How many co-housers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I’m starting to think the lightbulb would never get changed.  So many opinions.  Obviously we are new and still learning consensus and we do make decisions. It takes time and patience.  I’m starting to lose patience.  Not on the big issues but trying to do a little thing can prove frustrating.

Something simple like securing our outgoing mail key turned out not so simple.  One of the children loves to take the key off the chain and bury it.  Of course there are plenty of opinions on this and child raising but we will leave that aside since children and judging parenting is a whole other issue.  The problem is that there is only one key (maybe one other when another parent found her child playing with it and made a copy months ago).  

My solution – I asked the parent to take it into town and make a few copies so we would have some and could put our mail to be taken away by the deliverers.  I would have done it but with Covid, it seemed more of a hassle and I thought it was more of the responsibility of that family.  (we still are discussing what to do when children destroy property on purpose or not.  I know I offered to pay for a solar patio light that I thought my son broke by accident.)

Other idea brought up – glue the key into the outgoing mailbox slot.

Other suggestion –  get a lock box and combination and keep the key in there.

So, nothing happened.

I hid the key then someone else put the key on top of the whole box contraption. Out of sight out of mind for the kids.  One member, not the parent, went to make copies for every neighbor (another idea) and the keys didn’t work.  So, it is an ongoing process.  Just don’t trust me if I say the check is in the mail.

As a control freak, I mean, natural born leader, this is a time of great reflection. I’ll just go with the flow and I’m coming to the realization that everyone chose cohousing for different reasons.  I try to think of how every action affects the community. Some just want to hang out and exist with the neighbors. There is nothing wrong with any reason that people chose to live here, but I need to chill out more.  So, to appease myself, I named the groundhogs.

My house is tall and I get to look over the whole neighborhood.  Under one of our sheds is a groundhog. Then there were two.  And like I expected, a baby appeared.  Instead of bringing it up to a meeting or a committee I took the  initiative and named them.  Baby groundhogs are called kits so it’s name is Kit.  If there were more I was going to call them Kat and Bar but I’ve only seen one so far (and female groundhogs chase away the male  after reproduction so he’s now out of the picture).

I named them because I could. It is the one thing I could control and do without asking others’ opinions.  It makes me feel better as I learn to listen and respect everyone.  And guess where Kit and Mama love to hang out – by the mailboxes!

About CJ

I was a Spanish teacher for 5 years in the Public School system in 3 different states. I homeschooled and taught at a democratic free school. I heard about cohousing in 2010 and wanted to move in right away. I met a group building one in 2018 and got to move in the summer of 2019. It only took a year to want out.
This entry was posted in control and decision making in cohousing, learning and growing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How many co-housers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

  1. New communities are hard. People aren’t synched. No one understands how different everyone’s expectations are and worse, they have no idea what is possible, or even probable. Just relax and take on one thing at a time. Then you can point to successes.

    • expsteacher says:

      I wish I had heard your comment when I wrote it! I’m sure time makes things better and I wanted to be in an emerging cohousing to help create the culture but now I think I’d prefer a well established community where the rocks are already polished.
      I got one response by email – they agree with the “never”. Not sure if they are living in cohousing or not but it sounds like things are slow moving where they are also.

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