Friday, March 4, 2016

Introducing our Newest Prairie Hill Cohousing Member - Gloria Zmolek!

From Gloria:
I retired from teaching studio art and AP Art History at Linn-Mar High School in June 2015. My main immediate goal for retirement is to spend more time with family and friends. I felt one of the ways to achieve that would be to downsize from my 3 bedroom century old house where I’ve lived for over 30 years and move into a smaller dwelling where I would not have to spend as much time maintaining my property leaving me more time to spend in my community.

I knew I was going to move but I had no idea where until I found out about the Iowa City Cohousing community. I believe living in this community is exactly what I want and need. I cherish my solitude but at the same time, I’m very social. I love the idea that I will be able to have companionship without always having to make prior arrangements or drive across a town to see my friends. How often do people say when running into each other, “We’ll have to get together for lunch” and a year may go by before they even see each other again? The intention is real but because of the physical distance it often tends to not happen.

I grew up in the 50s when our mothers stayed home and met for coffee on a regular basis. I would run to the store for Mrs. Powers, an elderly next door neighbor and would shovel the sidewalks for Dilly and Geraldine because my father said “That’s just what you do.” My neighbor Breezy Jones was a glass blower who blew test tubes for my brother Steve so he could perform his science experiments. We knew all our neighbors and shared lawnmowers and cups of sugar. I know the world has changed but I do believe that cohousing is a way of recreating some of a neighborhood community that supported people as they journeyed through life.

I’m impressed by the diversity, accomplishments and passion of the members who have joined. I’m humbled by all of the hard work of the members who have been working on this project for years. They are people who care about community and the world we live in and I think it will be amazing getting to share my life with them. I will grow.

I’m the mother of two children, Nathan, Seattle, computer programmer by day and tango afficionado by night and Laurel, Sofia, Bulgaria, ELL teacher by day and Bulgarian folk/Salsa dancer by night…….amongst other things. So I’m very happy that there will be guest rooms that will be available for them when they come to visit.

I have worked as a teacher on all levels and a variety of subjects but mostly art. Between teaching gigs, I worked as an independent artist for 18 years in the medium of handmade paper. Current passions include but are not limited to salsa dancing, travel and yoga. I’m currently getting my certification to teach at Hothouse Yoga in Iowa City. Many of my friends are distressed by the fact that I will be moving out of my home because it has been the setting for a lot of really fun parties. I’m glad I will have a common house as an option for gathering with the larger community. I seem to be a verb (Sentence stolen from the title of a book written by F. Buckminster Fuller).

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