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April 12, 2020
Let's get to know each other. 
Attend one of our virtual Meet & Greets
or National Cohousing Open House Day.
See Events below.
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Keeping On Keeping On!


So much has happened since the last newsletter. Our sign no longer says "Future Home of Village Hearth Cohousing." But it could still be your future home. We have a few homes left and a great group of neighbors waiting for you.
Construction has not stopped during the lock-down (so far, knock on wood). Most of the remaining work is fine-tuning the interiors, repairing the inevitable dings and mistakes that happened during the build, and cleaning up. We expect our certificates of occupancy in mid-May and many of us are poised to make the move soon after.
Resolute Building, our construction company, hosted a bar-b-que lunch for their crews and us to begin the final push. It was held in the still unfinished Common House, making it our first Common House meal!

First meal in the Common House.

Carolina Bar-B-Que. Yummy!

Motivation.

One of the crews.

The following weekend brought a beautiful day for an Open House. We had 88 visitors and it was so exciting to see people enjoy the village and hear the murmur of conversation around us - a preview of our futures.

Margaret and Pat welcome visitors to the Open House

Barbara and Christopher - someone said something funny.

White porch railings put the finishing touch on the homes. Imagine how it will look once people plant their front yards!

Members of a forming community came to learn from our experience.

Two visitors resting on the Common House terrace.

Work continues on site. The cabinets finally arrived and have been installed. Bobcat Vinnie came in and relocated the huge pile of rocks we called Mt. Infinity. Some of it will be used in landscaping around the community.

The cabinets being installed.

Moving the rock was a big undertaking and it took big equipment.

This barren field where rock and topsoil were stored will become gardens, an apiary, an orchard, and a dog park. Maybe chickens. What about goats?

This large decorative boulder is being left on the central lawn. Some members have taken to calling it Richard. Richard the Rock. That works.

We all have work to do to get ready for the move. Some have houses to sell - not easy during the COVID-19 crisis. Applications for mortgages and other paperwork are being filed.  Making moves from all around the country to Durham. We are all eager to be moved in.

38 days. 31 days. 17 days. In Texas, Lisa's assistant counted down to her retirement by adding a daily meme to her office door. 

Tony oversees a bonfire of yard waste while getting their house ready to sell. 

Finally, I will leave you with this comparison. What's the weather like where you live?

At the end of February, we enjoyed a beautiful snowfall. Most winters we will get one or two snowstorms. As is typical of Durham, it was mostly gone within 24 hours.

This lovely photo was taken on April 10th at Kate and Nan's home in Maine. They are snowed in without electricity which will probably not be restored for two weeks. In contrast, see below for the article What's Blooming in Durham for the lovely Spring we have in Durham at the same time. 

The most important part of a cohousing community is the people. We can get to know each other even when physically distant. See Events below.
In these anxious times, meditation can help. Our member, Christopher+ is an experienced meditator who can share techniques with other interested members.

Don’t Just Do Something; Sit There!

 
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.” Yes, I thought, exactly right! In fact, Gandhi’s insight was such a succinct expression of my own experience of meditation that I laughed out loud the first time I heard this.
 
“But isn’t this counter-intuitive?” I hear all you non-meditators asking. Well, yes, of course. There are, after all, only 24 hours in a day. If I take two hours out for meditation rather than just one, I have that much less time in which to do everything.
However, an experienced meditator—something you could be, too, with practice—will explain that the time spent in meditation, in that delicious place of no-time and no-space, enhances your ability when you return to time and space to focus more fully and more clearly on the task at hand. And—voila!—by functioning more efficiently and effectively, you are indeed accomplishing more.
 
I am reminded of the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In a sense, meditation helps to reduce the stress and strain that are often built into our notion of work—our notion of life, really—that it has to be “hard” and we have to struggle to achieve anything worthwhile.
 
Moreover, and perhaps far more valuable, time spent in meditation allows us to experience ourselves as we are meant to be, i.e., as human beings instead of as human “doings,” which is how most of us live. Always busy doing, rarely simply being.
 
With the publication of this article, I am celebrating the 41st anniversary of my introduction to meditation. Eager to share my experience with you, I will offer meditation classes in the Common House after move-in. All levels of experience—including none—are welcome. Watch this space for more information. 

Christopher Ross+

"Through every national or international crisis, I ask myself, "In times like this, where do I want to be?" And every time I count my blessings to live in a collaborative cohousing community that knows how to come together in times of crisis."

​                                                                                                                                                                                                     Katie McCamant

Cohousers Connect During the Pandemic


At Village Hearth we eagerly anticipate moving in very soon, hopefully in about 30 days.  The advantage of being close to others who “have your back” is a prime motivating factor for joining Village Hearth in the first place.  It would be so good to be in our homes, waving to one another along the paths and feeling more secure.  Too bad the pandemic came along just a wee bit early.

Never mind.  There are things to do that help enormously.  Of course, the phone calls and emails are flying between us, keeping us informed about where the great out-of-the-way places are to walk (the Falls of the Neuse in Raleigh for example), which store is suddenly stocked with tuna fish or toilet paper, and what movies and TV series just have to be streamed.  If someone needs medication, other members can pick them up.  Thankfully, none of our members has come down with the coronavirus thus far.

 

Happy Hour on Zoom

Zoom meetings are now the vehicle for the various planning sessions as we approach move-in. It’s good for socializing too. We meet weekly to have a Zoom “Happy Hour.”  With our choice of beverage in hand—ranging from water or bone broth to red wine or Scotch—we let our hair down and just schmooze.  Some of us show off our latest artwork, talk about how to manage a hair cut without a hairdresser, display the projects we are completing, tell a joke or a story.  These hours together, NOT talking about the business of our project but recounting the personal details of daily life, bring us closer and build our community even though we must stay separate.

The national website, cohousing.org has a webchat (#42) available on YouTube, about the Coronavirus and Cohousing, in which members of cohousing communities across the nation have shared their solutions to the current problem.  Most cohousing communities closed common houses and shut down community meals. Others have not — but all instituted new procedures concerning making, serving, and seating members, or are holding meetings in larger spaces so folks can spread out. One community is having “Zoom meals” in which folks eat in front of their computer and conduct dinner discussions with one another despite being physically located in their private homes.

If one member of a couple requires private space due to a compromised immune system some communities are making the guest quarters available for that person.  Some share shopping trips. In several communities, more prosperous members whose income is not adversely impacted by the coronavirus are sharing their stimulus money with members who have lost their jobs. Cohousers pull together.

The mental health effects of anxiety and isolation are fundamental human problems that we all want to address by living in intentional communities.  At Village Hearth, finding ways to do this while maintaining social distance is a challenge, but one we are meeting with humor and affection.

Barbara Simkowski

Only a few homes available. We've done all the work. Come share the rewards. Call Margaret at 
561-714-8009 or email Pat at villagehearthcohousing@gmail.com for information.  
In the midst of turmoil and tragedy, the natural world brings comfort and renewal. North Carolina is blessed with a riot of flowering natives. We look forward to enjoying them at Village Hearth.

What's Blooming in Durham

A native bouquet.

Azalea

Spring has really sprung, y’all, and I know you’re enjoying it as much as I am. Here’s a bouquet of native flowers from my garden - isn’t it lovely! And a native azalea - my favorite of all. 

Green and Gold

This Green and Gold is the best ever native ground cover - we just planted about three of them last year and look how they’ve spread! And it’s evergreen, making it perfect. 

Columbine and Bunny

Carolina Jasmine

This native Columbine spreads very nicely, although never a problem - so cute with the bunny nestled in the middle. 

Carolina Jasmine is always a showstopper!

Lavender Twist Redbud 

WIld Redbud on our land

Here is my little Lavender Twist Redbud, still blooming long after the other redbuds have bloomed out. Did you know that redbud blossoms are delicious? Pretty, too, on salads.

Lyn

UPCOMING EVENTS

Virtual Meet & Greets


We're all getting a bit stir crazy by now, so why not take an afternoon to learn about cohousing and Village Hearth. The most important part of a cohousing community is the people and we can get to know each other even when physically distant. Please join us for an online Meet & Greet via Zoom. You'll socialize with some of our members and have a good time. 

​Zoom is easy to use. Just go to https://zoom.us/j/879809164​. If you want to be sure it will work on your device, email Pat at VillageHearthCohousing@gmail.com for a practice session. 
Upcoming dates and times: 
Wednesday, April 15th, 6:00 - 7:00 pm ET
Saturday, April 18th, 2:30 - 3:30 pm ET

Sorry, no pizza.

NATIONAL COHOUSING OPEN HOUSE DAY

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

Sunday, April 26

2:30 - 4:30 P.M.

Is cohousing right for you? Village Hearth is inviting you to a Virtual Open House. You don't even need to travel to Durham or leave your home to explore cohousing, get to know some Village Hearth members, see our new homes, and take a virtual tour.  

Come check us out. We have room for a few more good neighbors. 
 
RSVP not required. Drop-in anytime during the event.
For more information:
​Contact: Margaret Roesch, (561) 714-8009.
villagehearthcohousing@gmail.com
https://www.villagehearthcohousing.com

Village Hearth Cohousing’s Facebook Page

 
Each month, you’ll find photos of our members and activities, as well as articles of interest, posted on our Facebook page. Here are a few recent examples. Just click the title to take you to the article.

BTW, you don't have to belong to Facebook to view our page, www.facebook.com/villagehearthcohousing/
LGBTQ Cohousing in Durham
An Intentional Plan for Living Together Opens This Spring
"LGBTQ older adults face many additional challenges in finding supportive, or even safe, housing. Services and Advocacy for LGBTQ Elders (SAGE), reports that many LGBTQ older adults “face harassment and intimidation in their homes or in long-term care settings from aging professionals, other residents, and even their own family members.” Forty-eight percent of older, same-sex couples have experienced housing discrimination, according to the organization’s research. Safe and affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing the community today."
What is going on?!
"While I am working from home at this time, and staying physically apart from my neighbors, I don't feel alone. I know I am surrounded by people who care, and together we will figure this out as best as anyone can."
To learn more about Village Hearth Cohousing, phone Margaret at 561-714-8009 or follow the links below.
Copyright © 2020 Village Hearth Cohousing, All rights reserved.


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