Disaster-free neighborliness


People often ask me why I want to move into cohousing. If they have no idea what cohousing is they assume I’m having a mid-life (well… maybe a bit later than that) crisis of some sort and am wanting to return to dorm life. If they do know what it is, I used to launch into a collection of canned phrases like “intentional community”, “neighbors as friends”, “community at your doorstep”, blah, blah, blah. At which point they would either glaze over – with a look of that-sounds-like-pollyannish-la-la-land, or they changed the subject -- they were just being polite, time to move on to something more substantial.


None of that was working. I knew my elevator speech needed a make-over, but I couldn’t quite get the bead on what that one says-it-all phrase was until we were hit by the 2021 #TexasFreeze. The ensuing camaraderie and community connectedness brought everything into clear focus.


It’s simple. I’m sick and tired of having to go through a disaster to experience old-fashioned neighborliness. For a few days, or even weeks (think hurricane Ike in 2008) we all come out of our houses, share power cords and food from thawing freezers, eat meals together, clear branches, and scavenge for tools and gas. Then as soon as life returns to normal, we retreat into our warrens and barely wave from the driveway as we slip in and out of our isolated airconditioned (or heated, in the case of the recent freeze) homes.


So the “says-it-all-phrase” is that I want to experience neighborliness on a daily basis instead of waiting for the next disaster to occur.


I could even boil it down to this headline: Disaster-free neighborliness!


When I shared this with our latest Explorer, JH, he admitted that as terrible as these disasters are, he secretly finds himself looking forward to them, just so that we can press pause and spend some time in community. I'm stealing that - it's so true!


Anyone else looking for connection on a regular basis without a disaster? Give us a call!


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