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Co-Housing: An Option for Retirement Living Anthony Gifford


he current “successful” scenario for seniors is something like this: you live in your paid-off home until you find it too much work, at which time you move into a facility where you will be care-free and healthy. This system is “sold” to us by the providers of these “homes” as the only choice for modern and smart people. It’s working great for the financial backers. It’s a growth industry like few others. The problems of the above model are many. An increasing number of seniors don’t have homes to sell, nor do they have large (or any) pensions. (For each passing year, about one percent fewer Canadians have pensions. It is estimated that in ten years, the average senior will have a monthly income of only twelve hundred dollars.) The cost of retirement centres can run from just under $2,000 to well over $6,000 per month. This is simply not a system that most can afford, and the provinces cannot support. Retirement centres can be deadly. People need to feel needed. We need to feel worthwhile, and to contribute something to the whole. Vacations are fine, for a while. But they aren’t real living. To be put into a facility where you have no purpose for being is completely unnatural and deadly to the spirit and body. Statistically, there is no benefit what-soever in living in these facilities. While

they are touted as “independent living,” they demand complete dependency, and seldom reward the very things that came to be valued over a lifetime. There is a growing alternative movement, called Co-Housing, or “Shared Housing.” These terms cover any scenario in which people pool their resources and choose to live together in ways that meet their needs. These people recognize that they can live just fine with a limited but well-defined personal space where they have complete control, but that they can share most other spaces, if there are agreed upon rules. Meals are more interesting and fun if shared. Health costs, security, looking after pets, freedom to go on holidays, housing costs, all these things and more are more manageable and fun if shared. There are many co-housing examples where the individual monthly costs for housing and food are well below $1,000. It can be a fun and adventurous way of living. And you are in control. People must get along and safeguards must be put in place. But it is easily done.

LAKEVIEW TAVERN THANK YOU TO OUR 2018 BIG BUCK DERBY SPONSORS! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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What is needed? Five or six interested people (or couples) are plenty. Money is seldom a problem for a facility can be rented. Does anybody want to join the conversation and dream of possibilities between Tamworth and Gananoque? Anthony is the author of “Dare to Share.” You can reach him at 613-305-2701, by email at anthonygifford42@gmail.com, and you can visit his website at sharetolive.com.

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A Deer Christmas Marcella Neely


uring the 1940s, the Sawyer Stoll Lumber Company set up a logging business just a little North of Cloyne well in on Machesney Lake Road. The camp (known as Massanoga) consisted of a mill, office, bunkhouse, cookhouse/dining hall, store, and six small houses. There were over 300 employees working at Massanoga at times. The men ate and slept at the camp all week and went home Saturday afternoon for the weekend. Sanford and Lily Thompson of Northbrook cooked and lived at the camp with their two young daughters, Etta and Frances. During a recent visit with Etta (Mrs. Tom Perry) at the Pine Meadow Nursing Home in Northbrook, she shared this memory of one Christmas at the camp: On a snow-covered Christmas Day, the mill is quiet, the chainsaws have been put away, and miles of logs are stacked neatly on the frozen river in the distance. These logs will be added to all winter. During the spring thaw, the logs will start their journey down the river to the jack ladder that will take them to the mill site. Only sounds of nature can be heard as all the workers have gone home for Christmas, except for the cooks. There are no decorations or parcels or holiday tree at the camp.

entertained by a herd of beautiful deer enjoying the peace and quiet. Some frolicked, while others just relaxed. They had taken back the forest for a day. The excitement etched deep into their

Kerr Camp at Sawyer-Stoll. It consisted of an Office, Men’s bunkhouse and the Cook Camp. Photo courtesy Cloyne & District Historical Society.

On Christmas morning, mother and two little girls watch as father puts on his heavy winter coat, toque, scarf, boots, and heavy mitts and heads outside walking toward the woods. He returns much later and urges them to bundle up and go with him. Tired legs followed quite a distance before coming to a clearing. Watching silently, they were


memories as the only Logging Camp Christmas and was remembered well into old age.

The SCOOP • December 2018 / January 2019

WELL DRILLING 613-374-2176

Sawyer-Stoll Lumber Mill, Massanoga, Ontario. Courtesy Cloyne & District Historical Society.

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The SCOOP // December 2018 / January 2019