Jane and Mike

Jane and MikeJane grew up in Los Angeles. She’s an organic gardener, a lifelong athlete (horses, school sports, running earlier in life; walking, tai chi, swimming, and exercises currently), knits scarves and afghans, and loves most critters, reading and libraries.  Retired now, she’s been a psychology teacher, freelance writer, cook, nonprofit CEO, and consultant in philanthropy and nonprofit capacity-building.

She also has a 40-year Zen meditation practice. “Spirituality is central to my life, and is the foundation for my marriage with Mike, who is a lifelong catholic (but no longer Roman Catholic),” she says. They both dedicate their lives to strengthening others, especially those less fortunate than themselves.

Why cohousing? “Having lived with diverse groups of adults and children at various times, I am committed to cohousing and helping to make it work,” Jane explains. “I have been so impressed with our group’s careful listening, welcoming of diverse opinions and approaches during decision-making, and commitment to being responsive to each participant’s needs and ideas.  It is what attracted me at the beginning and keeps me committed now.”

Jane recently had knee surgery, and is grateful that, within a day of sending out an inquiry to our group regarding possible assistance, she had a list with at least three people who could lend a hand each day if Mike was going out for more than an hour.

In our community, she serves as the co-coordinator, is on the Bricks and Mortar Committee, and facilitates the Affordability Team.

Mike recently celebrated his 70th birthday with a 70 kilometer bike ride — he figures he has another 30 years yet to live.  He’s been in the Rochester area for almost 45 years, helping to raise three children and working for Xerox. His current interests include volunteering with the Facing Race, Embracing Equity group, FR=EE,  which focuses on systemic changes to reduce racial barriers in this community.

According to Jane, Mike makes the world’s best buttermilk pancakes, oatmeal raisin cookies that are healthy as well as delicious, and wields an expert hand trimming trees or bushes.  Once in a while he even beats her at Scrabble.  And he is delighted to get anyone started on Ken-ken or Sudoku, his favorite mind-stretchers.

In FC3 he serves on the Affordability Team, and with Jane, often hosts social events at their city home. Mike is interested in cohousing because “building community with neighbors to have fun, help, and be helped by is important to me.”