Re: unexpected guests unscheduled tours was What is the Etiquette?
From: Nancy Baughman Csuti (
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2015 05:02:25 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you Ruth, and others, for this thoughtful post. I do not (yet) live
in cohousing but it is a dream for my future. (There are no openings in the
area and the new ones in the forming stages are all too far out of town. I
can't quite justify an hour commute in heavy traffic..) BUT..I am guilty of
just stopping by, as the folks in the this thread have lamented. I now
realize how inconsiderate that was. I was walking around Bainbridge Island
this spring and saw the sign, (it did have a Welcome, come on it sign), and
I went in. I went to the common room and a young man cooking introduced me
to an older, retired woman and we talked a long time. I didn't get a tour,
nor did I ask for one. I have seen cohousing up close before so didn't
really want a tour, just wanted to talk. But of course, now I realize I
pulled her away from whatever she was doing. After following this thread I
understand I should have called ahead....thanks for opening my eyes.


On Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 6:35 AM, Ruth J Hirsch <heidinys [at]>

> Hi,
> We schedule an 'open house'-- ie a tour-- before each monthly meeting.
> All the time I bump into people who want to 'just stop by and look
> around........'  I clearly ask them not to.  In a friendly, but clear
> smiling exchange,
> analogize it to our arriving and poking around their yard/house.    That
> helps.  (pretty much always.)  I explain we have an open house once a month
> and to send me an email (giving them my email address) and I will happily
> send them upcoming dates.
> And something like this happened with someone  from where I used to live.
> Now she is a neighbor.  yep,  moved in in May.
> But the drop-in,  ann you are totally fine to not want that.  It is also a
> liability thing,  and I explain that to folks,  and they get it.  I include
> the term 'we are not unfriendly...........'   and may go from there to
> 'it's like some of us showing up and poking around in your yard/house.'
> I think our website included the info that folks can schedule a visit on
> an Open House Day.  A monthly open house day.  If that doesn't work-- it
> often does not for out-of-town-folks-- we get an email from our contact
> neighbor,  asking if someone is available to squire these folks around;
> someone often enjoys doing it.
> I think the paragraph below is brilliant:
> 5.    Try to remember that each community has a life of its own.  The
> day and hour that?s convenient for you to visit may find me and/or the
> community otherwise engaged:  celebrating an important event, in the middle
> of a serious work day or memorializing someone's passing.
> thank you for that,
> Ruth
> Cantines Island
> Saugerties,  where we are expecting cousins from Takoma Park this afternoon
>   PS,  adding different 'subject' line,  might help when someone searches
> archives
> hope you do not mind
> Ruth
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