Each time I visit West Sacramento, I feel very comfortable there. Even though our location is considered urban, our neighborhood has a quiet and friendly hometown feeling. It feels womb-like and safely tucked away from frenetic energy of Downtown Sacramento, but we can take a short walk over the Tower Bridge to connect with the action in Sacramento whenever we want a dose of that energy.
I’m excited to be close to many mass transit options that are a short walk or drive away which will provide easy access to beautiful nature locales in the Sierra Mountains, Tahoe, and the Bay Area.
Speaking as a gerontologist, the study of aging, I know how important it is to have a wide variety of quality medical care, fun activities, and exercise options close by. Research has proven that having strong social connections helps people thrive in body, mind, and spirit, and I've already experienced these benefits being a part of the WCC community for five years. At a deep level, WCC has enhanced my life beyond my wildest dreams.
Why did we do it? Here’s what drew us to this community right now:
Patsy & Richard visited WCC in December to see firsthand how walkable our urban location is!
We’re most looking forward to sharing meals, choosing and learning to ride e-bikes, leaving our car in the garage for who-knows-how-long, tackling postponed projects of writing a book (just Richard) and arts and crafts, seeing how many flowers and how much food we all can cram into the 2 raised beds on the 2nd floor deck, and having casual conversations with neighbors who want to build “community at our doorsteps.” We’ll see how our two cats, each used to their own private floor, do in a flat that’s half the size. They won’t be able to enjoy the shared material resources of the Commons, but they will have folks to feed and care for them whenever we’re away.
Meet other members of Washington Commons HERE.
Focusing on destinations, I became inspired again. Yes, I even got excited about walking to a nearby grocery store. Setting off, I immediately was in the moment, noticing the leaves, the trees, the beauty of the outdoors. How wonderful is walking!
Washington Commons, where we’ll be moving soon, is walkable because of all the nearby destinations. Here are a few examples.
How about walking to coffee, lunch or dinner?
Attend a baseball game at Sutter Health Park - .3 Miles or 7 minutes
Let’s go bowling at Capitol Bowl - .5 miles, 12 minutes
How about walking 18 minutes to West Sacramento’s Civic Center including the West Sacramento Community Center and Museum, the Arthur F. Turner Library, City Hall and the Sacramento City College Branch?
Just across the River, so many destinations:
WCC Members local to the Sacramento area recently gathered for a potluck to celebrate the holidays. Since the beginning of WCC and as we've grown, Members have made a conscious effort to create opportunities to build our relationships, this event being just one example!
Member Anne graciously offered to host at her home, as she has for many WCC events. (Out of gratitude for Anne's hospitality, a Member recently joked that in just a couple of months, they'll be able to have her over to THEIR house!) Thank you, Anne, for always being a welcoming host.
As it turns out, we have some fabulous cooks in our group (among other talents). We suspect we're in for a treat during future Common Meals!
Looking to 2024, it's incredible to realize that next holiday, WCC Members will be together under one roof. We are excited to spend future celebrations together as a community, and can't wait to begin creating our community traditions.
Unloading the trackhoe
"WCC has officially begun construction!" Thank you to everyone who has supported us along our journey. We can't believe our beautiful building is now nearing completion!
Downsizing is hard! At first, it feels like tearing off an arm. Then it’s just like ripping off a fingernail. Finally, a slight sense of well-being creeps in and now that it is firmly situated, I’m able to re-home things like a pro.
After many trips across town to the various thrift organizations and Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, I wondered if and how I could just give things I have lived with and loved and used (and maybe cursed – like shovels and rakes and unwieldy garden hoses) to the people I have lived among - and loved - these last 21 years in Flagstaff.
My solution was to invite them all to a Lagniappe Party. Patterned after northwestern Native American traditions, with a twist, the idea was to have them come to a “do” in my garage, visit with all my friends and neighbors and with each other and importantly, take stuff away with them. The twist is that the Native Americans have a least a touch of pride and ego involved in their fêtes, showing off how wealthy they are that they have goods to give away. No such notion here.
It took weeks to get everything that needed re-homing into the garage and then it took 4 dear friends who came and worked 20 hours+ to arrange it all. But the party happened and people came! And “stuff” started flying out the door. Some were apologetic at first, “Can I really take this”? But soon the spirit prevailed. A new friend whose house burned to the ground last year in the Tunnel Fire on the San Francisco Peaks, was the first recipient. Boy! Did that feel right! She needed a lot of what I needed to dispense; down comforter, flowerpots, galvanized trash can to put her horse feed in, table made by Folsom prisoners way back when, good stuff to a good person who needed it.
Another wonderful gardener took a cut crystal vase that I inherited from my Auntie Bea (I’m her namesake!) and immediately filled it with blossoms from her yard. It is so much better than I could ever have done and she promises to send me photos regularly. She took shepherd’s crooks to feed hummingbirds, too – shared love of beauty and living creatures.
The day was a little grueling, but at the end, so many things sped off to be loved by people I have loved and I feel like I have 2 arms again.
And the best part is, I will soon be in my new home at Washington Commons, with just what I need and with friends to share a meal, go on walks, and even to learn a few things about how to live together. A darn big success, I must say!
In March 2020, after I heard an advertisement on KVIE about a co-housing community being built in West Sacramento, it didn’t take long for me to decide to become a member. The timing was good, I was recently retired, ready to downsize, and wanted to find a place to live where I would know my neighbors and have many opportunities to enjoy their company. The Washington Commons location, close to the river, the bike trail, downtown Sacramento, and just three miles from Lake Washington sounded perfect.
My introduction to West Sacramento was years ago when I joined the Lake Washington Sailing Club. For many years, I loved going to the Lake in the evening after work to enjoy an evening sail. These days I don’t sail anymore but the lake is still a favorite spot to enjoy the delta breeze, have a picnic dinner, and watch the sailors, rowers and windsurfers as the sun goes down over the lake and the Sacramento River Delta.
Since becoming a member, I have had many experiences that have reinforced my first impressions that Washington Commons was going to be a good fit for me. One is the community’s commitment to environmental values; another was discovering that the founding members who participated in the design phase had the foresight to include a large room for bicycle storage – no problem finding cycling buddies! I’ve had a great time participating on the Super-Weekend team; our meetings are well organized, productive, and fun. Two of my favorite super-weekend activities were leading a group singalong and an urban planning walk which were opportunities for me to share two of my favorite things, making music and wonky conversations about urban planning.
Despite all our planning, Super-Weekends gave us opportunities to deal with the unexpected. On the difficult side, getting the hybrid Zoom sessions to work was always a challenge – a shout out to Racheli and her techie advisors who always got it to work, eventually. On the fun side, who knew the crazy dance activity we put together for the July Super-Weekend would be so hilarious – those of you who were there know what I’m talking about. For me, having fun together is the glue that holds communities together.
I lived in my Midtown Sacramento high water bungalow for 32 years before I sold it this June in preparation for moving to Washington Commons. In April when I was in the middle of getting my house ready to sell and my heart ready to move, my Washington Common friends honored me by participating in a house blessing. I am so grateful for this amazing, heartfelt experience. As our move-in date approaches, I sense that we’re all experiencing a mixture of excitement and anxiety. I’m confident that we will work through whatever challenges arise and we will become a stronger community in the process. I am looking forward to the day when I can call Washington Commons my new home.