Sunday, March 20, 2016

Meet Another Prairie Hill Cohousing Member - Michele "Chris" McNabb

Here's Michele's bio:

As a Marine Corps ‘brat’ my family pulled up stakes every 2 or 3 years, so I never really had a home town or knew extended family members, but I did have the experience of learning how to adapt to new environments.  We finally settled in California, where I received a BA and MA in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures from UC-Berkeley.  However, travel had firmly rooted itself in my blood,
and as an adult I lived in Denmark (my ‘soul home’), Spain, Canada and Lebanon before coming to the Midwest in 1979.  When my 2 sons were in school, I upgraded an interesting hobby by getting a Masters in Library & Information Science, specializing in genealogy and local history collections. After positions in Illinois and Indiana, I’ll be retiring in mid-summer 2016 from the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa, where I’ve been the librarian/genealogist/translator for 14 years.

I had originally planned on being a ‘vagabond’ after retirement, but gradually I realized that I needed a home base to return to, preferably in a city with a major university, as well as a sense of community, since my friends and family are spread all over the globe.  I have been interested in environmental issues since the 1970s and became familiar with cohousing in the 1980s, when several of my friends in Denmark chose that kind of living arrangement.  My family got to experience cohousing on a small scale when we lived in a 5-family shared farmhouse outside of Copenhagen for 8 months. When I heard about the Prairie Hill Cohousing project, it seemed like the perfect answer to my retirement dream, and I and my 3 cats look forward to downsizing and living a more simple life.

After retiring I intend to continue doing freelance work as a translator and genealogist.  Besides genealogy, traveling and languages, I’m an avid reader, especially of Scandinavian series mysteries or those written by or featuring women, and I also like films and theatre and hope to find some kindred souls among my Prairie Hill neighbors.   I also like to bowl as well as to dig in the dirt, although I’m anything but a systematic gardener.  After many years of living by and for myself I look forward to sharing work, play and new experiences with my neighbors and hopefully will have something to offer them.

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