The Schaefer Housing Journey Part 2

A guest post by Patti Schaefer.  Read Part 1 here

After we bestowed quite a bit of love on our 74 year old/new house in the way of updates and improvements we all decided that this will be a home that will shelter us and we will care for.  We very much love our new home in Blue Ash!

But this is a house that we will not be staying home nearly as much as we did in our former house. We’ve committed ourselves to be much more involved.

Since the original presentation (given at Good Life Networks in 2013) we continue to ride our bikes…we’ll be riding in our first bike-a-thon fundraiser at the end of this month…. There’s a 7mile and a 30mile ride offered…..we will definitely be doing the 7mile and enjoying the party afterwards.

Chris on a recent bike ride with Allison (taking the picture) & Candice

Chris now has two unpaid connectors in our community. One, a family named the Connor’s, Allison, Dan and their three children Dylan, Mari & Hank. (and Hurley the dog). They have become an extension of our own family. They also have brought many other people into Chris’s life, who are also beginning to spend time with Chris and include him in functions.

Chris’s other connector is a young man named Shaun Smith, who has shared his time and personal friends with Chris. I overheard him say to a friend on the telephone, “I’m over at my friend Chris’s house. We’re going to go to the Rec Center to work out. Why don’t you meet us there too?”

My friend Chris.

Chris and his dad, Ron joined a group called MOBO. This is a bicycle club in Northside where you can bring your own bikes to repair or adopt one of theirs, repair it and donate it. They also have the tools that you can borrow and experienced people who can teach you how to make the repairs. They have an inventory of most needed spare parts that you can purchase for a nominal cost.

So far, Chris and Ron have repaired our daughter Katie’s and my bike. They also have purchased two older bikes online. They rebuilt one of them for our son-in-law Scott. And are currently working on the other one for Allison who wants to participate in a marathon. Who knows….If Chris continues there, maybe he will help out as one of the instructors at Mobo!

We’ve been adopted by another of Chris’s friends and her boyfriend, Emma & Jason. We meet them periodically for dinner and during football season go to their house every Monday night for a group potluck dinner and football or crafting for those of us that aren’t fans. We have met people of all ages through them and the food is always great.

invite from the meet & greet

Chris is now working on his Senior Capstone project with Starfire. He’s decided that his passion is people. He wants to connect other people in Blue Ash just like he’s being connected. His first event was a Meet & Greet Open house held at his home on September 6th with the help of Candice, from Starfire.

There were approximately 30 people in attendance. To our amazement everyone stayed the entire time.

Afterwards Chris, Ron & I discussed all the different connections that took place.

1) Emma and Jason found out that they live on the same street as Shaun’s coworker Tammy who was there. She and her family are now invited to the football potlucks.

2) One of the Connor’s friends Patrick mentioned he liked to work-out and he, Dan and Chris went to the Blue Ash Rec Center last Tuesday night.

3) One of the UC student’s, Nathan, that had visited Starfire, came to the three day event there. Chris invited him to his Meet & Greet. Nathan came and Chris took him out for Pizza last Saturday night. We also are all going on a bike ride on the Loveland Trails this Sunday.

4) Our friend, Roger came to the Meet & Greet and brought a brochure for a fundraiser being held at a golf course in Kentucky for his friend who has been battling cancer. Several people are going to play golf, Chris his cousins and I are playing putt-putt and my sister-in-law was able to hook Roger up with an organization to help with the silent auction.

I’d say the first event to connect people was a great success! Not only did Chris connect others, he met new people who are now a part of his life!

On the whole, we feel our move has been a very happy and healthy one, especially now that we are on the other side of most of the work that was involved….but, we whole heartedly agree that it was all worth it. We have high hopes that the efforts we are all making will continue to prove fruitful.

Candice Jones Peelman