Stories of how we are growing, collected by Nisargo Troy
Clint and Maria Miller
We have taken our time in our journey to Heartwood. Ten years ago, Maria taught students at Animas High School in Durango that piqued her curiosity. These young ladies were articulate, fun, bright, outdoorsy, confident, and just… really special. Maria knew their sparkle had a lot to do with where they came from - Heartwood Cohousing. As we grew in our lives, moved about, and finally grew our family, we found ourselves eager to experience cohousing as an alternative to the same ol' Anytown lifestyle. Luckily, two years back, we were able to dip our toes in the waters here by subletting the basement apartment of the house we now call home! What we thought would take two months of consideration took two days. We said YES, to cohousing, YES, to Heartwood! Friendly folks, smiles, the great outdoors, sharing food, and conversation made for a great connection that we missed for the following years as we saved up and strategized on how to get back where we belong. The stars aligned and somehow everything worked out so that our family's dream of raising our 5-year-old son, Lincoln, here was realized. We feel like Heartwood's multigenerational cohousing dream to once again have young children romp the paths and command the SS Ponderosa playground was realized too. It fills our hearts to the tippy-top to watch this “new crop” of kiddos build the next generation of Heartwood kid culture. Grateful, thankful, lucky, blessed, we are so happy to be here!
Megan and Eric Sanctuary
Eric and I had an “idea” about cohousing before we even had children. The only problem was that we didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. We knew we wanted a community, close friends that we could rely on, and a sense of belonging. After we had twins, we realized that this was more than a want. We needed support, advice, wisdom, and cooperation. We needed a safe place where our kids could run free without worry or helicoptering. We needed them to grow up surrounded by people who care about them. Driving up the gravel road, seeing the lush pastures, and smelling the sweet air, we knew that we found someplace special. After talking with the people and getting to know the property, we were fairly certain that this was where we needed to be.
But really, it was our two-year-olds who made the decision. They have been so happy since we arrived here that we couldn’t bear to leave! They have other kids of all ages to play with. They can learn from the wisdom of multiple generations of cohousers. They will gain an appreciation of nature and where their food comes from. They will have so many more opportunities than we could possibly provide for them on our own.
At the end of the day, we will put down roots here and experience the ups and downs of life in community. This is the way people are meant to live: together. We finally found what we were looking for. It takes a village, and now we have one. But our journey to Heartwood doesn’t end here. In fact, it’s just beginning.
Jammy Sebree and Adrian Tillery
On June 30th six new people, one dog and one cat came to #17 – Heartwood. We are a loud, loving, constantly on-the-go bunch. Sometimes the house has all of us at once, sometimes there are a couple kids and a mom during the day and just the adults at night and other times (the most fun….) we have all six humans talking, laughing, needing each other’s attention and affection or trying to find a place to read or just be.
Adrian is our most outgoing and social soul. He loves to help people and has made a career out of just that. He listens to all of us and offers his insight, humor, kindness and his opinions…..whether we ask for them or not. We all agree, life is just better when he is around.
Savanna’s smile brings joy to our world. She is smart and sarcastic with a biting wit, she loves fiercely and is a wonderful, loyal daughter, sister and friend. She is an artist with wonderful talent sketching, painting playing the piano and now a new cello. She spends most of the days with her mom during the pandemic, but she and her sister Harper split their time between mom Jammy and dad Rob who lives in Durango.
Harper exudes personality and changes her accent on a weekly basis. She is an actress and enjoys singing and making everyone laugh. Harper pushes her sister Savanna and mom Jammy to be more social….if there is a gathering or party, she wants to be there!
Josephine is the little empath, dancer and singer. She also loves animals very much, she is so excited to be part of Heartwood. She will probably offer to watch your kiddos or your animals!
Henry is the youngest and only boy around 3 other girls. He likes to be with other kids or is just as at home playing with animals (he loves to sing to Nelly our cat), as building legos and jumping on the trampoline. He has a lot of energy, but can seem shy at first. Once you get to know him, he opens up and has a fun sense of humor.
And last is Jammy. According to Adrian, “I can’t describe how much Jammy is our rock. She keeps us all going, motivated and having fun. She cares so much and is one of the best listeners alive. She is lively and her eyes light up every time she smiles. “
So there we are….the newbies at #17 Heartwood. We are so excited to be together and to join a safe and inclusive community where people are allowed to shine in their own way.
Covid and Heartwood's Plans to Reopen
Like everyone else, we've sadly had to curtail most of our social activities because of Covid. At this time we have begun our slow, staged reopening. We are currently receiving daytime visitors, and our two guests rooms are available for overnight visitors, with clear sanitation guidelines. Our indoor community meals are suspended, but social gatherings on the common house porch with social distancing, including a potluck on Wednesdays and Happy Hour on Fridays, are in full swing again. Since the unfolding of this pandemic is still so fluid, please contact us and/or see our Plan a Visit page for the latest updates, should you want to come see us!
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