About the Chicks

Claudia B (tall chick with the curly hair)

I am a 49-year-old single female living in Phoenix, Arizona, with no children or family here.  I moved to the Southwest eighteen years ago from upstate New York, taking a leap of faith and whatever would fit into the back of my car.

Over the years, I created an amazing life here which included a successful marketing career working with architects and designers responsible for changing the skyline of Phoenix; met and fell in love with my husband Oliver, renovated a mid-century ranch home and cultivated a wonderful group of friends.

I have gone through incredible highs and lows with my “urban tribe” as I call them, including my father and husband’s journey with cancer.  I deeply understand both the challenges and gifts available embracing life’s transitions Oliver’s death was the turning point when I had to finally deal with the dark material of my inner landscape–the fear of being alone in the world. A fear I believe exists in all of us.

And so I embarked on an eight-year quest searching for my true passion, power and sense of connection. Through extensive spiritual exploration, travel, introspection, writing, and life-changing creative processes comes the inspiration to find and create my True Community in a place that will support me during the next phase of my life.  Phoenix, because of its geography and sprawling nature, makes finding community very challenging. And so I yearn to go on the road to seek out other places and bring the lessons back to the desert I currently call home.

Donna N (chick with the short blonde hair)

I am a 54 year old divorced female living in Tempe, Arizona. I have two children; my 29-year-old daughter Alicia lives in San Francisco, California and my 27-year-old son Jack lives in San Clemente, California.

I moved to Arizona ten years ago to pursue a dream of owning my own art gallery. Today I am still selling artwork, and I went back to school to receive my degree in Interior Design.

I became interested in alternatives to aging several years ago, when my siblings and I had to take responsibility for our father’s physical care. We moved our Dad to an assisted living home, which only lasted three months. Our father’s health was compromised by a series of strokes. After rehabilitation, Dad moved to a nursing home for one month. He then moved into our brother’s home where he lived for five months.  But he did not want to be a burden to my brother or his family and asked to be moved, so we found a board and care home. He was there less then a week. This experience opened my eyes to the question of “what am I going to do with the last quarter or my life”, and what actions do I need to make now to insure that I make self determined decisions down the road.

When I read an article about Cohousing it changed my life. I went on to read all the books written about cohousing and intentional communities that I could find. I truly believe that living in community is the healthiest, mentally-physically-spiritually, safest and most cost effective way to live, especially as a single woman. I completed a training course offered by Charles Durrett, called “Study Group I, Aging Successfully” and am in the process of creating a cohousing community in Phoenix, Arizona.

6 Responses to About the Chicks

  1. Seems like alot of us are dealing with later life issues.
    I am part of a 3-woman team here in Central Florida that is also exploring co-housing.
    We’ve been to a worksop, traveled to the ElderSpirit community in Abingdon VA, explored several COHO communities in Mass when there this summer. We’re not there yet,real estate market makes it impossible to free up needed money. Will need someone involved with some deep pockets. Lets keep each other informed of whats working, whats not.
    WIsh you were closer so we could be resources to each other.

  2. Seems like alot of us are dealing with later life issues.
    I am part of a 3-woman team here in Central Florida that is also exploring co-housing.
    We’ve been to a worksop, traveled to the ElderSpirit community in Abingdon VA, explored several COHO communities in Mass when there this summer. We’re not there yet,real estate market makes it impossible to free up needed money. Will need someone involved with some deep pockets. Lets keep each other informed of whats working, whats not.
    Wish you were closer so we could be even more helpful to each other.

  3. Marla says:

    Just wanted to share how beautiful the blog is, you all have done a great job of ‘painting the picture’ of the best of living in community. It’s real and sometimes challenging, but most good things are.

    Looking forward to lending more support when you get back home.

    Love, Marla

  4. gals, may the end of the rainbow include a community, a tribe if you will, that you can call your own. love chuck

  5. Claudia & Donna (aka “the chicks”)

    WOW! I am so excited for both of you. Your adventure sounds so intriguing and beautiful!

    I’m disappointed that I somehow didn’t sign up for your blog the right way and never received any updates … missed your visit to Colorado, too. 😦 sad face

    You chicks had SO much good juju around your travels and I am so very happy for you both to have accomplished such a life-changing event. I have a feeling it is just the beginning …

    MUCH LOVE!
    Lisa McIntyre
    Fellow journeyer

  6. Sabine says:

    What a worthwhile endeavor for so many of us! I hope you can find not only useful evidence but help raise more awareness around housing alternatives of the future.

    I look forward to following you along on this journey via this blog.

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