Middlesex Senior Cohousing Newsletter | September 2018

Middlesex Senior Cohousing -- Building the first senior cohousing community in New England!

The year turns and September is here again. Nights grow cooler and geese are turning south. Next week, the harvest moon will mark the autumn equinox. We wonder when it will be cool enough to bake a pie.

Nature may be winding down for the year, but MSC is having a growth spurt! Since the beginning of the month nearly a dozen people have stepped up to become members, and we are jazzed!

Here's a glimpse of this month's newsletter:

  • Next Introductory Session: Thursday, Sept. 27, Acton Senior Center
  • Big jump in MSC membership!
  • Jerry Koch-Gonzales, our new dynamic governance coach + video
  • Senior cohousing in the news--Parade Magazine article
  • Northeast Cohousing Summit next week
  • Calendar of upcoming events

Here's an idea: Go to the kitchen, get one of the Paula Red apples you bought at the farmers' market, also a hunk of cheddar. Then sit down, and while you savor the taste of autumn, catch up on our newsletter!

Victoria & Mayhew
MSC founders
Learn About Senior Cohousing

Next Introductory Meeting
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Acton Senior Center
30 Sudbury Road, Acton

Come learn about senior cohousing, a community approach to independent living! This innovative Danish housing model operates on the understanding that community is the best insurance for having a happy 3rd Act and getting the nurturing care we need as we age.

What to Expect
  • A slideshow about cohousing & facilitated break-out groups to talk about what it takes to age successfully in place
  • Learn about MSC and get updates about our land search and more
  • Attendees will be invited to continue the conversation at an upcoming potluck
We are looking for new members!

Find out how joining early gets you seniority in home selection and a discount on your home price!

We're Having a Growth Spurt!
Autumn is here, and nature's winding down, but WE are starting to grow!

Nearly a dozen people (six households) have joined us since the beginning of the month! Most are friends via various UU churches in our target area (Acton and Maynard). They want to downsize and stay in their communities, where they have deep roots. But there's little senior housing that is suitable or affordable, and none that offers community-based living, the secret ingredient for aging successfully in place. But together we will make our dream neighborhood a reality. Welcome new members from Lincoln, Acton, and Stow!
Project Update
Our developer, Matt Blackham, has been nose to the ground looking for land in Maynard and Acton. Recently we met with him and town officials in Maynard and left feeling buoyed up by their enthusiasm for our project and the fact that they immediately began helping us identify potential properties. Matt knows the area well and is confident we will find what we're looking for.
New Consultant Onboard
We told you earlier that dynamic governance is the system we'll be using for running meetings, and planning and decision making. So over the summer, our group took a really good six-week training in which we learned the basics.

But now, with many more people coming onboard, we need some real-time help.

Jerry Koch-Gonzales has been a pioneer in teaching and implementing dynamic governance for many organizations, both for profit and nonprofit, including cohousing communities such as Pioneer Valley Cohousing (where he has lived since its founding in 1994). He and co-author Ted Rau have just published Many Voices, One Song , a handbook for implementing sociocracy. You can check out his website, Sociocracy for All, by clicking here .

We are very excited to be working with Jerry as we enter this next phase of growth and expansion of our community.
Senior Cohousing in the News
How America Lives: Creative Housing Options for Boomers, Veterans, Millennials and More

By Paula Spencer Scott - August 10, 2018
How America Lives: Creative Housing Options for Boomers, ...

When was the last time you actually borrowed an egg from the guy next door? Do your friends show up in your social media feeds more often than in your backyard? Do you even know your neighbors' names-and would they know if you needed help?Maybe...

Read more
Northeast Cohousing Summit--Next Week!
Northeast Cohousing Summit
September 21 - 23, 2018
Amherst, MA

In just a few days--on the day of the autumn equinox--we'll be heading out to Amherst for this exciting crash course on all things cohousing.

This conference only happens every few years in New England, so we plan to carpe the diem.

On Friday, six of our newly minted members will join us for Jerry Koch-Gonzales' all-day workshop on dynamic governance.

On Saturday, we'll be running around trying to choose from a dizzying array of sessions --everything from cooking and eating together in cohousing, to common house and age-friendly design, to conflict resolution, to house sharing options, to farming in community and more.

On Sunday, we're touring a few of the many cohousing communities in Massachusetts that have opened their doors for the event.

Lifelong learning -- that's part of our vision statement, and this is where the rubber meets the road.

If YOU are interested in learning about or living in cohousing, or in launching a cohousing project with some friends, don't miss this event. 
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Catch up with us at these events:
  • Sept. 27 - Introductory Meeting, Acton Senior Center, 6:30 pm - 9 pm
  • Sept. 29 - Table at Maynard Fest, 9 am - 3 pm
  • Oct. 20 - Introductory Meeting, Maynard Public Library, 2 pm - 4:30 pm

We hope to see you soon!
About Our Project
We're looking for 3 to 5 acres of land in Maynard or West Acton, Massachusetts, on which to build a beautiful neighborhood of 20 - 30 cottage-style houses (probably duplexes or triplexes) with large porches and private back patios. Homes will face onto gardened paths leading to a large common house with a large community kitchen and Great Room for optional community meals and celebrations, guest suites, home office space, woodworking shop, and more.

We're looking for new members!

If you haven't already, go to our homepage and take the Survey of Interest to find out if our future neighborhood might be just what you're looking for.