Pleasant Hill Cohousing
(Central Contra Costa County, California)

Meet Our Members
Community Member Profiles

 

Abe, David, Zander

We moved from Oakland to Pleasant Hill Cohousing in 2018 and our kid Zander says that our home is his favorite place on Earth. It is an amazing place to live – so many sweet relationships with neighbors. With the safe bike path next to us, Zander learned to ride his bike within weeks of moving in. He is part of the Bug Club here and moves rollie-pollies off the path to keep them safe and neighbors text us with cool bug observations to run to see. Lately he has been building a fort, making potholders and building a boat to ride in the pool, using supplies from the woodworking workshop and the arts and crafts room. We help care for the community’s chickens and community garden. We love the wildlife here – the creek we live next to has foxes, beavers, river otters, bats, turtles, crayfish, blue herons, night herons, mergansers, etc.

David and Abe met as volunteers for a queer/trans meditation group at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland. David is a social worker with experience in hospice and has a private counseling practice. Abe has worked in climate change policy and environmental science and first fell in love with intentional communities while a student at Brown University. We both love to paint and have enjoyed playing with pottery using PHCH’s pottery studio. As queer parents, we are grateful to live in a village where we have a strong sense of belonging and to have our cohousing include a significant number of households with LGBT folks. As a biracial family, we are interested in diversity, equity and inclusion within cohousing. Living in cohousing helps us live in accordance with so many of our values–working together to care for our community, sharing resources, living sustainably, being prepared for climate disruption and disasters, practicing naming our needs and boundaries, making decisions using consensus, etc.


Amy

My ex-spouse and I and our two kids, Paul (born 1996) and Miriam (born 2000) moved in here in Fall 2001 at the same time as the other 31 original households.

PHCH is a fantastic place to raise children - eating delicious common meals and not having to do dishes is a big help. Our kids attended Fair Oaks Elementary next door, their assigned middle school Pleasant Hill and, through an intradistrict transfer, College Park HS. There are all sorts of pluses and minuses with public schools and a large school district, but I think it worked out great for them both. We found extra MDUSD support when my daughter had to have tutors and independent study because of two concussions in her junior year. In Fall 2018, Paul is starting his senior year at UCLA and Miriam is going to be a freshman at San Diego State. The community helped us have a wonderful party for Miriam and two other cohousing girls who arrived here as babies and now are going off to college in 2018. The village really did help raise them.

We originally lived in the largest sized unit here, a 4 bdrm, 3 bath. When my spouse and I separated in 2015, I was fortunate that another smaller unit was available, so I moved 50 feet! Being able to stay for Miriam’s last three years of high school has been a blessing. And the community is very accepting of families changing.

I work at a very demanding, but rewarding, job in SF for the SF Department of Public Health. It has been so wonderful to bicycle to BART every day, throw my bicycle in a bike locker, and get on the BART train that runs at least every 15 minutes and even more often during commute hours. I never drive to work and I know that has helped me juggle the demands of work and home.


Barbara

My deceased husband Ted and I founded this cohousing community. Next to raising our two sons, the creation of this community stands highest on my list of life accomplishments to date. I’m writing this after 4 years of planning and construction and 17 years of living here. It is everything I dreamed of and so much more.

During the seven months of Ted’s illness and death and in the year after, our neighbors who are also our friends supported us in endless ways. I needed folks to go out to eat with, and Ted needed visitors. Those were provided in abundance. When he was home and was under hospice care, folks came to say their farewells. That included every single parent of small children who brought their children. A group of women formed adhoc choirs and came to sing wonderful spiritual songs to Ted. During this entire time, it was a friend-neighbor who communicated what was transpiring with us to our community and to other groups of friends outside cohousing. Support continued for me in the following year; a normally conflict-avoidant neighbor got in my face and told me I had to go get help as in a grief counselor. It didn’t leave me much choice when she put it that way. These are some of the many, many ways we support each other. When a 3-year old says to me, “I miss Uncle Ted”, I am again reminded why I love having this as my home.

Today I am enjoying going ballroom dancing several times a week. In our community I volunteer on several committees including the Common House Committee, and I make time to just sit out front and take the opportunity to visit with my neighbors.

Unity of Walnut Creek continues to be my spiritual home after more than 30 years. I’ve been studying Non-Violent Communication for the past several years, and now utilize Ho’ oponopono which is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice. These all contribute to my well-being, to my spiritual growth as an authentic, loving person, and to making our planet a more wonderful place for all living creatures.


Courtney, Jeff, Bebe

Courtney (she/her), Jeff (he/him), and Bebe joined PHCH as renters in the summer of 2021. Cohousing was a brand new concept to them only a few months before moving in, but the moment they discovered cohousing the light bulbs went off and they knew they had to find a way to join a cohousing community. Especially having a toddler aged child, it felt very important to them to raise her in an environment where community was the focus. Seeing neighbors lift each other up when they need help, challenge one another to facilitate growth, and make communal decisions in a functioning democracy with consensus and discussion being at the heart are all things they want for Bebe to have as she grows up.

Jeff & Courtney are both California natives, growing up in Santa Cruz and Stockton respectively. Jeff spends his days building software as a computer programmer and in his free time loves to bake bread, play board/video games, watch movies, and go camping. Courtney spends her days either doing or learning science. Her background has had her studying disease ecology in wildlife in eastern and southern Africa, earning a PhD from the University of South Florida, and working as a wildlife conservation biologist in the bay area studying pumas and bobcats. As of fall 2021 she is currently a student at UC Berkeley pursuing her Masters in Public Health, while also working full-time for the Alameda County Resource Conservation District. She spends her free time playing in the dirt, hiking, and finding new ways to live more sustainably. Bebe spends her days pretending she is a cat. In her free time she likes to play, play, play. Jeff and Courtney also spend their free time on social justice education and activism. Courtney is especially active during election season.

Courtney is currently on the Emergency Preparedness and Outreach Committees. Jeff is on the COSCom and 6C Team. Together with Bebe, they are also in the chicken club.


Jan & Ellen

We joined PHCH towards the end of 2007. We were among the founding members of Cobb Hill Cohousing in Vermont in the late 90s. In between our lives at Cobb Hill and our life at Pleasant Hill, we lived in San Diego, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and San Francisco.

We lived in Sri Lanka to work with the Nonviolent Peaceforce from 2003-2006.

Ellen's background is rather diverse having worked as the Executive Director for the Center for a New American Dream, the Ben and Jerry's Foundation -- and before that as a psychotherapist. More recently she completed her PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies in New Zealand. Ellen continues to do research and writing on "Unarmed Civilian Protection/Peacekeeping" as well as volunteer as a Buddhist prison chaplain in a prison nearby.

Jan's background prior to working with the Nonviolent Peaceforce was a psychotherapist working with perpetrators and survivors of trauma and violence. Jan served on the faculty of the School for International Training teaching peacebuilding online with the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures Program. He continues to do some international peacebuilding consulting and works locally as a consultant/coach working with individuals and families. More on Jan can be found at: www.janpassion.org/.

Jan’s other work is taking folks on sailing tours of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean with a 33’ catamaran, Hokahey. His website is www.SailHokahey.com

Between us we have three grown kids: Rachel, Serena, and Adam. We also live with Navi who is a retired guide dog breeder with Guide Dogs for the Blind, after having raised 31 puppies for Guide Dogs!

Jan loves to sail, paraglide and play racquetball and ultimate frisbee. Ellen loves to paint, walk, and dance and practices Buddhism. They like to make ceramic art together in the Cohousing art studio.

Ellen is on the Financial Advisory Team, the Hot Water Team, as well as several ad hoc committees that address environmental, financial and work system topics. Jan is on the Connection & Conflict Resolution Team as well as the Security Team. They are both part of the ad hoc Frugal Committee.

 

Jeff & Lynn

Jeff: I had been interested in cohousing for many years and finally in August 2006 we arrived! I enjoy playing with the kids, jumping in the pool and hot tub, and having unplanned moments. I work as a software engineer and systems manager at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory. Along with cohousing I love backpacking, music, and scuba diving (in warm waters!).

 

Joanne and Jamie

I have loved living in cohousing from before there were houses here! Part of the forming group, my former husband and I were very excited to join this community and help plan its beginnings. We even shared a home with other future cohousers while construction was happening.

Our daughter, Jamie, came along in 2003 and joined an amazing "girl pack" of many girls (and some honorary boys) close to her age. She has loved growing up in cohousing which has given her social confidence and leadership skills. I am grateful for amicable co-parenting with Jamie's dad who also lives at PHCH.

I am an elementary school counselor for the local school district, and love my job with children, families and teachers. I play guitar and bring music into the classroom as well as the cohousing community, feeling energized by the musical talent and artistic creativity right here at home. I am a spiritual seeker and participate in a number of religious communities including our local Unitarian Universalist and Unity churches. My favorite places in our community include the chicken coop, our common house great room, and our outdoor gathering spaces such as the Old Oak Lawn.

I am on the Common House Committee, facilitator for the Executive Committee elections, and in charge of upkeep of the Decisions Log. I help plan a few special events each year including Winter Solstice and new member welcoming Tie-Ins.

 

John, Dana, Maya, Dale, Leila

John, Dana, and Maya moved to Pleasant Hill Cohousing in December 2005 when Maya was one month old. Dale was born in 2007, and Leila was born in 2010. We are a homeschooling family, which works particularly well in cohousing. We enjoy the day-to-day interactions that come with living in cohousing, as well as the opportunities for the kids to connect with other children and adults. Dana is a member of the Kid's Committee and the Social Committee. John is on the Maintenance Committee.

John grew up in nearby Walnut Creek and never really expected to move back to this part of the Bay Area. After working as a geologist for several years, John went to law school, and now works for a large firm in San Francisco. When he’s not working, John likes to play with the kids, run on the Iron Horse trail, read science fiction, hike in the nearby hills, do carpentry projects, and watch movies.

Dana grew up in Palo Alto and went to UCSC as an undergrad. She has worked doing office jobs, as a preschool teacher, and as an SAT and GRE test-prep tutor and has an MA in Clinical Psychology. She is currently back in graduate school studying art therapy, and homeschooling the kids. In her free time, Dana likes to do arts and crafts, sing, dance, write love poems from the viewpoint of various animals, fight authoritarianism, and hang out with John, her cohousing neighbors, and her friends.

As of 2018, Maya likes science, robotics, programming, reading, art, and spending time with friends. Dale likes paper crafts, Minecraft, Roblox, Harry Potter, Norse mythology, and hiding from cameras (he is not pictured, for that reason). Leila likes arts and crafts, Minecraft, Roblox, making people laugh, and playing with other kids.


Maggie & Reed

Maggie and Reed moved to PHCH from North Oakland and South Berkeley in 2017 to live together for the first time in community!

Maggie grew up in Alaska and mostly in Pittsburgh, PA. She completed a BA in Environmental Studies in Ohio before moving to the Bay Area to become a Certified Natural Chef and more recently a certified Nutrition Consultant. Maggie is chair of the Social Committee and is a tour guide for the monthly cohousing tours. She is an avid gardener and lover of plants.

Reed was born in the central valley of Stockton, CA but has lived all over the world. Reed is a hospice chaplain, community organizer, and ritualist. They love working in the woodshop, singing with their neighbors, drum circles on the old oak lawn, and soaking in the hot tub.

Quince is a quirky pup who loves swimming more than any dog ever has. She also is known to have a wild passionate love for a mini squeaky ball.

 
 
 

Marian & Harry

We were the first family to move in - when the community was still under construction, on Sept. 23, 2001. Although leaving San Francisco was hard for us, we are glad to be here. We go to the city for friends, museums, theatre, and music. Thank goodness for BART! We love the weather out here--sitting on the patio in the evening, seeing stars, fall leaves--and knowing our neighbors.

We are both retirees and empty nesters. We enjoy the mix of community and privacy, spur-of-the-moment social interactions, and community "traditions" like the annual Day of the Dead celebration.

As retirees, we spend much of our time on volunteer work: Marian with The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley and Health Care for All - Contra Costa County; Harry with the Contra Costa Labor Council, SEIU 1021 Political Action Committee, Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition, Lift Up Contra Costa (LUCC), and other local progressive groups.

Our daughter Emily, 30, loved growing up in cohousing. She lives in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where she is on staff with the Southern Regional Headquarters of AmeriCorps and FEMACorps, She plans to live in CoHousing herself one day.

Harry has been on the Executive Committee for 3 years, serves on the Cold Water team, maintains the community carts, and likes to tackle fix-it projects around the community. Marian chairs the Risk Management Team, is on the Facilitation Team, and is the DC for Fire and Sprinkler Inspection. She has cooked a common meal each month for 18 years.


Mary & Rachel

Mary and Rachel joined the community in 2008 as renters, later purchasing a home, after relocating from the Lake Tahoe area for our younger son’s high school years. Mary is a family doctor and Rachel is a retired nurse practitioner. Our younger son, B, has lived with us most of the time, and our older son, P, who was away for college when we came in 2008, lived at PHCH with his partner, E, for a summer. Our family is bi-national- Canadian and US citizens. Over the years we (together and individually depending on work and family circumstances) have spent time both in California and at our other home in British Columbia.

PHCH has been a great place for B to mature as he pursued his education from high school through graduate studies in history. He has been on the cold water committee, mows the community lawn, and is always ready to help neighbors in between his studies. During her short time in our community, E (a professional ballerina at the time) got to know several families by providing childcare and dance lessons while P was busy commuting to work in SF every day as a financial analyst.

As our family’s needs have evolved, we have been fortunate to be able to move within PHCH a number of times to adjust to changing situations. Our family holds the record for having occupied the largest number of different units at PHCH over the years! But no matter where we live, community life at PHCH is special and rewarding. With a wonderful mix of generations and people, both “old timers” and “newcomers” (and those in between like us), there is a wealth of knowledge, creativity, and empathy. The opportunity to know people in new ways and to connect in new and unexpected ways through committee work and social events is at the core of the cohousing experience we appreciate.

In our Covid-19 virtual world, it is now possible to participate in Community Board Meetings and committee work from Canada where we are currently residing. Mary continues on the Security Team and Rachel is with the Risk Management Team. Although travel is more complicated now, we are still able to come to California every few months. We look forward to seeing old friends and neighbors and also meeting new ones every time we come home to PHCH!

Pictured is Ember, our newest family member (adopted from SF SPCA in 2015- thanks to the efforts of E and P.) She is currently filling-in the empty space in our nest that is reserved for grandchildren!

 

Meghan & Brian

We moved to PHCH in March of 2019 after being interested in cohousing for a few years. The people were the biggest factor in our decision to move here and have really made it home for us. We love the common meals together, the meetings and sharing circles, and all the in-between casual interactions and gatherings that are prolific here. We've jointly taken over the common meal scheduling, Meghan is on the Common House Committee and the Ad Hoc Work System Committee. Brian is on the Finance Team.

Additionally, we love hiking & backpacking, bicycling, traveling & exploring, Burning Man, and interacting and connecting with people. Meghan has a background in physics and education and a strong attraction to anything chocolate. Brian has a background in business, is addicted to coffee, and loves ultimate frisbee. The newest member of our family, Patty Melt, is a friendly terrier/chihuahua mix, who loves people’s laps, sprinting faster than, well, anyone, and food.


Nancy, Tim, Naomi

We were drawn to cohousing because we want to have meaningful relationships with our neighbors, and to be a part of a community that values interaction and being part of each other’s lives. We have been living here since May 2019, and what we value most about the experience is the connections we have made with our wonderful neighbors. It is also fulfilling to work together with our community to keep things running. Nancy is now the chair of the landscape committee, and Tim is part of the risk management team, kitchen committee, and parking committee.

In March 2020 we joyfully welcomed our daughter Naomi Jade Matthiessen to our family. We have been moved by how much the community shares in our joy of Naomi. It has been such a supportive place to have a newborn and navigate being new parents! We look forward to watching her grow up in community and connection with her neighbors.

Here is a little more about Tim and Nancy:

Nancy: I grew up on the California central coast and love the outdoors. Hiking, backpacking, scuba diving, swimming, camping, and working outdoors in the garden are all things I enjoy. I also love to cook, bake and experiment with fermentation. I am an avid reader and also enjoy crafts like knitting. As for career, I work at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland as a registered dietitian/nutritionist, providing medical nutrition therapy for children. Nutrition unites my interests in science, helping others, and environmental stewardship (how we eat has such an impact on the earth!).

Tim: I enjoy: cooking, having dinner parties, music, public radio, learning ukulele, frisbee golf and ultimate frisbee, baseball. A formative part of my life was growing up going to a Unitarian Universalist family camp, which Nancy and I still attend almost every summer. I have now been part of the leadership board for the last 6 years, and I actually enjoy being part of committees and meetings. I am a registered dietitian/nutritionist and currently work as a program administrator within the food service department at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

We met while we were both studying nutrition at UC Davis in 2010. We started talking and had so much to say that the conversation is still going! We share a strong interest in health and nutrition. We have a growing interest in the social determinants of health and how we as communities and as a society can bring more equality and compassion to health care. We enjoy adventuring together, which includes backpacking, road trips in our VW camper van, scuba diving, and the occasional trip overseas. We love having people over to cook for them and share a meal and conversation.


Peter & Polly

Peter:
I was born in England in 1943 and have lived for long periods in England and Southern Ontario, Canada. On a California vacation in 1984 I met Polly and we were married two years later. I taught elementary school for forty years and retired in 2006. I like to read, run, and solve cryptic crossword puzzles. I also follow the mis(mostly)fortunes of my favorite English soccer team. I’m on the following committees: Cold Water Team; Connection & Conflict Resolution Team; Emergency Preparation, Maintenance, and Facilitation Team.

Polly:
I was born in Texas and came to California in 1958. I taught English at Amador High in Pleasanton and then went back to school to become a Marriage and Family Counselor and am now retired. I have three grown children from my first marriage, two of whom live in California. Reading is now my vocation and Peter and I belong to a book group that has been going for over thirty years.

 
 
 

Sheryl

Back in 2001, I was beginning to feel more the isolation of city life after a decade in lovely San Francisco. Lucky for me, that’s when I stumbled across a flyer about then-forming Pleasant Hill Cohousing. One meeting and one potluck later, I was hooked! I was attracted to cohousing because I wanted to live in a place where I know my neighbors – infants, seniors, and all ages between - and we work together to make our little neighborhood home. I have not been disappointed.

My favorite things about living in community are common meals, knowing everyone, and both fun and work with my neighbors. I'm on the Facilitation Team and I help take care of the chickens. Outside of cohousing, I volunteer at San Quentin as a teacher of Non-Violent Communication. Together with Susan and Yehudit, I attend monthly meetings of the Oakland chapter of Coming to the Table. For fun, I like to go to the movies and on bike rides, sing, and hang out with my friends and neighbors.


Sue

I'm retired now for 18 years and I am settling in nicely to what I thought would be a relaxed lifestyle. Of course, because I am who I am that is not the case. I am a potter and we have a small but very complete studio here at Lisa Lane Commons so I am there whenever I have time because that is what truly makes me happy. Because I have 2 children and 3 grown grandchildren who have varied and exciting lives, I take time often to interact with them as they all live close by. I am active here on a couple of committees. I enjoy the little ones, especially the babies, so I like to use a slice of time for them. I hike when I can and there are many places in the Bay Area to do that. I am lucky enough to have a little income from my pottery and so I can travel and I do often.


Susan

I've been here since we found the site (2 years before move-in) and I'm very glad to have been part of forming our community. That was one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced -- watching our community take shape physically (the buildings) and interpersonally.

After almost 18 years, there have been a few surprises (some good, some hard) but I'm very happy here and I can't imagine living anywhere else. I get a lot of pleasure out of being part of a community; I feel that I am "known" in a way I've never experienced before.

I love my cozy house with the clean quiet hydronic heating, the big windows that let in lots of light, the natural materials (e.g., wool carpet and marmoleum flooring), the effective soundproofing so that I only rarely hear my neighbors. I am happily living without television because there are so many other things to occupy myself with. And, even though there are lots of activities going on, I like the sense of freedom to participate if I want to but knowing that if I don't, it doesn't mean others won't have a good time.

In 2015 I retired from UC Berkeley where I worked for 20 years at the Career Center, managing the website and other techie projects. I'm enjoying retirement but maybe a little too busy with various activism projects including: Health Care for All, Contra Costa chapter (advocating for single payer healthcare in California), the Oakland group of Coming to the Table (with Sheryl and Yehudit), SURJ - Stand Up for Racial Justice (Contra Costa chapter), as well as many cohousing responsibilities. I try to balance that with fun things like a women's singing group in Oakland, movies, spontaneous Happy Hours with my neighbors, getting outdoors for walking or biking, and looking forward to some travel.

I'm the community bookkeeper and a member of the Financial Advisory Team. I'm chair of the Outreach Committee which means I'm the contact person for outside inquiries and I'm the webmistress for this website. When we have an available unit, I'm also chair of our HomeBASE Committee which helps find new community members.


Susie, Benjamin, Nova, Acacia

The Barr-Wilsons (Bdubs) originally hail from both the east and west of Washington State from Prosser to Kent. Susie and Ben met at Western Washington University where we worked in the office of admissions with an inviting crew of passionate students who helped usher in prospective students. Susie graduated with a degree in Recreation that she has put to good use as a program and challenge course manager at Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center, youth director at a United Methodist Church, program coordinator for Girl Ventures in San Francisco and more. Ben graduated with a degree in math and physics education and since spent the past 15 years crafting educational experiences that encourage curiosity and grow problem solving skills though critical and creative thinking.

Somewhere in the middle of this from 2007-2009 we spent two years as volunteers with the United States Peace Corps in South Africa living and working in little village in the Limpopo Province called Mokuruanyani. Here Susie built an after-school girls club with the local women educators and caregivers to empower grade 7 girls and Ben worked as a teacher-trainer and brought a functioning computer lab and training program to the village.

Upon returning from Africa we spent five years in Oakland and San Francisco while Susie worked on and received her Masters from San Francisco State University in Recreation with an emphasis in young women’s empowerment through outdoor adventure programming and Ben taught at Mission High School. We moved back to Washington for four years to be closer to family members and are now returning to to the Bay Area.

We are coming to Pleasant Hill Cohousing from Bellingham Cohousing where we lived for our last four years in Washington State. During this time in 2016 our youngest was born, Acacia. She is a joy who loves exploring our world, dancing, swinging and laughing. Previously In 2013 Nova was born in Walnut Creek. Nova is our little analytical man who wants deep answers to deep questions. He is a storyteller who enjoys a good audience and is an amazing big brother to his little sister.


Veena and Murthy

***2018 fall- we are currently in India spending some time with family ***

We have been living here since the fall of 2003, but involved with the group since early 1999. It was great to move into a place where we knew all the neighbors and their kids! I (Veena) love that I get to spend time with the kids when I want to and have on occasion organized some craft projects for them, which can be so much fun. The original 'girl pack' are teenagers now! And being able to just knock on a neighbor's door to borrow anything (soymilk, onions, muffin tray, food dehydrator are all recent examples) reminds me of my childhood growing up in India where this is a common occurrence.

Murthy and I are vegans and enjoy cooking the occasional vegan common meal for the community. We also have learnt permaculture and try to grow some food in our tiny backyard. I am on the "Decision Log Committee" (responsible for maintaining a log of all the decisions the community makes) and the Cold Water Team (periodic maintenance of our sprinkler system) Murthy is part of the Computer Connection committee (the committee that maintains our ingeniously laid broadband community network), the Cold Water and Hot Water teams and is also on the Garden Committee as time permits.

We both enjoy going on hikes, and helping neighbors out when there is a need, and living in community.


W & K

Our family joined the Pleasant Hill Cohousing community in 2013 when our two boys were in preschool. Our boys are going to be fifth and third graders in the fall of 2018. They are currently homeschooled by their mom, a full time homeschooling teacher. The boys are busy learning various languages and other subjects, in addition to the California standardized education. They are bilingual and hope to be tri-lingual in a few years. Their dad works in an environmental field to protect our natural resources. We love hiking, swimming, kayaking, biking, camping, learning new things, and going to new places to further educate ourselves to be nicer to the earth.


Yehudit

I'm a semi-retired professional violinist, classical (performed for many years with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Fremont Symphony, and other Bay Area groups) and jazz. I've recorded 4 jazz CDs. I'm currently active in the jazz-crossover trio Florio and the jazz quartet West Coast Standard. I also love playing for community events like our Winter Solstice celebration.

I have been a participant in the UNtraining (untraining White liberal racism) and a member of Welcome to the Table, a racial reconciliation circle, for over 5 years. I also participate regularly with Jewish Gateways, a Jewish learning and celebration network. Other interests include hiking, cooking, group singing, and the group-process aspect of community building.

I found out about cohousing about 25 years ago, and knew it was the way I wanted to live. I worked for several years with a group in Marin County (where I lived for 30 years), trying without success to create cohousing there. When the Pleasant Hill group found our site, I joined, realizing that it was my best chance to make my cohousing dreams real -- even though it meant relocating to a part of the Bay Area that was wholly new to me. I was one of the first people to move in when our homes were completed, and have lived here ever since.

I am currently active on our Facilitation Team, Outreach Team, Financial Advisory Team, and Garden Committee.

Over the years I have lived here, I have had some difficult moments, but no regrets. I like and respect all of my neighbors, and feel that I can be real with them. I love the spontaneous social activities that happen because we're all here. I am fascinated and challenged by the consensus decision-making process. I continue to hold to the vision of living in a creative, resourceful community where there is a commitment to resolve conflict peacefully, transcend differences, and create win-win solutions. As an older single woman, I also enjoy living in a multi-generational community that includes children.


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