Nehlani, Malia, Kai, and Jen
Baby Nehlani Oakleigh Meadow's newest addition. Coming in at 6 pounds 7 ounces she is a little bundle of joy. Mom was absolutely amazing and we are blessed with good health and a wonderful supportive community.
Malia: Age 33. My interest in cohousing is born from my experiences already living in community in my life (Lost Valley Educational Center, and other experiences). I love living near people that I have like-minded interests with. I’m passionate about the state of the world and I feel that cohousing is a way for me to begin being a solution to some of the problems humanity faces. Likewise, I have an interest in tribal culture and natural hygiene (paleo eating, permaculture, yoga, etc.) – I believe that living intimately with others is necessary for human wholeness and health. Living so near to others, being witnessed in our lives, brings us into a profound growth provoking experience. As an artist, my work is fed by the robustness of my experiences and self progress. My life experiences are reflected in my oil paintings = realism (if you’re curious, google my name to see some examples and articles). I also dabble in sewing, knitting, wheel throwing, and metalsmithing. I can’t wait to practice these things with people in a shared common space. My financial sustenance comes from my accounting practice. I love analysis and serve as a consultant to local business. I have 2 degrees from University of Oregon in Accounting (CPA track) and Art. I’m certified in Bookkeeping and soon, QuickBooks consulting. I passionately value humility, kindness, compassion, taking responsibility for one’s actions / being accountable, NVC, facilitation, conflict resolution, selfless service, professionalism, consideration, and doing (as opposed to talking about doing).
Kai: Age 13. I go to school at South Eugene High School. I fantasize about what I will be like when I get older but I don’t know how it will all turn out. I do want to go to college though. I like to hang out with my friends Sean, Nick, and Maze. I want to be a pro skateboarder. I love snowboarding; especially in Colorado where my dad lives. I lived at Lost Valley with my mom a couple years ago and loved it. I ran around every day on the land, swam in the swimming hole, went on adventures with my neighbors (hiking, canoeing, climbing, building things, etc.), and never got bored. That’s what I like best about community – there’s always something to do and you learn a lot from all the different people who genuinely care about you. I like people, and they say that I am good with little kids. I have 2 little brothers in Colorado, Colin 6, George 4 - and now I have a sister here - Nehlani, who is over a year now. I like drawing stick figure dudes, watching anime, playing Wii, and roaming the neighborhood with my buddies. I’m learning guitar and I play lacrosse. One of my favorite things to do is to wrestle with my step dad Jen.
Jen: I consider myself a local! I’ve always called Eugene my home. Graduating from the U of O in Environmental Studies and Economics I decided to be a builder/carpenter. Fifteen years later I own a green general contracting company. Work has been very satisfying over the years because of the challenges and creativity that have come my way. Green building has been a passion as long as I can remember. I think I was 10 when I built my first tree house with a rain water catchment system. I am very drawn to cohousing. I have lived in various levels of community and see cohousing as a really successful way of combining my private side with my public side. Sharing a piece of land and a common house seems to just make sense. Getting to know people and expanding my family also seems to make sense. I feel like I’m making that little mental shift from trying to do everything on my own (house,kids,etc.) to doing these things together.
Most of my life, you could find me on one US coast or the other. Washington state was home until 1979 when I bicycled across the United States ending up in Maine, where I lived for most of the next 30 years. Three years ago, following the lead of my 16-year-old son Toby who yearned to experience a slice of life beyond rural Maine, we moved to Eugene. Toby is now a student at Oregon State University majoring in environmental science and dreaming of a career in baseball. Standing At 6'7" and pitching left-handed, he's a force to contend with. Meanwhile, I am exploring retirement. I enjoyed my career as a pediatric physical therapist and want to continue to share PT skills while also learning about the world's many rich and wonderful cultures. To that end, last fall I volunteered in Peru, then hiked in the Andes. I hope more similar adventures follow. Eugene offers endless opportunities for the things that "fill my cup" - hiking, biking, cross country skiing, sea-kayaking, gardening, and engaging in meaningful social action. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk is a person who inspires me deeply. The Education of Little Tree, is a book that makes me both laugh and cry every time I read it.
Katharina and Russell
Katharina — I have spent most of my life in Berlin or its surroundings. I lived alone, or with friends, with a partner, and almost 10 years in an intentional community. Friends were always closer to me than family, although I love my family dearly. I´m a social worker, I used to be a nurse in my first profession, and I worked in all kinds of jobs in different fields. As to my professional life I can only say: I´m not a career person. There is just too much interesting going on to focus on one field… I like to be in nature, especially at the water. I love the silence of early Sunday mornings in Berlin, going out for brunch or dinner, chatting on the balcony on a late summer evening. I like the Tango and I´m a passionate reader. After moving around quite often, I´m ready to arrive at a place to stay…
Russell — I have lived in lots of places scattered all over the Eastern Seaboard, most recently in rural New Hampshire for 27 years. I have been living for the past 4 years in the Berlin area, after having met Katharina on the Camino de Santiago. I have long had an urge to make a move to the West Coast, and to Eugene in particular as my son was a student at the U of O and I had several chances to visit and nose around (he also is now living in Portland). It seems to balance my wish to be in a dynamic place with manageable size, and easy access to Western-sized wild places. Katharina and I have been looking for a place to settle amid others with a desire for community. For me, Oakleigh Meadow cohousing represents a chance to live and work with a group of like-minded people in a lovely location. What more could you ask for? I am a gardener and get excited at the prospect of an extended growing season (compared to New Hampshire and Northern Germany, that is). I am also a dedicated walker, and sometime boatbuilder – I am happy to find that there are fellow boat nuts and woodworkers in the Oakleigh Meadow group.
If you were looking for real community, in Eugene, Oregon, on a river, and a bike path, AND your daughter was already a committed member of that community, you’d be R.C. Cross.
R.C. moved north from El Cerrito, CA, by way of the Army and Colorado to the University of Oregon architecture program. But he found his avocation with wood working, and now his passion is both crafting canoes and paddling everywhere he can go. When he’s not paddling, he is peddling, or up in the family cabin in the Sierras, or babysitting his grand daughter or even helping take care of his daughter-in-law’s sheep.
R.C. is ready to turn wood into cabinets and chairs and otherwise using his handy skills to help build Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing. And if you ask him, he’ll tell you a story about Alaska and a return with a whole 19 cents in his pocket.
Will, Lynn, Ben & Miles
Will is an architect and has also been a builder. He looks forward to having company playing music in the common house, as well as the possibility of sharing a shop for woodworking and other projects. He believes that cohousing makes sense in the current climate for a practical way to house ourselves and to build community. Lynn has a background in education, having worked in elementary and preschool classrooms, Birth To Three, the UO Youth Enrichment and Talented and Gifted program. She is currently working at the UO in Global and Online Education. She is excited about cohousing so that her family can have more connection and interaction with an intergenerational community, sharing meals in the common house- both the cooking and the eating; growing a fabulous garden; and playing lots of games. She needs some more people to play board games with since her son Ben, 15, outstrategizes her so completely. Ben is a freshman at North Eugene International High School. He plays soccer, and of course, enjoys good strategy games. Miles, age 11, also enjoys games, soccer, football, and music. We are all looking forward to creating community together, on such a special property by the river.
"I’ve always been a rambler” but now Eugene is my home. Born and raised in Washington, DC, I’ve lived and worked in several cities in the U.S. and in various other countries, the longest being in France, where Grenoble is also my home. I lived a few years in Sweden (where I first learned about cohousing), as well as in Nigeria, Canada, and Luxembourg. In the 60’s in the DC area, I was a member of the DC Non-violent Action Group, following the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I have retired from a long career in the computer industry (but don’t ask me anything about it now). My favorite acitvities are spending time with my friends here, traveling to other places to see friends there, Scottish and English Country Dancing, singing in harmony, and trying to play the piano --- and I love to laugh at a good joke! I am also a volunteer with the Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) program. With Oakleigh Meadow I’m currently on the Membership and Process teams. What attracted me to Oakleigh Meadow are the stated values of the group, which coincide with my own, and I am delighted to be living these values among this group of like-minded folks.
Frannie and Phoebe
We are a family of two: my 4-year-old daughter Phoebe and I (oh yes, and then there is our dog, Maddie). I returned to Eugene in ’08 to raise Phoebe, after many years away. I grew up in Eugene and have fond memories of biking all over town on the first bike paths and bridges and of helping sell my father’s wooden wares at the first Saturday Market and Country Fair. I left Eugene for college out of state and after many adventures on both coasts, I have now settled back in Oregon as a nurse and single parent. We love living in Eugene for its many bicycling and other outdoor activities. We love music, gardening, dancing, and singing. My college experience at Evergreen in Olympia, WA, gave me my first taste of group living as well as many opportunities for working in groups of all sizes on any number of projects. Moving east in the early 80’s, I picked apples in Vermont and again lived somewhat communally with fellow pickers, and then began my stint working at summer camps and environmental centers around New England and in North Carolina. All these experiences gave me the opportunity to live, work, cook, and play with wonderful people. I find that though I love having my own home now, I miss that shared living experience, especially now that Phoebe is in my life, and I see how we both benefit from being around a varied group of people. The prospect of a co-housing community is exciting to me as it combines this private and shared living experience beautifully.
Maureen loves rowing! She loves the competitive spirit, teamwork and the workout she gets. With Eugene’s mild climate, she can practice 2 or three times a week year round. She loves Ireland too, and took a family reunion there where she learned about her great great grandfather and the family connection to County Donegal.
An “Army brat” Maureen was born in Alexandria, VA, and moved every three or four years, living in South Carolina, Texas and Germany. In 1978 after graduating from the University of South Carolina, she moved across country to attend the the University of Oregon where she earned a master's degree studying exercise physiology. In the late 80's Maureen became an occupational therapist, and now specializes in Hand Therapy.
Maureen believes that living in Oakleigh Meadow she can connect with her neighbors in a healthy way, and that sharing tools and resources makes efficient use of them. She’s looking forward to using her tools and community organizer knowledge to get it built. Maureen is on the Finance and Membership Teams.
Laura grew up on a K.O.A. campground in Union, Illinois, joined the Peace Corps where she served in Thailand, and found in Eugene a place to live a low key quiet life where she can hike, camp, read, walk and work as an occupational therapist. She loves to travel, and she and her partner have most recently been to Roatan, Hawaii, Greece and Turkey. Laura started her company, Driving Solutions, evaluating the driving and transportation needs of people with disabilities and the older driver.
Laura learned about cohousing after walking across the United States on The Peace March for Nuclear Disarmament. A fellow friend and walker spent her following years designing and developing Winslow Cohousing, on Bainbridge Island, WA. Laura feels she is at her best working with others in challenging and life changing situations and loves when life brings people together. She sees Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing as an opportunity to forge strong and lasting community relationships with like minded people she may not have otherwise met. "Being involved in this project has made me aware that this is about learning together and creating a quality future." Laura serves on the Membership Committee.
Born in Ohio, Katy went West from Chicago by way of Tennessee and Montreal, to homesteading 33 acres near Medford/Grants Pass. A country girl on her way to living in Eugene, she gained a degree as a Nurse Practitioner. Her daughter Yana works for the Forest Service in Redding. Most recently she’s adopted a Shih Tzu named Shen Shen (Mandarin for sunshine). Katy loves to play on the water in her kayak and Santana 20 sailboat, to hike and to take trips when she can (In the Andes she loves Ollantaytambo, Peru), and to read philosophy, especially Ken Wilbur. She’s attracted to Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing because of the camaraderie that comes from open-minded and open-hearted neighbors, and for a bikeable and walkable future.
A nester not a traveler, Leslie is a town and country girl. Circumstances have led her from New England to Eugene via Arizona, Florida, the Sierra Nevada foothills, some time south of the border and abroad, Colorado, and finally a deeply rooted life in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Leslie enjoys the pleasure of her own company and the company of others. She sought a place that offers togetherness and privacy, society and nature, and access to resources and services. She wants a simple life, to learn to play the piano and find people with whom to learn ballroom dancing, and to allow serendipity to lead her to her next vocation.
Leslie’s life defining experiences include being in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1969, building a wilderness cabin and living in it year-round, living through a life-threatening illness, and landing in a temporary job that became a calling and endured more than three decades. There the world came to her as she found herself working with refugees and asylees while they began to build new lives.
The time came for her to get a new life so Leslie left the place she’d called home and flung herself into the great unknown with faith in serendipity, in herself, and in her sister, brother-in-law and friends. Oakleigh Meadow arose to be discovered, where she is finding people with whom she wants to spend more time in a place that promises peace and vibrancy, independence and a sense of connectedness.
Joel and LauraDee
Joel: I spent my working life in labor relations as an investigator for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), teaching for the University of Missouri Extension and as an attorney for a labor union. We moved to Salem, Ore., for last job 17 years ago, and we don't miss the humid Midwest summers and snowy winters. Now I’m retired and pursuing other interests. I volunteer at Silver Falls State Park, answer calls at the Department of Justice Consumer Protection hotline, and serve on my synagogue adult education committee. I play poker with friends, attend a Men’s Group and a book club and stay politically active. I’m a baseball and basketball fan — Go Reds, Tigers and Blazers! Laura and I love to go to blues, jazz and rock concerts and movies. Our favorite place to visit and hear music is New Orleans. We have a daughter who lives in Australia and works for Google and another daughter in Portland who works in apartment management and graduated from U of O. I want to live in a community and really get to know the folks living there, but have my own privacy when I want it. I think cohousing is a perfect match and Oakleigh Meadow is the right group of people. The location is great, too.
LauraDee — I lived in an Urban Commune for eight years during my 20s. I was very involved in early childhood education; studied Montessori; and helped create a Montessori School in an old stone mansion in Cincinnati. Joel and I have two daughters; both of them are successful and out living life. I am finishing up public school teaching. Next to early childhood, my favorite group is 12- and 13-year-olds. Being with 6th and 7th graders is the best job on the planet. I have always been interested in ART; color, form and design. I love live music — blues, Afro-Cuban along with some new age and Native American sounds. Looking forward to: more work with silver/designing with stones and silver — maybe painting, daily garden work, and watching the river flow.
Originally from Northern California, Cindy first learned about Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing from a Sacramento neighbor with friends who joined this cohousing project in its early formation. It's definitely a small world. Last summer she moved to Eugene. She is interested in cohousing because of its sense of community and the opportunities to work, play and learn together and to be neighborly. Her background is in journalism. She is currently a freelance writer, editor and proofreader. She loves animals and art, and also included among her interests, in no particular order, are walking, hiking, riding bikes, working in the garden, seeing plays, visiting museums, and traveling to visit friends who've moved to the Southwest. She also likes to read (favorite authors range from Louise Penny to Elizabeth George, Susan Wiggs, Jane Austen and Elizabeth Berg), drink coffee, shop at farmers' markets and watch Masterpiece on PBS.
Judi and Howie
Judi — I learned about cohousing from our son, during his college semester abroad in Copenhagen. The concept of living in an intentional community that shares meals, projects and recreational activities intrigued me. Over the years, we have occasionally lived with other families for months at a time. We also shared weekly meals with another working family for 15 years. I really enjoyed these experiences of shared community. I am delighted at the prospect of living in Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing with a wonderful group of people who value the strengths, abilities and unique life experiences of each individual.
I have lived in Eugene for 45 years, working at the University of Oregon in the Biology Department in various research labs, then in the teaching labs. Now retired, I enjoy volunteering as a reader with elementary school students through the SMART program, advocating for improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Eugene and serving as treasurer of the Eugene Natural History Society. For recreation, I like to bike, hike, garden, cross country ski, ballroom dance, read, travel and visit our grandchildren.
Howie and I have tried to live our lives in an ecologically responsible way, through vegetable gardening, preserving local farm produce, riding bicycles as our primary form of transportation and incorporating passive and active solar into our household. I am looking forward to downsizing, and to sharing meals, gardening, conversations, transportation efficiencies, camaraderie and a smaller footprint with our OMC community.
Deb and Ray
Oakleigh Meadow attracts me because of the place, Eugene, Oregon, because of OM values, and because the time is right to resettle. Born on agricultural Long Island, NY, schooled in Massachusetts and at UW, I learned to love the west, met my husband, had a son. We moved east to be near my family, and I worked in architectural and program planning for my town, for state colleges and universities, and in community, economic and arts development. Now our son is grown, my parents gone, and my husband’s family in Seattle is calling us back.
A life long socialist without portfolio, and environmentalist to the core, I love to paint and photograph nature, hike seaside beach and granite mountains, explore, grow food and flowers, find and spread good ideas, laugh, locavore, and practice patience & compassion. Last year I kept bees and red worms, milked a Kenyan cow, picked and canned Cape Cod beach plum jam, made yogurt, sauerkraut and fish broth, joined vegetable and fish CSA’s, taught ecosystem services, ate New Orleans fried food, held a Wildlife Refuge black duck, lived in cohousing and marched with Bill McKibben. I want to live lighter, make community, be resilient, as I grapple with the challenges of peak oil, climate change and economic instability.
I grew up the oldest of three kids in the Midwest (Illinois). My family moved to Eastern Pennsylvania when I was 15 and, since then, I’ve had the good fortune to live in and experience just about every corner of the country. I returned to Illinois for college and here I got married, had a daughter and eventually/thankfully an amicable divorce. My daughter, Bridget, and I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I completed my degree and lived for the next twenty years. I must say, I still miss the most incredible sunrises/sunsets I have ever seen. Not the 114 degree summers, though! Four years ago, my path brought me back to Eugene (for good!), as I truly love it here. To add to my happiness at being here, my daughter and my 4-year-old grandson, Lucian, have moved to Eugene as well. I recently retired from my career in social services, mostly in administration, and am enjoying being a retired person. I’ve worked in corrections, Medicaid and other health care programs, behavioral health, in child welfare and with seniors and the disabled. My favorite jobs have been those where I’ve been involved in creating new programs, and I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in several start-ups during my career. I’m hoping that this experience will be helpful in getting Oakleigh Meadow off the ground! My interests include Buddhist studies and practice, the arts, the outdoors and spending time with my many wonderful friends. With my new retired life, I’m also finding time for tai chi, NIA (dance exercise) and learning to play the ukulele.
I have a theory that our sense of place takes form during our later childhood years and I had the very good fortune to spend those years exploring the sagebrush country of northern Nevada. I like wide-open spaces, but I also grew up with a strong sense of community. I have spent nearly 25 years living in Alabama and have enjoyed my life in a small college town as a microbiology professor at Auburn University. I am retiring at the end of summer 2015 and now I am ready to return home to the West of my youth, bringing with me my four-legged companion, Finnegan. I grew up on stories of the Oregon Trail and the rich soils of the Willamette Valley, so I am anxious to dig into the soil along the river and work with other OMC’ers to grow a verdant garden and lively community. In addition to gardening I like exploring, cooking, reading and playing with Finn.
Frances has led an interesting and varied life. She has climbed most of the mountains in the Oregon Cascades, and she travels frequently, often to distant and exotic places. She has been to Nepal, China, Turkey, India, and Russia, and more. From the sacred Ganges River to the mountains of Cappadocia, these beautiful places have opened her mind and her heart. The most important journey for Frances, however, has been that of a mother. She reared both of her children in Eugene: Kevin has grown into an intellectual artist and a lover of fine coffee and Caitlin has a master's degree in Religious Studies and leads experiential education courses for youth in the Himalayas. Professionally, Frances has spent her adult life has a Registered Nurse. She practices nursing with care and compassion, and feels grateful to have a career that has brought meaning and satisfaction into her life. Currently, she works at Lane Surgery Center. In the past few years Frances began to crave a more sustainable, enriching lifestyle. When she first discovered Oakleigh Meadow, she was delighted. She looks forward to living in a caring, supportive community. She values time spent with family and like-minded friends — sharing meals, drinking tea, gardening, walking by the river, or just enjoying one another's company. After a lifetime of hard work, she has learned to stop rushing and prioritize simple moments presence and connection. Since joining Oakleigh Meadow, Frances's life has been much enriched by the fascinating people she has had the opportunity to meet.
I was raised on a dry land wheat farm in Kansas near the Haggard grain elevator, seven miles from the nearest town of 6 hundred people. After 19 years on the plains (with fabulous summer vacations in Colorado!) and another 5 years at KSU and KU, I headed west. My first great adventure was hitchhiking with a gal friend from Albuquerque to the CA coast and up though OR and WA and back to Albuquerque. I took a fancy to Portland and moved there. In 1978, I met my first husband at the Rainbow Gathering outside Roseburg. After a year in Santa Cruz where I traded child care, goat milking and pig slopping for room and board and studied photography, we traveled to Telluride, CO to work the Film Festival. We lived together in the area for 8 years and birthed our daughter. Thereafter I returned to school at NAU in Flagstaff, AZ to get the nutrition degree I so desired. I moved to Albuquerque in 1990 for an internship and spent 25 years there working in nutrition, being married a second time and raising my daughter. Special interests during this time included dance (Lindy, Balboa and Argentine Tango) and gardening. I also explored Buddhism and Centers for Spiritual Living.
At the age of 61, after my mother passed in late summer 2014, I considered where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I had grown weary of the very dry high desert and had become a climate activist. After reading the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the clear choice was my old love Oregon. I was keenly interested in joining a cohousing community as my attempts to find/create/live in committed community in Albuquerque had failed. I moved to Eugene in August 2015. I currently work 2 part-time jobs as a personal assistant and a gardener. I also grow food, dance, hike, volunteer as a Master Recycler, am a climate activist with 350 Eugene, and will become a first-time grandmother in December 2016!