Mike and Lisa Leslie
We have lived in Silverton for about 25 years and in Oregon all our lives. We love to backpack and hope to get back into long distance bicycle riding. As we approach retirement from our careers in management and education, we hope to indulge in more travel and to have more time for the volunteer work that we have always done with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and our local city government. Over the past five years we have cohoused in a large home that was built in 1900 with both families and single folks, (along with some of our four kids who have moved in and out). Sharing our lives and stuff with other families has been a rich experience and it has also stretched us in ways we didn’t anticipate at the outset of our intentional living experiment. Now we can’t imagine existing without the support, love and joy that we have found in community living; having the privacy of our own cottage with the community all around it will be an ideal setting. We are excited to make this next step toward a living situation that is sustainable both environmentally and socially and to model a healthy alternative in the town we love!
I grew up moving all around the country, from Kansas to Oklahoma, to New York state, to Connecticut. Later I lived in California, East Africa, Annapolis and finally, Seattle, where I lived from 1980 until just recently. I taught for 35 years at The Children’s Garden, a private pre-school and Kindergarten in Issaquah, Washington. Some years ago, I met Lisa and Mike on a vacation on Vancouver Island and learned about the opportunity this project presented and I have been aiming towards relocating here ever since. That was finally accomplished last August when I retired from my school and moved to Silverton. I love the small town and I resonate with the rural feel, and it is still the wonderful northwest! I have always longed for more of a community since my rather nomadic childhood, and I definitely found it in my school community, but I am ready for this new adventure now: I look forward to many happy years sharing meals and building new friendships, working a garden with others, enjoying travel, volunteer services, continuing to learn and explore my own creative interests, and perhaps teaching part-time.
Chris Bradberry and Julie Adams
We live in a small town because of the community aspects that small towns offer. We love the outdoors, and spend time kayaking, hiking and biking. Weaving, painting, poetry and gardening are other pursuits that we enjoy, along with hanging out with our grown children. Travel is also important to us, and we find ourselves heading to natural spots on many of our vacations. We are always glad to return to Silverton after our adventures, because of the natural beauty here. We are attracted to Evans Oaks for knowing our neighbors as friends, and creating a life with meaning by finding shared values. We are in the third third of our lives, and excited to explore a new sense of community and belonging.
I lived in Arizona growing up, then moved to San Diego for twenty five years. From there I continued to move north, living in Topanga Canyon, East Bay, Grants Pass and now onward to Silverton. Along the way I have shared my homes with others, sometimes friends, sometimes traveling nurses. I’ve enjoyed sharing living responsibilities and meeting new people. Oregon has brought a life with a slower pace and much relaxation. My career as a nurse allowed me employment that was more a cause than a job. I worked in women’s health, HIV care and completed my career as a hospice nurse. Community service has always been an important part what I do. I enjoy fundraising and event planning. Retirement for the last five years has been the best job of all! It has allowed me to spend time with my passions of cooking, traveling, yoga, gardening and reading. Silver Falls State Park will see much more of me as I am an avid hiker. Organic gardening, composting and living green have been part of my lifestyle. I discovered beautiful Silverton last summer and knew I’d love to live in the small, rural, friendly community. Also, I have family in Portland I’ll be closer to. As soon as I saw the Evans Oaks website I knew it was for me. I’m eager to share sustainable living, gardening, and the community support offered by my new friends at Evans Oaks.
I’ve lived and worked in southern Oregon since 2002 and love it. I became intrigued with communal living a few years ago and started searching for my community last year. I’m so happy to have found Evans Oaks. The location couldn’t be better – in the charming community of Silverton and within an easy drive to Portland or Silver Falls State Park. I’ve raised two daughters and with my youngest now at university and retirement in sight, I like the idea of living among a community of like-minded people. I’m also excited about downsizing into a brand new home.
Kate Russell and David Cotter
We are both transplants to Oregon from the Midwest and East Coast. Neither of us have any family members in Oregon. Kate taught elementary school in the Silverfalls School and has retired but still does some substitute teaching. David has been a sculptor, welder and works at Gem Equipment. We both love spending time with friends, good food and travel. David enjoys reading, movies, television, and cooking. Kate enjoys gardening, yoga, ukulele, and outdoor activities.
We live in an old farmhouse on 8 acres just outside of Silverton. Kate has spent much of the last 25 years creating expansive gardens on our acreage. Our home and acreage has been a passion and sanctuary for us. It has also become all consuming and are now ready to simplify our lives. We dreamed of having a few friends build homes on our property and share the responsibilities of keeping up property and form a community that would look after each other and become a sort of family.
We found out about the Evans Oaks Cottages community, a group of thoughtful, interesting and talented people who are dedicated to forming a community much like we have dreamed of. It would be a big change, but after attending meetings and work parties, we were convinced that joining is right for us. People have been inclusive and are working tirelessly toward building this community, making it a reality. We look forward to not only a new home but also sharing the load and joys with our new neighbors and friends.
Linda Gonzales & Ray Teasley
We have been Mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon residents since the mid-1980’s when we met and married in Salem. Linda had just moved there to start her career as a psychologist and Ray came to begin a new a job at the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments. A few years later we moved to a rural area near Aurora, Oregon, where we have lived since. When we moved to our current abode, it was halfway between a new job Linda had just started at the Portland VA Hospital and Ray’s work in Salem.
Ray grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and after college, he lived and worked for several years in New Orleans. Later, he moved to Central Louisiana, where he managed a rural development agency. After being a military brat in her early childhood, Linda found a home in San Jose, CA where her father retired. She migrated to the Idaho panhandle to serve as a VISTA volunteer following college and then moved on to grad school at U of O. She has happily lived in Oregon since.
Although we have enjoyed the peacefulness and rural qualities of our home near Aurora, we have also found ourselves missing being part of a community - especially as we contemplate the years following our careers. We love the Northwest and all it provides. Both of us relish a life that combines contemplative activities like reading and meditation with more active pursuits like hiking, cycling and socializing. When we came across the Evans Oaks website, we were intrigued and inspired. Joining an intentional community of vibrant people with similar values is truly exciting to us. We look forward to building friendships and developing new channels for creative living.
Becky and Mark Niemeyer
We are happily in the process of relocating to Oregon as of May 2019 for the next stage of our lives and to find our home in Silverton, Oregon. We met in college at Colorado State University in 1979 in Fort Collins, where Mark had moved from Ohio. I am a Colorado native and grew up on a farm, learning to love gardens, the mountains and wide open vistas of Colorado. We share a love of music, organic gardening, hiking and all things outdoors. In fact, Mark is such an avid walker, he was once called by a friend, “Brother Goat,” for his untiring pace. I was dubbed “Beck-Ra” by our community as I explored strong women role models for our daughter.
When we were raising our daughter and looking for our “village” to raise her in, we serendipitously met others exploring intentional community life and shared values to live by: creating an extended family, acknowledging the spiritual side of life, sharing resources and engaging in community service. Together, our group purchased a small historic 1890 duplex which had been converted to apartments during the Great Depression, near downtown Denver in 1991, where we lived with our daughter Anna and four other families (give or take) from the time she was six until she went off to Reed College in Portland. Soon after, we moved out to a suburb east of Denver to live a quieter life for a while, away from downtown sirens. But we couldn’t help but think that someday we might live in community again.
Life has been busy since then with work and volunteering, gardening and birdwatching, visiting Anna and her friends in Oregon and walking many miles uphill and down. When Anna met her life partner Wes, bought a house and got married, we spent more and more time thinking about retiring to Oregon. Soon, our granddaughter Elinor arrived on the scene, and we immediately had the best reason in the world to accelerate our plans to migrate west.
Exploring intentional cohousing communities in the Portland area was one of the next things on our minds. Finding out about Evans Oaks in late 2018 was such a happy surprise. Realizing we have so many shared values makes it seem like home already. We look forward to our eventual move into our cottage and coming together with our Evans Oaks community in 2019 and beyond, as well as more time with our family in the Northwest, while maintaining ties to our Colorado family, so travel and time in both the Northwest and the Colorado mountains will be a part of our life now and as we move into retirement.
So, we are in the process of becoming full time Oregonians, with pleasure. We love that all generations are represented in our new Evans Oaks family, that the gardens and grounds will be open for walking and full of the beauty and bounty of Oregon and that we once again will be part of an extended family, full of fun and celebrations. We look forward to having our granddaughter stay with us at Evans Oaks often, and giving her a taste of intentional community life.
Jen Rahn and Ron Suchanek (the Grumbys)
We are the Grumbys and are excited about moving back to Oregon after being away for a year.
During our careers in healthcare and business analysis, Ron and I were enthusiastic users of alternative transportation. We commuted by bicycle, our own 4 feet, lightrail, bus, car share, and even by kayak! We spent 3 years as a zero-car household and enjoyed the challenges and opportunities of getting from point A to point B without the convenience of hopping in our own metal box on wheels.
As we approached the last third of our careers, we embraced the principles of the FIRE and minimalist movements. By simplifying our lives and reducing our spending and personal possessions, we were able to accelerate our retirement by several years. On May 4th, 2018 we turned in our badges (May the Fourth be with You!). A few weeks later, we placed our remaining belongings in storage near Kansas City, MO and then spent 3 months riding our bikes from Kansas City to Eugene OR. Along the way we gained a greater appreciation for power of human connection. We joined forces with a 68-year-old cycle touring rockstar from Virginia Beach and the three of us were blown away by the kindness we encountered as we made our way west.
After completing this epic adventure, we have enjoyed re-connecting with family and friends in Oregon, California, Arizona, Texas, Missouri, and Colorado. And now we're ready to re-settle in our long-time home of Oregon. A few years before we left Portland, we had decided that the city felt too big and congested, so we were very happy to learn about a cohousing opportunity in Silverton. We joined the Evans Oaks community for a work party, a monthly meeting, and a picnic, and were thrilled with the positive energy, dedication and focus of the group.
Being part of Evans Oaks is the perfect opportunity to live in a way that acknowledges and puts to practice the importance of both community and our connection with our handsome planet.