Re: ADDENDUM Re: Need information on Common House use (Barbara Smith)
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2020 14:09:28 -0700 (PDT)
I picked a random two week period from last year (pre-covid) and looked on
our calendar. Here is what we had scheduled Sept 1-14. (Note that not
everything that happens is scheduled, and not everything that gets
scheduled happens.

   - 6 Common meals
   - Kid thing (not sure what this is. I think a kid friendly potluck?)
   - Trustees meeting
   - Steering committee meeting
   - Society for Creative Anachronism Meeting
   - Guest in guest rooms (8 nights)
   - 3 Sewing events
   - Facilitation team meeting
   - Four reservations labeled "AGT" (not sure what this is, I think a
   sporting event on TV)
   - 5 private events (details not specified on calendar)
   - Watching a dem primary debate on TV
   - General meeting
   - Membership team meeting
   - Process team meeting
   - "The Good Place" on TV (dang, how did I miss that?)
   - Role playing game (recurs every two weeks)
   - Book club

On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 3:28 PM Karolyn/Richard Mangeot <
richard.mangeot [at]> wrote:

> I knew I would forget somethings –
> WEEKLY – in inclement weather our Monday morning coffee on the log cabin
> porch is moved inside the common house
> Annual talent show
> Lecture or presentation (most recently on local Native American history)
> Karolyn
> ------ Original Message ------
> Received: Fri, 28 Aug 2020 02:35:04 PM EDT
> From: "Karolyn/Richard Mangeot" <richard.mangeot [at]>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Need information on Common House use (Barbara Smith)
> To Barbara Smith and the Middlesex Senior Cohousing folks:
> Others have answered this well and I apologize for the late response; but I
> will add our experience at Elderberry Cohousing, a rural senior community
> of
> 18 townhomes north of Durham, NC.
> 1. How often is your common house used -- on a daily, weekly or monthly
> basis?
> During the pandemic, because we are rural and we live in North Carolina,
> many
> of our normal Common House activities have been moved outside. Pre-covid,
> we
> held probably between 8-9 scheduled activities per week.  Even with the
> pandemic we are still scheduling a minimum of 4 activities per week inside.
> 2. For what purposes do people use your common house? (As many uses as
> possible!)
> Here is what we do in Elderberry's Common House (which we have nicknamed
> The
> Hive, because one of our community values is to live in a beehive of
> activities).
> DAILY - every day people walk through the Hive whether to do a laundry or
> put
> something in someone's cubby or to get something out of the two shared
> freezers or to work on a puzzle that is always out on the table or...(see
> occasional uses below)
> 2 self-directed yoga sessions
> a tai chi class led by a member
> TGIF share-a-pizza or bring your own supper & drinks
> meditation
> at least one committee meeting
> Potluck followed by a Music night (we have a soundproof media room where
> this
> group sings and plays)
> Potluck followed by a game night (the common area has tables that are used
> for
> board games, cards, whatever)
> Craft night - people bring projects to share or do individually
> Plenary meeting followed by a meal - either potluck or catered by members
> Guest room - probably used at least once/month for out-of-town prospects
> visiting Elderberry or for members' family visitors
> Book club
> Party - we strongly believe that a community needs to have fun together -
> this
> could be anything from Mardi Gras to Winter Solstice
> Working out on the exercise equipment
> Sitting by the woodstove in the winter
> Canning or freezing garden produce on the big stoves
> Using the internet (people who share the internet in their home sometimes
> prefer to work here)
> Group watching of a movie or streaming events like the Olympics
> Emergency gathering place - we have a generator so that when there is an
> area-wide power outage, the Hive still has electricity (freezers, lights,
> gas
> stove, woodstove, fans, etc.)
> Family events - we've had everything from a bridal shower to a memorial
> service
> Holiday dinners - e.g. Thanksgiving/Christmas with anyone who's here
> Quiet place to read/wait (perhaps while you have workers/cleaners in your
> home)
> Using our "library" of field guides, how-to books, games and puzzles
> Storing the community's archives - hard copies of landscape plans,
> equipment
> manuals, photo albums, etc.
> Storing shared items like big pots, dehyrdator, ice cream freeezer, etc.
> Luckily, Elderberry has a number of outbuildings - but lacking these we
> would
> need the Common House for storage of tools, touch-up paint, etc.
> Okay, that's more than you wanted to know - but we do want you to have all
> the
> ammunition you need to get your common house approved.
> Best of luck!
> Karolyn Mangeot
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