Live Event Recap: Connection, Information, Action in Sarasota, Florida

Earlier this year, I held an exciting workshop in Sarasota, Florida dedicated to exploring shared housing hosted by the Senior Friendship Center. This was shortly before the coronavirus took off in the United States.

Revisiting the event brings me back to a simpler time when it was so easy to have experiences like this in real-time. It also has me thinking about when and how I can safely and responsibly participate in future events as our world moves forward.

At any rate, it was a great time, so I’d love to share some highlights with you!

Greeting participants at reception

The theme of this one day workshop was Connection, Information, Action, which I believe are the three main ingredients that it takes for getting community building off the ground.

I shared some of my own story and focused most of my session on how to get participants moving with their own shared housing projects. This included some resources and activities from my book, Your Quest for Home, that the audience got to participate in.

Here’s me doing my thing!

My close friend and colleague Linda Williams then shared information about the Living in Community Network, which is based in Sarasota. This organization encourages the creation of sustainable communities where residents live in a mutually supportive environment of friendship, shared values, life-long learning, and civic engagement.

My friend Linda Williams presenting the Living in Community Network

She’s got a great stage presence!

Jeanette Watling-Mills presented on behalf of the Senior Friendship Center’s Home Share Program, which connects working singles ages 23 years + with adult homeowners over the age of 60 who own their own home, and have a private bath and bedroom to share in exchange for rent.

Jeanette Watling-Mills shared information on the Senior Friendship Center

All in all, it turned out to be a very dynamic and information-packed afternoon. Afterward, a number of people invited me to do similar presentations with organizations in the Tampa area, which got me even more motivated.

Now that I’m back home in Asheville, North Carolina, I’m inspired to get moving on my next workshop here in town for Your Quest for Home, which will be offered here in town. I’ll be sharing more about that soon, so stay tuned!

I’ll end with a few more pics showing what a good time we had that day.

A great turnout!

The audience seemed to have a pretty good time! ūüôā

Everyone left with some great resources for taking their next steps!

Sign up below to receive my free exercise for finding your people!

Feeling inspired to take the next step? Great!
Sign up now for my FREE exercise for finding potential community partners, Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps.

Please note: we do not share or sell your email information.

Summer and Fall classes on Guidebook – Asheville

Your Quest for Home

¬†Here are the happy faces of those who completed the Guidebook Summer session at our potluck social after four intense¬†sessions intense together. We didn’t want to say goodbye and also wanted to see Sheila’s amazing home and gardens. No wonder she is conflicted about her next steps. Like many of us, who like our current homes and stuff, we can’t imagine leaving anytime soon. Yet, there is that small voice saying, “Don’t wait, start now!”
Eight of us gathered at my little house in North Asheville for a jam packed one and a half (1 1/2) hours every 2 weeks or so. The dates were decided before hand and most everyone made all of the sessions, which is really important.

Class participants comments afterwards:

“Being in Marianne‚Äôs workgroup, Quest for Home, was very beneficial to me at this juncture of my life.¬† Not only did the exercises in the book, once I actually did them, give me clarity that I was looking for, but hearing other‚Äôs concerns and experiences gave me insight into my own journey.¬† The sharing of experiences helped us see that the obstacles we are encountering are not just our own or our lack of ability or experience but are shared among most women.
Highly recommend!”¬†Marty Knight
¬†“The workshop was invaluable. Marianne is an excellent facilitator–attentive, perceptive, and organized–and the group bonded quickly. We all learned a lot about cohousing and a bit about ourselves. I’d recommend the workshop to anyone thinking about a cohousing community.”¬†CT
“I got a lot out of the book and workshop, which helped me organize my thoughts as I consider and evaluate a very different living situation than I have now, an intentional community, rather than a single-family house model.¬† The constant reminder to “pay attention to what you don’t want as well as what you do” will become a litmus test as new ideas are considered.¬† First time through is an eye-opener, but I will go back to relevant sections over and over as I go forward.¬† I would not have done the exercises on my own, but working in a group showed me options I hadn’t considered, as well as giving me a schedule to work to.¬† Valuable experience!” Linda B.

Fall sessions starting soon!  The organizing meeting is September 13th.

For details: Click away!   Dates and times and fees:

 The Table of contents and a flavor for the Guidebook.
You can also purchase on Amazon or download on Kindle – click here
Talk and meet others on Wed, Sept 13 at 6:30pm at Earthfare West Community Room in Asheville to get a feel for the book, the author and others. Or email Marianne and sign up by Sept 24th, class size is limited.
If you are not in Asheville or surrounding area, or thinking it’s going to be cold out there to drive this winter? ¬†The plan for future programs on the Guidebook will be to¬†use of Zoom or some techie thing on the horizon. Stay tuned (by making sure you are subscribed to our website).
Is there a book sitting on your shelf? Hope it is this one and link. Take it down from the shelf and join us!

September 23, 2016 – Aging in Community: Exploring Options with OLLI

Our series with OLLI (Osher Life Long Learning Institute)

September 23, 2016: Aging in Community: Exploring Options

Dates: September 23 ‚Äď November 11, 2016 (8 Week Series, Fridays 9am – 11am)
Location: OLLI (Olli Life Long Learning Institute) at UNC-Asheville
Click Here to Download Course Outline | Register at: OllieAsheville

Marianne Kilkenny will be Session 1 Speaker,¬†September 23 ‚Äď Starting Where You Are
Assess your personal needs, goals and resources as you age and explore an overview of options.

My class will help kick-start your thoughts to create a plan for your future. How do you envision community as you age? Where are the people you already count on located? What kind of action plan can you create starting in the next three months? Six Months? We will also look at your home now and how it might change as the years go by.

A New Community Tribe: The First NotMom Summit

Months ago I was asked to participate in an event that would be the first of its kind. You never know what to expect in these situations but my participation made sense. This was the first ever conference for women without children. The idea was to bring together women who made the choice to not have children as well as those who did want kids but over time and circumstance find themselves without them.

tribe clan quot

The first-ever NotMom Summit took place in Cleveland, Ohio on October 9th and 10th.

[Read more…]

Class at OLLI Asheville: Life Long Learning and Exploring the Option to Age in Community

This year, starting on September 25th, a series of classes will be held for older adults in the Asheville area to explore the various options that are related to aging in community. I have the privilege of kicking off the event by teaching the first class at the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) in Asheville.


OLLI was created many years ago and originally called The Center for Creative Retirement. It was developed because of the large influx of Boomers moving to the Asheville area to pursue their dreams of retiring in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Each class is presented by volunteer instructors and centered on lifelong learning and the expansion of the community that is already here.

Registration for these series of classes is open and available from now until October 6th.

[Read more…]

Women For Living in Community