Even though I spent a lot of time and energy arranging to sublet my Kerrisdale apartment so I’d have an escape hatch, Vancouver Cohousing pretty much had me at the move-in. I’m feeling the love.
These are the people who have agreed by 100 percent consensus to every decision we’ve made since the project started in 2012. Many of those decisions have been tough but we’ve learned to listen to each other and work through any divisions. That’s true consensus in a community of like-minded individuals.
Like Barb and Vesanto in the photo above, we’re so happy to be hanging out together. There are no awkward silences in the elevator, just opportunities to connect.
We’re already enjoying the fruits of sharing. For example, Frannie is sharing her vacuum cleaner with me and another household, so the new one I bought is going back to the store. Our camping and outdoor gear is going into the bike room for everyone to share. We’ll have a spice library where people can get what they need without having to buy every spice for their own kitchen. The workshop will have tools we can borrow.
My neighbours are very kind. Saje lent me cutlery before mine emerged from boxes. Fabrice lent me eggs when I needed to bake brownies in a hurry. Cam spent this evening driving us in his van to haul a mistake – assembled the wrong size wardrobe! – to Ikea and then pick up a bookcase I bought off Craigslist. This afternoon, Ian installed several things in my place in an hour that would have taken me all day. As a contractor, he does this for a living, so I paid him, but he is very generous with his time and advice.
Before we moved in, I was adamant that if I couldn’t have quiet enjoyment of my own home, it would be a deal breaker. We were told that the floor to ceiling soundproofing would be excellent. But it turns out I can hear the pitter patter of the toddler’s feet in the unit above me – it’s a little annoying and because he’s such a delightful kid I’m surprised to find it somewhat endearing. Imagine that.
The courtyard glistens in the rain.
This morning, I picked up plants from my balcony in Kerrisdale.