to talk to potential members as they try to understand this co-housing concept. They pay us repeated visits to decide if they want to spend the rest of their lives with us. They finally take the decision and pitch in.
We do not really know what it will be like to live at Wolf Creek Lodge. We are working hard with our new friends to make it happen and having both fun and challenges along the way.
Bob Miller is currently a ski bum in Truckee, California. Born in England of an English mother and a Scottish father, he moved to Scotland at the age of 11. After graduating from Glasgow University with a degree in Physics he married Claire, started a family, and moved to the Boston area in 1978. Bob’s career was in the computer industry. Since his retirement, he moved with Claire to Truckee. Besides skiing, he rides his road bike and hikes in the Sierras.