Are you curious about how cohousing has been working out for the members who've moved in? Well, it’s been a week now since my family became homeowners at Emerson Commons Cohousing, so let me just share a few anecdotes.
Moving day: Matt’s hand still injured and me possessing nowhere near the brute strength required to move heavy furniture, our neighbor Colin willingly gave up the bulk of his Saturday to come and help us with just about zero notice, driving 20 minutes each way.
Sunday: we woke up, Starr had a fever and the U-Haul was due back at 10 AM. We tried unsuccessfully to move him from his bed for the return trip, and were despairing. I picked up my phone and a text from my neighbor Rebecca (who isn’t living on site just yet) was right there on my screen that said “Let me know if you’d like some help today.” I quickly filled her in on the situation and she agreed to get herself and her kid dressed and out the door to meet Matt in Charlottesville and give him a ride back to Crozet.
Meanwhile, I was at home with a sick kid and a crying, overtired baby. Icing on that cake was no coffee supplies in the house, so I was not caffeinated. I texted my neighbor Laura an SOS and she came right over to sit in our living room so I could take Myri in the car for a nap and to grab myself some coffee.
Crisis morning over.
Monday: I went back to the apartment to continue packing and cleaning work, with Rebecca’s help all afternoon (and her son to play with Starr while we worked). I came home with a van load and backed up to my front porch, and within seconds my neighbor Steve was bounding over to say “I see you’re backed up close to the house, need help carrying heavy stuff in?” Then as I was making dinner I realized I’d left my lime for that recipe in my apartment fridge. Asked my neighbors and quickly procured the required lime juice from my neighbor Mary.
Wednesday: I helped Rebecca with the common meal tacos and got a late start, so Matt stayed in the house an extra 20 minutes finishing the Spanish rice so that I could hang out with our people (resident and still-waiting members all) and help serve the rest of the food. When he was done he just walked across the green from our house to the common house.
Yesterday: (Matt’s words, as I was the one staying home cooking dinner this time—) “And best of all, when we got home around 6 there was a cluster of our new neighbors wandering around in the golden April evening, and Starr scampered right off to assess the dirt pile with Heath and Sully, and Myriam who’d been screaming all the way through rush-hour traffic brightened right up and held hands with little Farrah, and we grownups stood around laughing about basketball and moving woes and toddler tantrums, and eventually Brian struck up his guitar on his porch and we all filtered out of the woods to listen and lay plans for a regular front porch community music hour.”
So I’d say so far, so good. SO good.