Adele and Charlie – Charlie is a retired mathematician and statistician whose career was devoted primarily to bio-medical research in genetics. In Richmond, he was part of MCV’s Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. Previously he worked for the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and the Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. Charlie is an avid reader and history buff. He’s also fascinated by astronomy and other sciences. In his past lives, he’s been a runner, a bicyclist, a woodworker, a yogi, and a peace activist. He’s always been drawn to children and animals. His favorite pastimes now include watching documentaries and good movies with his wife, Adele, or reading New Yorker articles aloud to her and discussing them with her as she cooks; collaborating long-distance with their daughter, Dell, from time to time editing Wikipedia articles; and taking daily walks with his dog, Livvie. He also has an older daughter, Katherine, from a previous marriage, who’s earned her PhD in genetics. Although he’s a classic introvert, Charlie loves good conversation—even the occasional stimulating argument—with close friends and family.
Adele works full-time at a small UVA office in Richmond as part of the UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Her job involves coordinating conferences for the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc., a nonprofit organization for attorneys across Virginia who represent counties, cities, and towns. It’s an excellent fir for her because she has a law degree from the University of Hawaii, worked for the state for ten years at the Commission on Local Government, has coordinated various conferences for other groups in her past, and grew up in a university town as part of a faculty family in Auburn, Alabama. When she’s not at work, at home, or completing her usual circuit of errands, Adele is usually either out with friends or at some function of her church, First UU of Richmond, or a grassroots community organization like Richmond Cohousing or the Falls of the James Group of the Sierra Club. Adele shares Charlie’s love of animals and children. She’s also a new vegetarian and enjoys learning all she can about food, nutrition, and cooking. She’s had a lifelong affair with words and writing that finds at least some expression every day in playing “Words with Friends” with her daughter, Dell, in Atlanta. Adele also stays reasonably fit—and happy—by walking three days a week before work with two close friends.
Laurel and Karl — Laurel loves to bike, hike, spend time with friends, study plant-based nutrition, and try out new recipes. Karl plays soccer and electric bass, and loves being outdoors. We both enjoy spending time around the James River and are both employed by local school divisions.
As we tour colleges with our youngest child, we are reminded of how great it was to live in college housing with friends all around us. We are excited about returning to this experience, allowing for more time to enjoy friends while playing and working together. We look forward to decreasing our carbon footprint, sharing resources (why do 30 households need 30 lawn mowers?), enjoying delicious food with our neighbors, and finding more time to have fun.
Leslie and Jack — We moved to Richmond from New York City in the summer of 2015 and found Richmond Cohousing via Meetup. We didn’t know anything about it but immediately felt a connection. We are enthused about the opportunity to create community where sharing and caring are common place; and where the inevitable disagreements are discussed in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. As former New Yorkers we are used to living in close proximity and understand the benefits of working to create community instead of just living near each other. We are looking forward to eating, chatting, discovering and adventuring together. In particular, we are glad that people in our Cohousing group also want to be a part of, and not apart from, the larger community.
Jack is long retired from New York City’s Department of City Planning; Leslie works in the administration at VCU. Jack got hooked on Charles Darwin years ago and cannot let Leslie alone without mentioning a new nugget of information. He tinkers (i.e. does not play) the guitar. He has written several songs, a couple of poems, one screen play, and in incomplete form, several others (nuttin’ published, but who cares!). Leslie likes trying out new things as long as they don’t involve heights. She loves to swim and read but most of all talk about food.
Richard and Mable — We thrive on meaningful relationships with others, and look forward to deepening these through everyday life in cohousing. We are especially interested in the ways that creative architecture can uplift and inspire, and hope to find ways to achieve this benefit for our cohousing community, while still being affordable and energy-efficient.
Richard is a former computer systems engineer, still a musician (percussion, whistles, singing), and is exploring non-duality philosophies and writing poetry. Mable is a professor and researcher at UVa with many former student friends in the Richmond area (hey!). She loves to dance (Nia and all free form), hike, bike, and make art; she is aiming at early retirement to explore more of these expressions, maybe with some of you!
Matt, Anne, and kids — We love to cook and eat! Other hobbies, passions, and pastimes include gardening and canning, baking, painting furniture, playing outside, reading, binge watching TV series, playing cards, drinking good beer and wine, and getting together with friends.
We are a busy family with young children. We’ve been seeking community for ourselves for years without really knowing what it was that we were looking for. Having had many opportunities to “bloom where we were planted” we’ve learned over the years that we are much happier when we are surrounded by other people in community, and we wilt when isolated and disconnected. Our hope is to provide our children with a safe community to grow up in, where they can freely interact with their multi-generational neighbors and have lots of other children to play with. The opportunity to raise our family in a beautiful community where we know our neighbors, and share our lives, meals, and experiences, is a rare thing and one we fully intend to embrace and nurture.
Kathryn — I value connections with my family and friends, and being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. I also find pleasure in food preparation, laundry, gardening, walking the dog – activities that ground me. I work as a midwife where I am blessed to witness amazing transitions, love, and the very deep of living.
When my last child left for college I came to the surprising realization that my life epitomized the trappings of the middle class in America. I wanted more community, fewer possessions, and a smaller carbon footprint. I joined Richmond Cohousing in late Fall of 2013 with the hopes of creating a lifestyle more in line with my values. I am enlivened by building a cohousing community with others! Lots of challenges and lots of rewards!
John — I love to play board and card games, play ultimate frisbee, brew and drink craft beer (the former at a novice level, the latter at nearly a professional level!), hike, and read science fiction, current events, and educational philosophy.
I’m a math teacher in a psychiatric hospital for children. My wife and I have been exploring different community forms for over a decade, and we have settled on cohousing as the most viable form for us. I ride my bicycle to work and most other places in the city. I hope that in cohousing there will be regular social interactions without the extra effort it sometimes takes to coordinate get-togethers. I’m also hoping for more efficient sharing and giving to save resources and money for everyone.
Caroline — I love to exercise, cook (vegan and non-vegan), watch movies, check out classic architecture, and read mysteries.
I am a former children’s librarian, teacher, freelance writer, restaurant server, and documentary producer. I really like living in the city where there is nearly always something to do close by. Cohousing particularly appeals to me because I want to have close relationships with neighbors, and have people around more often. I currently live in Oregon Hill and when I first moved in I knew nearly all of my neighbors, but with changes over time and people moving in and out I now don’t know nearly as many of them. I also want to ‘age in place’ and alleviate the insecurity that can come from having health problems and having to live in assisted living or a nursing home as an older person.
L and son — I love to walk, cook, bake, have discussions about things, row, and relax. I am a nurse practitioner and have been in Richmond for about 13 years.
I grew up in a neighborhood with no other kids, and I want my son to have lots of kids and other adults around to play with, grow up with, and form relationships with. I want to have social support for both of us that is easily available, be able to share resources, to have a smaller house, and draw on other people’s talents as well as offering my own.
Meg and David — Meg loves to quilt, bake, ski, play strategy board games (and win!), bike around town, and read any and all fiction books. David loves to play dice and strategy games (like Dungeons and Dragons), bake bread and pizza, woodwork, and is a TV and movie buff. We’re always up for trying a new restaurant.
We recently moved to Richmond and are new members of Richmond Cohousing. We’ve always talked about living where we really know our neighbors, and are thrilled to find that here! David works at a large financial company and Meg works at a university (you can probably guess which ones!).
Diana — I have arrived back from whence I came, back to my hometown after my cross-country quest. I have returned to teaching and to my artwork – landscapes in oil from my journey. Having spent 7 months on the road with my dog, Sam, I make one hellava campfire (though still unclear on gourmet campfire cooking). I am very active swimming, riding my bike, kayaking, and hiking with my pup. I’m very fond of movies, good reads, and excellent food. I have to be honest here; I cook only when no one else will, but I can do dishes like a pro.
I am lucky to have close friendships and a strong spiritual community through my Quaker Meeting. I am excited and determined about Richmond Cohousing; excited at the prospect of living within an inter-generational community with all that it offers in activity and support and determined to work hard to make it happen.