AJ — I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child, I spent summers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I loved being on the Chesapeake Bay, swimming, boating, crabbing, and the exploring the marsh mud! As a teenager, I attended summer camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where I learned to canoe, hike, and live with 7-8 other campers in a cabin for 8 weeks – perhaps a precursor to co-housing? I’ve lived most of my adult life in Missoula, MT where I have continued to enjoy the outdoors, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. I worked in the Information Technology department for a local hospital, supporting doctors and nurses with analyzing hospital data to improve patient outcomes.
In the mid 1990s I began practicing Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Ten years later a yearning to better understand Christianity (I grew up Methodist) took hold and I attended seminary in Berkeley, CA. After graduating in 2006, I wanted to understand the persistence of racism in the United States and I began to read, study, and reflect on our racial history as a nation. Since 2013 I’ve been teaching classes to support people of European ancestry to better how concepts of race shape our lives (as well as the lives of people of color) in the United States. “How can we have a more equitable, just, and caring society?” is a question that motivates me.
I’ve been eager to live in a more community-focused configuration for at least a decade. During my time in Berkeley, I met a friend living in an Oakland cohousing community and I became interested. Cohousing appeals to me because it provides a blend of both private and community space. I’m excited to live inter-generationally with children, seniors, and those of us in between. Oh, and I like to eat and try new foods – and food always tastes better with friends!
Deborah — Deborah recently moved to Richmond from New Jersey after retiring from management at AT&T. She keeps busy in semi-retirement by consulting with local non-profits for strategic and operational planning, traveling (including to visit with her adult son), multiple book groups, and is active in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.
Rachel and Theo — Rachel enjoys good conversation, painting & drawing, and listening to podcasts about pretty much any topic. Theo loves craft beer and cocktails and learning the ins and outs of new cities.
We both love trying new foods (and beers!), traveling, playing and snuggling with our dog, Ginny, and sharing meals with friends and family. We are both in the healthcare field—Rachel is a nursing student and Theo is a surgical resident. We love learning and talking about medicine together.
We moved here from Vermont to be closer to Rachel’s family in Charlottesville. We’re so excited to have found this wonderful community where we will know our neighbors well and where our [future] kids will have many playmates and mentors. Having moved around a lot since college, we both miss the feeling of being deeply rooted in community (and being able to spend time with friends without much planning effort).
Anna and Frank — Anna is from Athens, GA with deep family heritage; moved to Seattle in her 20s and lived there for 25 years. Frank grew up all over the globe as his father worked for the Foreign Service. He lived longest in Seattle for 12 years. Anna and Frank met on Beach Drive, Seattle, 2002 where they lived across the street from each other, directly on the Puget Sound. Since, they have lived in Asheville and Sarasota. With Florida’s current environmental issues they chose cohousing and Richmond Cohousing as their next home. They are attracted to Richmond because of its diversity, relaxed vibe, location and walkability, an authentic city.
Frank has his own marketing company, Empowered Marketing™. Anna works in organization consulting and training, Grounded Change. Luna (also shown above), is their mascot.
Meg, David, and son — Meg loves to bake, ski, bike around town, and read any and all fiction books. David loves to play dice and strategy games, bake bread and pizza, woodwork, and is a TV and movie buff. We’re always up for trying a new restaurant. David works at a large financial company and Meg works at a university hospital (you can probably guess which ones!).
We moved to Richmond to be closer to family when we had our son and are so glad that our kids will have the extended community and playmates found in cohousing. We’ve always talked about living where we really know our neighbors and are thrilled to find that here!
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.
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.
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.
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 and Caroline — John loves 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. He is a math teacher in a psychiatric hospital for children. Caroline loves to exercise, cook (vegan and non-vegan), watch movies, check out classic architecture, and read mysteries. She is a former children’s librarian, teacher, freelance writer, restaurant server, and documentary producer. John and Caroline currently live in Oregon Hill, and enjoy commuting via bike around the city.
Cohousing particularly appeals to us because we want to have close relationships with neighbors, and have people around more often. We hope that in cohousing there will be regular social interactions without the extra effort it sometimes takes to coordinate get-togethers. We also hoping for more efficient sharing to save resources and money for everyone.
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.
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. 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 is retired from the UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. Her job involved coordinating conferences for the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc., a nonprofit organization for attorneys across Virginia who represent counties, cities, and towns. Adele spends time out with friends, at some function of her church – First UU of Richmond, or at grassroots community organization like 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.