Haystack members: Doug, Mark and Sarah. The young fellow 2nd from the left is Keith, Mark's son. The splotch on Mark's face is some chocolate that Mark really, really enjoyed after skate-skiing 20 kilometers. Pretty darn good for his first day skate skiing this year! Sarah and Doug rented a house for the month of February in Mazama and invited some skiing cohousers as well as other friends. Not much snow in February, but no Spokanite will ever complain if its just sun, sun, sun every day!
Jim and Mariah hosted a potluck for some of our Haystack young families in February at the Haystack Hotel. According to Mariah, it was a "smashing success." The bottom photo shows that it's important not only for the adults to get to know one another, but for our children to have the opportunity to play with one another and form their preschool-and-beyond tribe.
The first of two pruning workshops for Haystackers was held the last Saturday of February by Kelly Chadwick of Spirit Pruners. Kelly is known around Spokane as a master arborist, so we feel very lucky to have him demonstrate what TO do and what NOT to do. Pruning, the when and where of it, has been a mystery to some of us for years--which month for what and where exactly to cut without damaging the bush or tree... The second workshop will be held Saturday, March 14, 10 to noon. These workshops are not limited to garden team members but anyone that wants to learn with master!
Remember those ponderosas on the north end of our property that were (sadly) in the path of progress, notably, where Building One is destined to go? Despite the antics of Mark and Greg in the above photo, the trees were carefully and seriously milled into boards by the Shop Team, with Doug's trusty Alaskan sawmill. Over time, they will be fashioned into benches and tables situated in the gardens or patio around the Common House. Stay tuned and get involved in their transformation into furniture if you'd like by joining the Shop Team!
I’d been looking for something … I wasn’t sure what... but the moment I heard about Haystack Heights I knew I had found it: Community, neighbor helping neighbor, living with people who share your values, and making a smaller carbon footprint on this earth. Haystack seems to offer all that and more.
My daughter Allison and I are finally getting back to the Pacific Northwest (east?) after many years in Utah. Previous to that we lived in the Seattle area and always felt like it was home. We can’t wait to explore our new city and surrounding area.
I was born and raised in New Jersey but grew up in Spokane after my family made the cross-country move when I was 10. I left town a few years after high school, attended college near Asheville, North Carolina and have spent the last 4 years in Massachusetts. Finding myself called back to Spokane, I moved back to town in November 2019.I
I'm currently pursuing a Master’s of Social Work degree from Eastern Washington University, while working in human services and finding ways to be involved in community organizing. I enjoy playing tennis, ultimate frisbee, disc golf, ping pong, and spending time outside in all seasons. You’ll also find me riding my bicycle as much as possible.
I’ve lived in some form of intentional community all my life (especially if you count the nuclear family home as an intentional community), and beginning in college I have lived in shared homes, prioritizing creating life with others who share common values and ways of life.
This passion for community living and desire to form strong relationship with neighbors is what makes me excited about Haystack Heights. I value open and honest communication, vulnerability, positive attitudes, and humor.
"I look forward to the joy, cost savings, positive environmental impacts, and loving and caring community that co-housing can offer!"
-Jeremy Press Taylor
In late January, Haystack members Greg Dorris and Carol Bryan held an inaugural meeting for what is hoped will become an informal communication skills group. Pat Mertens and Sarah Conover were enthusiastic participants for this first meeting, but we anticipate that many in our community will have an interest in joining as time goes on.
Why have a communication skills group? Here are some of the reasons we came up with:
*Communication means different things to different people
*Communication is the medium with which we weave relationships, for better or worse
*Communication is challenging to do skillfully
*Communication takes practice to do skillfully
*Communication is worth the effort to do skillfully
The group agreed that a monthly meeting, open to anyone interested, and gently structured by reading of the book, Say What You Mean, by Oren Jay Sofer, might be a good start. Suggestions for other titles are welcomed and encouraged. The group also acknowledged that there might eventually be a subgroup of people wanting to take a deeper dive into Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication (NVC) fount of wisdom on the subject. Stay tuned for a doodle poll to arrange the next meeting!
You may have heard about a new cohousing film by Chuck Durrett (our architect) and the Cohousing Film Company. It's called The Best of Both Worlds. We are always excited about the release of a film that could open the door into the world of cohousing for it's viewers. The Best of Both Worlds explores the lives of residents in four cohousing communities in Northern California. It also examines senior cohousing communities and how living in them improves the quality of life for residents. At 27 minutes, the film premiered at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City and Grass Valley California in February 2020.
Watch a trailer here: https://cohousingfilm.com/
Haystack Heights Members (left to right) Mark Iverson, Jim Dawson, and Rob Roose.
Not only is Jim Dawson one of Haystack Height's founders, he seems to be the founder of Haystack Heights Game Nights with the optional attire of Onesies. Rumor has it that he's outfitted all the roomates at the Haystack Hotel (contiguous with our property and garden) not just for game nights, but all-day events as well. We predict that this trend, especially dear on the most macho of gentlemen, may spread to other cohousings not only in the US, but world-wide. And why not? How can games (and cohousing meetings?) get too serious or competitive if a Onesie is only a quick change away? What is your Onesie superpower? The ability to laugh with your neighbors!
Membership Team once again put on a beautiful and delicious "get out of your winter blues" brunch for members at the end of January. Thank you! A special thanks was given to Mic who was seen emerging from the kitchen with spatula in hand only briefly. We also celebrated member Katherine's birthday--though we couldn't locate a match to light the candle on her cakelette.
It was also a time for celebrating grandchildren! Photos left is Pat's daughter-in-law Kathy, and granddaughter, Geneive Helen (aka Eevie). Photo right is Mark and his grandson, Logan.
Recently elected Spokane School Board Member, Nikki Lockwood, also graced us with her now very-busy self! All in all, about forty-five members, friends, and relatives came to eat, catch up and simply be together (without any business to take care of!). The sounds of Haystack children sparking the hall with giggles, the happy clinking of forks on plates, a beautiful feast spread before us, and the sounds of convivial cheer between us all is what we can anticipate on a daily basis in our Common House when we move in together in 2021!