Chances to know and interact with neighbors
The following examples will provide you with sense about community life
Community meals– several times a week community meals are offered in the
common house. These are prepared by teams of two or three volunteer cooks
and clean-up is done by a second small team. Community meals seem to be
an important way that neighbors stay in touch, have fun, and relax together.
Even cooking for a crowd and cleaning up with your neighbors can be fun!
Children – we have LOTS of children, many quite young. This translates
into lots of playmates. Because we have many caring and interested adults,
children (and their parents) enjoy
"surrogate" uncles, aunts, grandmas, and grandpas.
Friends – In our highly mobile society, it seems to be increasingly difficult
to make new friends or keep up with old friends. In co-housing, friendships
can happen easily and are a natural outcome of living in a cohesive neighborhood
that has many opportunities to visit and interact.
Security – we can leave our houses for extended periods of time with little
anxiety. It is easy to recruit community members (often children who are
looking for "jobs") to pick up mail and water plants.
Sharing – a great benefit of living at Greyrock is the easy borrowing/
lending of material items such as a cup of sugar, a slide projector, or
a ladder. We also share on a more personal level and we have a track record
of supporting stressed individuals or families who may be in need of extra
childcare, transportation, delivered meals, completed errands, or just
a friendly visit.
Privacy - while sharing is easy, so is achieving your desired level of
privacy or "space."
Raising Chickens – we have approximately 20 resident laying hens. Many
Greyrock families share "chicken duty" by caring for the chickens and collecting
eggs for a week at a time. Each family has 3-4 weeks of chicken duty spread
over the year. A Greyrock-based 4H group of children has raised baby chicks
each year to add to the flock.
Car/ bike pooling -- During the school year, many parents take turns driving
or biking (with bike trailers in tow) children to and from school. The
"bus" stop at Greyrock's entrance is a busy place in the morning.
Bulk buying – We've pooled our buying power and are able to buy wholesome,
discounted bulk food from the same distributor that supplies our local
Bee keeping -- Several families have gotten together to learn about and
raise bees for honey. Fall 1999 saw the first honey harvest - umm good!
Movies -- Many families have pooled their videos in the common house lending
library so they can be checked out by anyone. Also, some families with
large screen TVs have been hosting regular adult movie nights and community
viewing of televised sporting events.
Child care – Many families share childcare in the neighborhood. This is
often done on a bartered basis using Greyrock currency (pebbles, rocks,
boulders) or informally.
Ski outings -- Over the years, we have had community ski outing to a lodge
in the Winter Park area of Colorado. Sledding, cross country skiing, skating,
and downhill skiing are all available.
Saturday Story time – Saturday morning has become story time in the neighborhood
as some adults read to children – the reading list has included the Narnia
series by C.S. Lewis and Harry Potter's adventures by J.K. Rowling. Occasionally
stories are read for a younger audience as well.
4H for the kids -- Community members lead a Greyrock-based 4H club that
includes two age groups. 5-7 year olds are in "Cloverbuds" and the 8+ year
olds are in a regular 4H group doing more advanced projects. In 1999 two
of our 4H'ers showed chickens at the County fair and came home with ribbons.
LAN/Internet – All the houses are wired to the community Local Area Network.
From there residents can opt to share the community's high speed Internet
a LAN with neighbors who have the technical skills to support it allows
a great deal of neighborhood information to be exchanged "on-line."