Life on the Commune

2 09 2012

At last, the time has come to unveil my WILD new living arrangement in Austin.  I am the newest member of the Rosewood Commune!

Alright, technically it’s the Rosewood Co-Op, but people here are creative and hippie and chill, so I just prefer to think of it as a commune.

When I first heard about the details of co-op life, I was a little intimidated.  I didn’t love the idea of needing to put “labor hours” into the house (ah, responsibility) and so I initially dismissed the idea of co-op life.  But then I thought about it and realized that I am all about community and this could perhaps be one of the best ways to experience community and to create it.

Arvie's New Home (Alongside a New Bus Friend)

Arvie’s New Home (Alongside a New Bus Friend)

The Labor Board – Less Scary Than It Looks

The Labor Board – Less Scary Than It Looks

Move-in was a little bit insane with some unexpected bumps like not having any air conditioning in Arvie for the first thirty-six hours…in Austin heat.  During my first two days in Austin, I spent at least two hours lost on alternately our scooter and my bicycle, trying to learn my way around new parts of the city.  Oops!

But I made myself strong, met the challenges with a fierceness all my own and figured out all the stuff that Yair usually does like parking, leveling and plugging in the RV.

Rosewood Co-Op is the bomb-diggity.  We have a sprawling house with an organic garden, compost, three living rooms, two kitchens, a laundry area and a chicken coop in the making.

One of Our Hang Spaces (The Music Room)

One of Our Hang Spaces (The Music Room)

There are sixteen housemates in total between the ages of nineteen and thirty who are remarkably cool and diverse.  Included in those sixteen are the founder and owner of a local gourmet mushroom company, a vegan chef who brings us donuts in the mornings (love), an organic farmer who loads up our fridge with fresh produce, a writer, a film maker, an Americorps volunteer, a comedian and a biofuels engineer.

We get together for official family / house dinners at least once each week and there’s always someone to hang out with if you’re in a social mood.  Community is such a powerful thing.

Family Dinner with Rosewood and Hackberry Co-Ops

Family Dinner with Rosewood and Hackberry Co-Ops

Perhaps my favorite part of the co-op is how lovably eccentric many of the housemates are.  Other people being weird gives me permission to let out the insane and kooky side of my personality, as well.

I’ll give three examples:

1)  There is a house rule that you can paint, color or create a mural on any house wall anywhere.  Awesome.

2)  There is a house battle after community dinners on Wednesdays complete with samurai swords, nerf guns and more.

3)  Some semblance of clothing is required in the kitchen, but otherwise the house is pretty live-and-let-live.

Art and Murals Abound - Get Creative!

Art and Murals Abound – Get Creative!

Post-Dinner Battle: To The Death!

Post-Dinner Battle: To The Death!

At moments this week, I’ve wondered how I ever didn’t live in a co-op.  I know that not every day will be perfect, but – between this community and a couple of secret surprises that I haven’t shared just yet – this might be poised to be the best year and adventure of my life.

posted by ayo

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24 responses

3 09 2012
Benay H.

You. Inspire. Me. Daily. ♥

3 09 2012
Sarah M.

That’s so awesome!!! Congratulations, sweetie! ♥

3 09 2012
Zev S.

Sounds Awesome I want to visit!! :)

3 09 2012
Gianna T.

I would like to point out that we are a Cooperative house and not a Commune. I would encourage you to not use that word as it carries a heavy stigma left over from anti-hippy sentiments for the 60’s. For many it implies a certain style of living and “cultishness” that we do not necessarily espouse. :)

3 09 2012
Zev S.

I was born on a Commune, my parents are hippies and at least for me it evokes wonderful memories and feelings of community and consciousness of community that focuses on the well being and love of all! But that is just me :)

3 09 2012
Sarah M.

@Zev Hear hear! ♥

3 09 2012
Gianna T.

I didn’t mean anything against the word commune or those communities. Personally, I wish I could have grown up with such a tight knit, accepting community structure. I’m just speaking from the perspective of having had heated debates with neighbors and less open minded folk. XD Next time, I’ll read it first. Derp.

3 09 2012
Gianna T.

Oh yeah, and WELCOME TO THE FAMILY GIRL! Yaaay so glad you are here to co-create this fabulous existence. :)

3 09 2012
Noah S.

/readthearticle – I wish you the best of luck in this new era of your life, Ayo.

3 09 2012
ayo

Thank you all for the love!

Zev, DO come visit.

Lady G, thanks for your feedback. I wrote in the first paragraph of the post that Rosewood is actually a co-op and not a commune. The post was written in a light, teasing manner (hence the use of the name) and the word co-op was used throughout the piece, but I’ll keep your wording preference in mind going forward. Thanks for sharing.

A big XOO to all the rest of ya for the love and support! :-)

3 09 2012
Grant S.

cool blog sis. i totally resonate w/your love for community!

3 09 2012
Randi S.

love you guyz!!

4 09 2012
Michelle

Sounds like a kibbutz :-)

5 09 2012
Becca

love it, love you, and have I ever challenged you to kung fu rock, paper, scissors? If not, I challenge you and anyone in your co-op on a wednesday night!!

5 09 2012
Gregory Jackson Haley

I am so excited for you!
Hope to meet up for dinner at the house at some point.

5 09 2012
Sway

yay. love you ayo!!

31 12 2012
Gypsy

This sounds amazing! I’m looking to move to Austin around June ’13 and was trying to find a good co-op to look in to. The internet is not giving me as awesome of results as I was hoping, but your blog definitely gives me some hope that co-op living in/around Austin is possible! ~Gypsy~

2 01 2013
ayo

Fantastic! There are a handful of great options. Let me know when you make it to Austin and we’ll have you over at the co-op if I’m still there.

4 02 2013
Dolores Diaz

This looks pretty cool. I was just on the Rosewood Co-op website but it doesn’t look like it’s working. :( I want to apply for membership. Are applications being accepted?

4 02 2013
ayo

We have a Facebook group. Or you can send me an e-mail of interest and I’ll forward to the crew. Though we don’t have any open spots right now!

2 04 2013
ayo

Dolores, a spot just opened up starting in mid-April. Shoot me an e-mail if you’re still interested and I’ll connect you with our membership coordinator. Thanks!

1 04 2013
Julia

I am also having trouble finding the contact information to inquire about membership. Would you mind passing along that info?

2 04 2013
ayo

Hi Julia! I just e-mailed you and put you in touch with our membership coordinator. We have a room opening up mid-April that may interest you. Good luck and thanks for reaching out!

17 03 2014
Stormy Williams

I am searching also, trying to find that perfect for me spot, perhaps I never will, but I sure as heck enjoy reading about others. Keep writing!!

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