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One community's secret of success  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22172
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I've visited a lot of communities.  It's easy to find the four color brochure and the folks trying to recruit that have lovely stories about happy/happy/joy/joy.  I try to interview the people that are exiting the community to get a more rounded idea of community living.

Through a series of events, I ended up at a community in Tacoma and was able to visit with a woman that was leaving the community after three years.  She was one of the founders.  Her purpose in leaving had nothing to do with the community and everything to do with a new opportunity far, far away.

Her report:  smooth sailing for three years.  Wow!  Oh, sure, there were little bumps once in a while, but nothing like what most communities go through. 

This community housed ten people.  All living under one roof.  The house was really amazing:  a barn that had been converted into a home.  The door was massive.  The rafters were enormous logs.  The ceiling in the living room was a good 20 feet high.  Massive fieplace.  Massive wood stove.  Bedrooms were tucked into all sorts of interesting places ....

So .... the big question ...  what did she think was at the core of this great success?  Her answer:  "The beauty of the house."

I could see how that would really help.

I wish I took pictures ....


 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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Superficial, IMO.

Sue
 
                    
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I think I have literally had dreams about that house you just described!!
The layout, the fire place, all of it.

I suppose from an energy flow feng shui point of view it could make all the difference, you know give both the mental & emotional feelings of privacy &
community all at once.

Crowding can have a big impact on a tribe of 10.

If you ever go back you must take pictures.
 
                          
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
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Where I'm living for this summer, a founder of the community is leaving after eleven years, because his partner misses her home in another area. He would gladly stay if she would. Ten adults, two kids, some turnover, but in general the residents love their lives here. Some wish meetings were shorter. The houses are very beautiful. There is plenty of space. There's a universal commitment to good communication. People have good senses of humor. And the join process is long enough that people who don't really want to be here don't stick it out. I think all of these things help a lot.

Downsides: Meetings are long. Keeping the community running is labor intensive. Everyone needs part-time outside work to make ends meet. The land isn't particularly wonderful for growing food, although it is wonderful for growing redwoods, live oaks, and native grasses.
 
                    
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Sounds like it will be a valuable experience for you.
 
Emil Spoerri
pollinator
Posts: 421
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I don't spend a lot of time in the house and when I do I don't move around a lot...

I feel a large closet for my personal space and a nice living room with enough comfortable seating is all I would need.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Susan Monroe wrote:Superficial, IMO.


I kind of agree, but here's this:

If the participants are matched well enough in terms of values and goals, maybe the sorts of conflict they would likely get into would be superficial.
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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Susan Monroe wrote:
Superficial, IMO.



Depends on who you are, I guess, but in my experience, beautiful surroundings do have a huge affect on peoples' motivation to work harder at both infrastructure and maintaining relationships.

I think, especially in a group situation, we tend to equalize our own efforts to the efforts we perceive others are expending. Beautiful homes and gardens require thought and effort, as do harmonious relationships. Most of us are not likely to invest a lot in a group project if we feel that the other participants are just skating by.

And, to be clear, it doesn't take a lot of money to create beauty.

 
Kyle James
Posts: 11
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I am looking to join a community very soon. I have 3k and want a tiny piece of land to live on in a community where I can put my talents to use.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Namaste



paul wheaton wrote:
I've visited a lot of communities.  It's easy to find the four color brochure and the folks trying to recruit that have lovely stories about happy/happy/joy/joy.  I try to interview the people that are exiting the community to get a more rounded idea of community living.

Through a series of events, I ended up at a community in Tacoma and was able to visit with a woman that was leaving the community after three years.  She was one of the founders.  Her purpose in leaving had nothing to do with the community and everything to do with a new opportunity far, far away.

Her report:  smooth sailing for three years.  Wow!  Oh, sure, there were little bumps once in a while, but nothing like what most communities go through. 

This community housed ten people.  All living under one roof.   The house was really amazing:  a barn that had been converted into a home.  The door was massive.  The rafters were enormous logs.  The ceiling in the living room was a good 20 feet high.  Massive fieplace.  Massive wood stove.  Bedrooms were tucked into all sorts of interesting places ....

So .... the big question ...  what did she think was at the core of this great success?  Her answer:  "The beauty of the house."

I could see how that would really help.

I wish I took pictures ....



 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
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i am not sure bout the psychlogical truth o fa betifull house beign imprtant i suspect mysel fi find th ehouse beatifull if iam happy an dugly if i am not. In aravedic medicine ther is  comparison between the house an dthe prson do you like the sitting room the kitchen etc as a way of findign out your emotional state if i understood it right . i ermembe liking the ugley wll that was at the back of my parents home in london. When i painted i tried to find anything beautifull. i did not find beautifull houses beatifull when i was awy from my faimly untill now when i am writting so it is th emental activity that makes me happy maybe more than the family even i loved my children adore little children but it was not a happy part of m life it is hard to have no good adult company i now have plenty now i whatch the television programs i chose by a thinking outside the box process of whatching the television at night when others aren't chosing programs for themselves. At home by shich i mean at my parents house while my mother was alive i always had a source of complex cnversations that filled in the same role as writting or listening to jon stewartand crew and colbert. agri rose macaskie.
 
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