What Oakleigh Members are all about:
The Oakleigh Meadow cohousing community includes married couples with children, single parents, working singles, and retired folks. All are valued for our contributions to the community, nurtured by the companionship we offer each other, and enjoyed for being ourselves.
The cohousing development will be built on 2.3 acres of land adjacent to the Willamette River in Eugene. There are 28 individual homes as well as a large Common House where we can eat, work and play together. Cohousing communities value both privacy and connection, so site and unit designs aim to balance these needs.
Get to know a few future residents:
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.
Currently living in Northern California, I 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.
I am interested in cohousing because of its sense of community and the opportunities to work, play and learn together and to be neighborly.
My background is in journalism, and my career has been focused on working with newsletters and magazines. I currently am a freelance writer, editor and proofreader.
Included among my 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. I also like to read (favorite authors range from Louise Penny to Jane Austen to Elizabeth Berg), drink coffee, shop at farmers' markets and watch Masterpiece on PBS. Eugene sounds perfect!
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 similiar adventures follow. Eugene offers endless opportunities for the things that "fill my cup" - hiking, biking, cross country ski
ing, seakayaking, 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
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…
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.
David, Joan and Corinna
David grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joan in the Puget Sound region. Their paths crossed in Eugene near Fall Creek at a waltz workshop at a dance camp. The waltzing has never been polished, rather upstaged as other endeavors took center stage – a new career of elementary music teaching for David, building gardens in Hawaii, launching a samba band and the adoption of their daughter, Corinna. In May of 2009, after an extended search for a larger house to move to, Joan announced “if we are going to stay in the neighborhood, I want to live in the house at the end of McClure.” The property promptly came up for sale and they bought it with the idea of the meadow becoming a community asset. An early vision of a pocket neighborhood of cottages and gardens evolved into a vision of cohousing in which community values trump individual lot lines. Corinna loves to giggle, dance and draw. She is a contemplative, observant soul who has a goofball sense of humor. She loves her cat, Puva Puva, and longs for another kitten, a dog and chickens. Bike riding, creating fairy houses and memorizing every note and nuance from the “Sound of Music” fill her days.
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.
Lyn, Mary Ann, Lena
Lyn (an Oregonian farm girl) and Mary Ann (a New York Italian), and have been together for 16 years. Our older daughter, Shaz, lives in the Eugene area and Lena (11) attends Family School. We’ve been members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) since 1997 and are very drawn to the values of simplicity and community. Lyn is a therapist in private practice with a specialty in adoption related issues. Mary Ann is cultivating a path that will integrate teaching, counseling and spirituality. Lena loves gymnastics, music, art and most of all, her dog, Molly. We are drawn to the sense of community that cohousing will encourage… spontaneous interactions with neighbors as we go about our daily lives. We look forward to sharing meals, music, gardening (Lyn) and more.
"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.
Independent and strong, Katy’s done it her way. Born in Ohio, she 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 and a daughter, Yana, now working for the Forest Service in Redding. Most recently she’s adopted a Shitzu 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.
Now her way is cohousing. She’s attracted to Oakleigh Meadow because she’s looking for a smaller footprint and the camaraderie that comes from open minded and open hearted peers, and for a bikeable and walkable future. She’s offered to use her “fancy” camera to photograph new associates and members, and is looking forward to learning more about cohousing and Oakleigh Meadow folks as an associate, and possible new member.
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 in the suburbs outside of Cincinnati Ohio with 2 parents, 3 brothers and 3 sisters. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, I traveled to the West Coast and worked in national parks and cities from New Mexico to Alaska. I took a liking to Portland where I returned to school and spent my free time hiking and Contra dancing. In 2004 I got an X-ray job in Eugene and started to temper my nomadic ways. I’m looking forward to living in co-housing to re-create some of the camaraderie I experienced working and living in national parks. I also want to have an awesome garden. My current fun activities include white water kayaking and climbing. I attend the Eugene Zendo and the Dances of Universal Peace.
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.
Pen and Jim
Pen grew up in Washington near the Hanford Atomic Works. Jim grew up in Ithaca NY and moved west after college. Pen attended the U of W and worked at a variety of jobs in the Seattle area. During a weekend at the beach, Pen met Jim, a graduate student at the U (and she chased him til he caught her). They moved to Champaign IL where Jim taught in the sociology department and Pen completed her education in accounting. Pen moved to Chicago to work in public accounting and Jim joined her there. They bought a small office supplies and printing business and worked together to grow the business and became involved in the local community. After 23 years, they sold the business and looked back at the Pacific Northwest for a place to make a new home. But where to live? Deciding was difficult, so they bought an rv, sold their home and everything in it, and hit the road. Eight years of living and traveling in the rv was fun, exhausting, educational, rewarding and opened opportunities beyond all dreams. Building homes with Habitat, volunteering in a small county park, rafting the Grand Canyon, hiking in Newfoundland, and visiting 47 states kept them busy. In the rv world they met the next best thing to cohousing – an Escapees Club rv park where everyone shared the common house, laundry, community meals, crafts and all sorts of activities. Now, living in Eugene, they want to go back to that sharing and caring of cohousing and so, are deeply involved in helping form Oakleigh Meadow.
With retirement approaching soon, I’ve given a lot of thought to what I want the next chapter in my life to look like. Co-housing appeals to me because it allows for close relationships among neighbors as they work and play side-by-side. Connecting with the Oakleigh Meadow group has been a gift, as we are building our community literally from the ground up. We are pioneers! My career has been in international education, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and advising ESL students. Getting to know people from other cultures has taught me a lot about myself and provided me a small window on the world. I haven’t traveled as much as I would like, but retirement may give me more of a chance to scratch that itch. I’ve lived in Eugene for over 40 years, so it is my home, and I have good friends here. My interests are hiking, yoga, gardening, cooking, knitting, theatre and music. Predictably, I like reading fiction set in other cultures. I’m also interested in Buddhism and Indian philosophy. When I think of Oakleigh Meadow as my future home, I envision sharing a glass of wine in the common area with a neighbor, putting together a jigsaw puzzle with a child, going blueberry-picking or biking the river loop with whoever is in the mood.