Nils, Elisha, & Kira

Nils, Elisha, & Kira

When we met, one of the things Nils and I had in common was a love of community.  We were living in Seattle and learning all about the concept of cohousing. When we were pregnant with our daughter Kira, we became involved with the development and building of Jackson Place cohousing, where we planned to live.  But fate had a different plan for us.

Some of our closest friends started having children and together we became excited about buying land, building our homes, and raising our kids together.  The kicker was, they wanted to live in the country. Nils and I are die-hard urban dwellers, but the draw of that close-knit community and connection won out.  Several of us had grown up on Bainbridge Island, so we started looking on the Kitsap Peninsula.

That is when we got lucky enough to bump into Wise Acres. It was like we had been led here and it very quickly felt like home. Our four families arrived at the same time that a number of existing families were ready to move, the first turn-over in the 10 years of the community’s existence.  Three of us bought existing homes and the fourth family built on an undeveloped lot.  Our families coming to the community kick-started the process to build our common house; we had to accommodate more people at our weekly dinners and the individual houses started to be too small.

We had a tribe of kids who ran from house to house, played together outside, and built secret forts in hidden parts of the forest. We shared childcare while they were little, taking turns with being the “parent on-duty” and making sure to keep the kids safe and fed for the day. It was a magical childhood.

We have now been here 20 years, Kira has grown from a toddler to adulthood held by this community and is now away in college.  The extended family feel of living in a healthy and vibrant community was everything we hoped for her to grow up in.  We now have a new tribe of kids running around the community and it’s fun to watch this next-generation build their sense of family, find their own secret places in the forest, and be held by the family of community.

I, Elisha, work as a private practice dietitian and a trainer in Motivational Interviewing.  Nils teaches firefighting and emergency medicine in a local, public vocational high school. Our dog Cassie is the best!