The Birth of a Bathroom
Worse still would be the fact that only two years before, MJ had left the comfort of the magnificent two-story Victorian she'd shared with her late banker husband for this - the little 5-room, center-hall Folkster her new farmer hubby could afford. It just wasn't fair, I tell you! That first house had more bedrooms than her new house had rooms!
Then would start the quiet hints to her husband, Clay. "Did you hear they're getting a bathroom across the street? Right next to the bedroom upstairs! Can you imagine?"
And Clay, who is always the villain in my story because of the disappearing/reappearing-in-another-county act he pulls circa 1930, would say, "Hmph" and mutter something about "newfangled" and "putting on airs."
But eventually our MJ got her way, as we womenfolk tend to do. How else could Farmer Clay compete with the memory of Banker James?
The question is when. Knowing what I know of small towns, women, the South and Eutaw in particular, MJ couldn't have stood it for long.
So I think the porch-to-bathroom conversion came very early in our house's life. Later, three more rooms and a new porch were added, along with a considerable extension of the center hall, all by 1925.
The bathroom naturally went through several changes in the 65 years it belonged to MJ, many of which we haven't puzzled out yet.
Central to the puzzle is the window. When was it installed? The window has weights. When did windows with weights stop being installed? The most recent bathroom reno happened in the late '60s or early '70s. Did they find a salvaged window and replace the taller one? Or was this window already altered before the Parkins came along?
Then, maybe I shouldn't worry so much. I think MJ wouldn't. She'd peep through the curtains at her neighbor's house, and say, "Darnit, why didn't I think of that?"