How YOU Can Help Get The “Tam Word” Out to the World!

New Growth in All Seasons

New Growth in All Seasons

Our Houses are Currently Full which of course is happy news for all of us.  With our New Alex (“Sandy”) settling into the Annex, we now enjoy twenty-one members of the Tam House community.

As a non-profit, RVEHA is a member of the San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce, the Marin Interfaith Council, the Marin Partnership and the North Bay Chamber Link.  Locally, we have worked closely with the Marin Center for Independent Living, Marin Housing as well as social workers and advocates in many agencies.  We are also listed with the Fellowship for Intentional Community (an international web of over 2500 shared housing groups around the world).

We have representatives of several congregations and business leaders on our active board and many connections within the circle of our 21 residents.

Even when our two houses are filled, we continue to “get the word out” about our successful 35-Year Experiment in Independent Living!  This keeps our Applicant File open and active, and serves to educate the wider community about Tam House (we often get asked where to find “other houses like Tam” and there are very few!).

So, if you are committed to the model of cooperative independent living we have here at Tam, we invite you to pass it around.

-The Best People to tell our story are our residents, our board members and those who believe in what we do

-Feel free to run off a copy of the Latest Poster and hand it out or post it in your congregation, library, business or wherever you think seniors would be interested

Thank you for your help and participation in Telling Our Story!

(if you have other ideas for spreading the word, let us know!)

Festive Holidays at Tam

“The Best Party I’ve been to at Tam!”

Thanks to the board and the band for a great time bringing Good Cheer to the holidays!

It was wonderful to have such a good showing from Both Houses.

Tam One resident Carolyn took a few nice shots. . .

And, don’t miss the short clips of our singers (one with a famous past!):

Tam on YouTube

A Good Man Passed Through

Neill was with us for a short time, but left his mark.  And not just bowls of ice cream!  Neill was a teacher, a school principal, an actor, a storyteller and a spiritual seeker.  We all got used to the latest books he would discover in the library or bookstore.  He loved to explore the edges of human consciousness and theories of the soul, the spirit, the mind and body.  Some would roll their eyes, but his sincerity was rather contagious sometimes.

He never stopped talking about his family, how proud he was of them and how surprised “they turned out so well; they sure didn’t get it from ME!”

He made a path through downtown and no doubt left smiles wherever he went.  We know he carried dog treats in his pockets to exchange for licks in the park.  He always enjoyed seeing us re-fill the seed in the birdfeeder.  He noticed our bird residents.  He nudged us to get a house-cat or other pet, since “we all need the touch of companionship.”  He liked sweeping the back deck and joked that the redwood never stopped giving him work to do.

A few months ago Neill celebrated his 90th birthday.  Then, in recent days, Neill discovered he had pancreatic cancer.  He knew he didn’t have long so he spoke of his decision to go into hospice.  He deteriorated quickly while keeping his good sense of humor.  His family was close and made his transition to hospice gentle and meaningful.

Some of us had the chance to say a last goodbye.  Neill had a warm and firm handshake for me.  I asked him, “Neill, how will Tam House get along without you?”  He smiled and said, “You’ll get by; you’ll get by.”

The morning after he left for hospice, Neill died peacefully in his sleep.

He will be deeply missed by his beloved family of course, but also by his housemates, the staff and the board, as well as by the many people he touched in San Anselmo and beyond.  The storyteller has now become our story to remember, and tell.