There must be Wifi! This unanimous decision was among several revelations uncovered at the second Sisters Sharing Space gathering. Over an epic potluck dinner of delicious homemade dishes (turns out edamame salad DOES go well with vegetarian lasagna), we found we have no shortage of things to laugh about. Shared humour is vital to what we’re trying to do, and the opportunity for communal belly laughs is helping us to know and appreciate each other in delightful ways.
Settling comfortably after dinner, our conversation turned to more practical items (although Wifi as an essential item should not be taken lightly – just ask the sports fans in our group, and those who rely on recipes for kitchen inspiration). We agreed that we all want a smoke-free household, both for common (shared) spaces and for residential (private) spaces. Tobacco users will simply have to head outside. We also agreed that outdoor space for gardening was high on our wishlist, which led to much hilarity as we discussed everything from the virtues of kitchen herbs to medicinal marijuana. Two of our members have long dreamed of a sustainable living model that would include livestock, a vegetable garden, and renewable energy sources. More belly laughs ensued as city gals learned from those raised in rural settings – from collecting eggs to the benefits of goats milk, there was much mirth. How about a stocked pond for fish? What about geothermal possibilities? There’s nothing that quite compares to a raucous group of enthusiastic feminists discussing the fertilizer properties of cow manure.
“I would love to live on the water” said one. “I’m a city gal, I’m not so sure about country living” said another.
“Did I mention we have a loom?”.
“I want to be close to my dentist”.
“I’d be happy if I never had to scrape snow and ice off my car again. We need a garage, or at least covered parking”.
“Oooh! We need a big wraparound porch!”.
Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age (Gloria Steinem)
Together with our laughter, we also considered deeper issues and asked questions that will take time to answer. What, for example, are the restrictions in our municipality for having more than one residence on a property? Can we put several small (or “tiny”) homes on a single lot? And, importantly, how do we approach “shared ownership”? If we each want to benefit from the equity in our chosen model, how best to approach the legalities of ownership? The evening was a wacky collage of laughter and pondering, with a good dose of enthusiasm and a kickass flip chart thrown in for good measure.
This conversation will continue. We’re narrowing our focus, realizing our shared values and aspirations (as well as items about which we don’t have total agreement). We know more now than we ever imagined we would about the ethical slaughter of chickens and the best of BBC on Netflix. And, perhaps most important, we’re building friendships and bonds based on shared values. We don’t have to agree on everything, yet we are finding more in common with each gathering. And that’s enough to keep this adventure fueled up and moving forward.