Text and photos by Lynn Englund
My partner and I were fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit Oakcreek Community in Stillwater, Oklahoma this spring. Oakcreek is a senior cohousing community not far from Oklahoma State University.
We arrived in the middle of the afternoon, and soon were talking with residents as they came and went through the common house.
After we had settled into one of the three lovely guest rooms, a resident offered us a tour of the grounds and explained that the community is made up of three “pods” of eight houses each. The pods are clustered around the common house.
Homes come in four sizes, ranging from 702 square feet to 1190 square feet. Their arrangement is specific to cohousing. One of each design is laid out in a 4-unit, townhome-style block which faces another similar unit of four homes across a gently curving sidewalk. Our guide stated that by doing this, they intentionally located the facing units much closer than typical construction of units across a roadway, making it easy for people to talk to each other from their front steps.
Bright colors set off each unit from its neighbor. The garages and parking areas were to the side, easily accessible by all. Oakcreek is situated on more than 7 acres of land in a residential area. The common yard has a park-like feel with shade trees, large areas of lawn, wildflowers and garden plots. Blooming shrubs and flowers landscape the small front yards.
After returning from a tour of the Oklahoma State campus given by a resident who is a retired faculty member (who discovered common interests and connections with my partner), we were invited to join “happy hour” at 5:00 in the common house. A handful of residents gathered with a beverage of choice around a table to catch up with each other and share news.
Since there was no common meal that night, we dined out, then returned to our comfortable room. In the morning, I put our sheets and towels in the washer in the common house and slipped a note of thanks with the small fee for lodging into the envelope that had been left for us.
There do happen to be units for sale, and if you’re curious, feel free to check out their community’s website for details.