Dathan and Carina have lived in Harrisonburg for eight years. Dathan is a native Virginian; Carina is a transplant who loves the area. They have three young children, who keep them hopping.
Dathan plies his attorney craft at Blue Ridge Legal Services. When not assisting indigent folks with their civil legal needs, fulfilling church responsibilities, or negotiating home life, he enjoys puttering around in the vegetable garden, composting kitchen scraps, or otherwise getting soil between his fingers. He’s been known to save seeds whenever possible. Ask him sometime about pole beans.
Between cohousing, part-time work teaching biology labs, and raising children, Carina feels like life is full, but she admits to being a reading junkie and crams in any type of reading whenever possible. Being outside and eating good food also rank very high on her priorities list.
Barbara grew up outside Philadelphia, went to college in upstate New York, has lived near Harrisonburg since 1976. She served as a VISTA in Arkansas in the early 1970’s, and retired four years ago after 21 years as an elementary Special Education teacher.
LOVES: her two adult children and their partners; her grandchild(ren); her pets (mostly cats) past and present
LIKES: green vegetables, dark chocolate, and rocks
ENJOYS: birdwatching, yoga, kirtan, reading
LOOKS FORWARD TO: sharing meals, daily fun-filled interactions with children and adults, growing flowers and vegetables
BELIEVES: in staying positive and joyful, while doing what she can in support of peace and justice, and mitigating climate change
CELEBRATES: the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh and the selfless service of Amma
Nathan and Melodie May joined Harrisonburg Cohousing in its early stages looking forward to living in an intentional neighborhood. They currently reside in New Market with their two children, Noah (7) and Grant (3). Nathan is a music teacher at Spotswood High School where, among other things, he directs the choirs, the school musical, and Sound Check (an a cappella group). He also remains busy over the summer DJing for weddings around the Shenandoah valley. Melodie currently works as a part time substitute teacher, administrative assistant and takes care of their children. In their “free time” they both sing in Good Company, the six member a cappella group in Harrisonburg.
The idea of cohousing fits so well into what Nathan & Melodie want for their lives and their children’s lives. A place to call home that’s safe, nurturing, creative and environmentally mindful. We have already become so close to those that are involved thus far and look forward to meeting more families that become a part of Harrisonburg Cohousing.
Sue and Guy Freesen currently are the owner/operators of a 45 acre farm just outside Staunton VA where we raise grass-fed meats which we sell by the cut at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. Co-housing has been our heart’s desire since we married 35 years ago and we are looking forward to living in a community where the day-to-day experiences in life are shared closely with others.
Guy was a pastor for 7 years in Illinois, but we left the organized church with a desire to be involved with more “organic” house church type ministry. We made several attempts to be self-employed before moving our family of 4 homeschooled children to Staunton in 1999 to begin farming in an effort to be self-sufficient. At that time, we also began to be more intentional in reaching out to international students. The next 16 years found us absorbed in cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, milking goats, homeschooling commitments, violin recitals, history competitions, ministry opportunities, house church challenges, local theater productions, graduations and marriages. We are now cutting back on our farming commitments due in part to some health challenges that Guy has been facing, although Sue continues at the Saturday Farmers Market. Our 4 children are now all adults with two married, and we are entering into new ventures in our lives- grandparenting!
After raising her son and daughter near Toledo, Ohio, Nancy Gunden relocated to Harrisonburg in 1999. She retired in 2014 from Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, finishing her career as Director of Human Resources.
Nancy’s children are all teachers: son, Jeremy and daughter-in- law, Keili, teach English as a second language in Taiwan. Daughter, Erica and son-in- law, John, both teach at Plains Elementary in Timberville, Virginia.
Since retirement, Nancy has enjoyed Lifelong Learning Institute classes including numerous types of art. As a result, she now has an art studio in her home! An avid reader, she read the suggested book on Cohousing and was “hooked”! She looks forward to daily life experiences with neighbors and a shared passion for healthy living and environmental responsibility. Nancy is a fitness enthusiast, enjoying daily use of her home gym as well as walking and biking as weather permits. Her other interest include: interior decorating, DYI projects, gardening, nature, animals and good friends.