Leslie Miller and David Covarrubias

Leslie Miller and David Covarrubias

Leslie Miller

I have been fascinated since childhood with intentional and utopian communities, from communes to monasteries. So when I saw Durrett and McCamant’s first Cohousing book in 1994 I was immediately drawn to their model of intentional neighborhoods. I think cohousing addresses a lot of modern social and environment problems, such as social isolation and suburban sprawl. It’s exciting to be part of building a better world, and trying to “walk the walk” by modeling a more sustainable future with people who know a lot more about how to do that than we do! I am so impressed with the smart, interesting, kind and fun people of SV, who truly know how to create community, which is such a rare thing. I am looking forward to getting to know you all as neighbors and friends!

Originally from Chicago, I’ve lived in the DC area since the late 1980s — Adams Morgan, then Arlington and Reston, VA, where my job is based. I still work full-time, but mainly from home; I need to be in town for meetings only a few times a month so “commuting” from Shepherdstown seems feasible. After 30+ years as a newspaper writer and editor (my specialty areas included holistic health, the internet and religion), I took an “early retirement” buyout from USA TODAY in 2015. I’m now enjoying a second career writing and editing for a small advertising and creative agency that works with federal agencies… and I’m writing my first book!

I love psychology, anthropology, movies and contemplative spirituality (see monasteries, above). I enjoy taking iPhone photos and playing with photo apps, cooking brunch, volunteering and being a lazy hausfrau to David and dog-mom to Tobie, the aging Dobie.

David Covarrubias

We have visited Shepherdstown for years for the Contemporary American Theater Festival, and when we heard that people we know were creating a cohousing community, we were interested in learning more. I like the idea of “disrupting aging” as part of an alternative-minded sustainable community that is trying to change views of aging in America. I love that Shepherd Village will be walking distance to a university campus, where I can audit classes and continue being a life-long learner.

I was born on a U.S. Army base in Germany to a German mother and a Native American serviceman father who I never knew. My mother moved to the States when I was small to try to find him; she never did — but married my step-dad, also in the Army. We moved around a lot — Carolinas, Texas, Washington state, northern California — so I have always felt like sort of an outsider. I joined the Army and was based in Germany, where I got to know my German grandmother before she died. When I got out I moved to Northern Virginia, married and had a son, now in his 20s and finishing college. I’ve been a truck driver for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years, and am very involved in union and safety activities. I enjoy helping protect workers’ rights and am currently taking classes for a second “retirement” career as a paralegal.

Leslie and I live in Reston, VA, where we like walking Tobie (and formerly, Titus the Lab) in the woods behind our house. In my spare time, I like watching political talking heads and World War II documentaries, reading philosophy, pondering wormholes, riding my BMW motorcycle and studying Torah with a Hasidic rabbi I met a couple of years ago when he came to mail Purim baskets at the Post Office.