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29 September 2004

Dual-purpose rooms

My grandparents' house was built shortly after the Civil War and is one of the oldest homes in their small city. Not much has changed. I believe the kitchen wing was a later addition, and remodeled even later. There was a full bath upstairs and a powder room was carved out of a space beneath the staircase on the main floor. The powder room was enlarged to accommodate a large shower stall after Grandma broke her hip and they moved to a downstairs bedroom.

I helped the aunts and uncles with the rummage sale at Grandma's house last Friday. Many people came just to see the house. One woman scurried by and asked, "Do you know which was the Birthing Room? I was born in that room." During the '30s and '40s, a doctor lived in the house and it also served as the "hospital." I didn't know which was the Birthing Room, but I gave her my best guess(es). All that is really known about the use of rooms at that time is that Grandma's "dining room" was the "operating room." Someone walked in through the back door last week and was transported back 70 years or so, remembering walking up those steps when they came to have their tonsils removed.

There was a real hospital built sometime in the '50s or '60s, I guess. It closed several years ago. It was recently remodeled and now serves as an assisted living complex. That's where Grandma's new apartment is... she can't seem to get away from living in former hospitals!

Fiber News I'm going shopping for thrums this afternoon! I haven't yet decided on anything -- pattern, yarn, method -- and am hoping that something will speak to me. I'm hoping it's only fleece/roving and maybe yarn for the Thrummed Mittens that call my name; I need no other yarn. St. Brigid and I had a little quality time together last night and there's another repeat to show for it. I'm finally feeling the rhythm there and this sleeve is much better behaved than the first (in other words, I'm not making the same stupid mistakes).

Comments

Hope you managed to find some nice roving for your mitts, you could do some thrummed socks instead!!!!
No knitting for me today, only supervising lots of homework YUK.

I love the shawlette. It might be nice out of the lovely Kersti that come from my pal yesterday, alltho there might not be enough. It sounds like a great pattern anyway. It will be fun to see if Harlot can really pull off the sweater...I'll bet she knits while sleeping!

There's something remarkable about living in an old house. My house was built in 1930 (fairly old for my area) owned by one family from 1932 until I bought it in 1997. When we moved in I found an old bible, a Masonic pin, baby pictures, and some newspaper clippings. The son of the woman whose house it had been lived just down the street, and he had lived on this street his entire life. When I returned these items to him he was tickled pink. The baby pics were his brother, and his mother had kept horoscope clippings for important days.

Not as impressive as your hospital story, but I just love how an old house can become part of the history of a people and place, and then impart that history to everyone around.

As an side, the son is in his 80's, and moved to a nursing home last year. He has Alzheimers. *His* son stopped by one day to let us know. I hope he'll stop by again if/when his father passes away. I know that many residents of the street will want to attend the services.

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