Mid Winter 2017 As I write, a walloping, snow-laden nor'easter rages outside my triple-paned window. It's almost too wild for anyone to be out there,

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Mid Winter 2017


As I write, a walloping, snow-laden nor'easter rages outside my triple-paned window. It's almost too wild for anyone to be out there, but inside we have been busy planning projects and fun events to ward off the chill. Many in the village have put in their seed orders and watch for the changes in the light and the lengthening of the days.

A Note to Begin On: With this issue we welcome a new member to our "staff," and say goodbye to another. Over the years of his tenure with us, Sawyer Stone has been in various newsletter roles. We are very grateful for his commitment to getting the newsletter out on a frequent basis as we sought to build the community. Alison Gilchrist, a new community member, has volunteered to take over the editing duties. By way of introduction, she writes our first "Path to Community" column. Welcome, Alison! – Jeffrey Mabee

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A Path to Community
Hello! It has been a wonderful first six months for me here at the village. This morning, it's snowing again, and my five-year-old neighbor Carl is back with his bright yellow shovel, clearing off parts of my porch--completely unsolicited. I actually owe him a big thanks for modeling for me what this cohousing thing is all about. Last summer, just after my arrival, he'd be at my door every day with a fresh raspberry (or two) from his garden. So around here, sometimes it's the kids who are teaching us grown-ups a thing or two about community. Coming from the woods of Connecticut and the apartments of Manhattan, I'd been used to living about as independently of my neighbors as possible. Now, at cohousing, I've found out that it's not just okay to ask for help, or to borrow something, or to share-- it's expected! That reciprocal trust is a powerful thing, and usually happens with a dollop of good cheer alongside. What a fine way to live!

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Every now and then, a group of kids and grownups host a special treat, like this Valentine's party last year. Recently we had a high tea, with real china, table linens, and home-made scones!

Good Food, Great Company
Especially in these colder months, when the evenings are long, we love our communal suppers in the warm, glowing Common House. A couple of times a week, you can dine out on burritos, chicken pot pie, hearty soups and salads, and always with options for vegan and gluten-free preferences. It's a fun and popular cohousing tradition: somebody signs up and finds a partner to cook with. They don aprons, put on some tunes, pour a glass of wine, and get to work in our beautifully equipped kitchen. Youngsters hang nearby, the youngest under a watchful eye in the lovely playroom around the corner. When dinner is ready a bell is rung, and lively conversation flows over a yummy meal. A couple of folks who have volunteered to clean up head for the dishwashing area, while others linger to chat around the woodstove or work on a jigsaw puzzle. We are also lucky that a couple of our villagers regularly host an early-morning breakfast social--a convenient and delicious way to start a busy workday.

Common House Coming Along
Since last summer, the first floor has worked really well for our myriad activities. The finishing of the second floor continues, including a large space for ping pong and yoga, a room for older kids or teens, a crafts room, and a space for such communally useful things as a large copier. There will also be a second guest suite. The entire second floor should be finished and ready for use by late summer.

Laird Schaub Workshop
**We are looking forward to March 3rd, 4th and 5th, when community facilitator Laird Schaub will be in residence to conduct workshops in communication, leadership, and conflict resolution. Two BCE members will receive formal training. Schaub is an author and co-founder of The Sandhill Farm Community in Missouri.

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Hooray for the Solar Array!
We are excited that our new solar array is now up and online. The panels allow us to power the well pump, so we can have running water during any power outages.

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