There Are Still Good People Out There

You don’t always appreciate the community that surrounds you until something happens…
My 84-year-old father was in the hospital from December 2 to January 31. During that time, my  78-year-old mother was living alone on the family farm. My parents have been married for over 50 years and have rarely been apart. Living two hours away, I was concerned for her mental and physical wellbeing.
I should have known everything would be alright. My parents live half a mile away from the farm that my grandparents homesteaded in 1918. Everyone in the area looks after one another. Lorne, the neighbour, who lives a mile away, has been plowing my parent’s yard all winter. He has driven past the farm everyday since my father was admitted to hospital. He knew if the garage doors were open, my mother was in town visiting my father, and that everything was OK. It wasn’t until I began to write this blog that I realized that Lorne made a special trip every day past my parents house. His route to town is in the opposite direction.
When my father was finally released, Lorne picked him up at the hospital and drove him home. He made sure dad made it up the three steps into the house. When I tried to thank him for all his help, he just gave me a quick hug and said, “There are still good people out there.”
This is what I miss about small town life, and also what I dream of having in cohousing. I don’t want someone to look after me; I want someone to look out for me. Based on our core values of being respectful, caring and sharing, I know that Prairie Spruce will provide me with the community my parents have and the community I’m yearning for.


Volunteering and the Heart of Community

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. – Unknown

I like to think that of community as a plant and volunteering as the water that allows that plant to grow and flourish.

I have volunteered to repair a coral reef in the Bahamas. I have cooked for the Tonkin Curling Club and the Flatland Gamers Association. I have designed work for Friends on the Outside, a group that works with newly released inmates.I have spent spent many hours in support of breast cancer and ALS in honor of friends who have passed on. I was president of the Shutterbugs Photography Club for a year.

As a volunteer photographer, one of the biggest reasons I volunteer is the amazing places I can go as a volunteer. I was on the field with all the athletes during the closing ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games. I was on stage with Great Big Sea at the Grey Cup, photographing the audience. I have been on the marshalling boats during Dragon Boat Festival. I was one of the actors in the first Tattoo when the Musical Ride was part of it. During the North American Indigenous Games this summer, I was out on track shooting. As just a spectator, I could never get this close to the action.

Sometimes, I volunteer because of the opportunities it presents me. Other times, I volunteer because someone asks me to help out. Often I volunteer because I believe in the cause. But, I ALWAYS volunteer because I care. Prairie Spruce cohousers volunteer at an amazing number of different organizations. It’s heartwarming to know you’re surrounded by other caring individuals and families who volunteer their time to make this world a better place. I’m looking forward to living with them at Prairie Spruce Commons.


Caring Gesture from Caring Neighbours

Our group of future Prairie Spruce residents is all about creating community, whether it’s inside or outside our walls.

Last week, we decided to do a little something for our future neighbours across the street on Badham Boulevard: a flash mob clean up. We turned more than a few heads as we descended onto our new home (to be) with rakes, shovels, and a very interesting looking grass whip.

In short order we had weeds pulled, dirt shoveled and garbage picked up. It’s amazing what we can pull off by working together!

Check out this awesome video we put together. I think it shows our true colors!

Creating Community: Prairie Spruce Commons Badham Boulevard Cleanup from Prairie Spruce Cohousing on Vimeo.


Welcome Home JoAnne

JoAnne is the newest community member to join our family and future residents group. We asked her why she felt that Prairie Spruce Cohousing was right for her, and this is what she shared with us.

One thing that struck me when I was contemplating joining Prairie Spruce Commons is that the best times of my life have been when I have been immersed in a community. I grew up in a remote area of the Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan and our sharing and caring with our neighbours was not only a survival mechanism, but also a way of life. No one was financially rich, as farming was a hard way to make a living in those hills, but we had enough and were rich in happiness with family and neighbours.

Later, after I was married, we lived in a small community for 12 years. I was so immersed in the community that it was hard to leave the many deep friendships.  A lesson learned was that if you want to live in a vibrant thriving community, you have to be contributing and participating for that to happen.  Another community that I got involved with was the Whitmore Park United Church and after several years we moved away to be closer to my daughter’s school. My daughters and I missed the caring and loving group that was ‘the village’ for my girls to grow up in.

Now I realize that my community is my work colleagues and my company, something that we know we strategically and consciously work on in order to succeed.  Prairie Spruce Commons is community. The idea of co-housing and a close-knit community are something that I know is for me.

No Woman is an Island

No woman is an island entire of itself; every woman is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less (with thanks to John Donne)

November 2013 we three women; Ruth, Brenda, and Rebekah, realized it was soon going to be time to move from our beautiful home on Rae Street. We were facing another winter and we had out grown our desire to keep our ramp and parking pad clear of snow on a daily basis. We began looking at condo options with underground parking and we were not thrilled by what the future seemed to hold for us. Then we found Prairie Spruce Commons Cohousing.

It was almost impossible to believe: a community of dedicated, fun loving people who had been working for several years to manifest a multigenerational cohousing community in Regina. By January 2014 we were Equity Members and by March, thanks to the genius of Chris Kailing of Pattison MGM, we had a unit (109) that was designed to meet our very particular accessibility needs. 109 is a gorgeous unit in a stunning building full of light and colour and community.

September 1, 2014 Rebekah became suddenly and seriously ill. Since then we have been practically living at the Intensive Care Unit at the Regina General Hospital. In this time that has been so full of worry we have been surrounded by the love and support of our wonderful community which now includes the community of Prairie Spruce Commons. It comforts me to contemplate living into our life in Unit 109, to imagine Rebekah being strong and healthy again, and to dream of her laughter filling the common house.