This is a childhood friends cinder block bath house which is no longer in use. My friend and her family lived in Washington state and would spend the entire summer on their property above my parents house in a tiny camper which you could hardly turn around in. Because there were no bathroom facilities in this tiny camper they built a very rustic cinder block building with a shower, toilet, utility sink and three long shelves for storage. There were also clothes line strung across the room for hanging wet clothing. What I remember about this is how in awe I was that they had such a large bathroom. I really was envious about this. It seemed so huge to me.
We did have indoor plumbing (we weren't quite that poor) but our tiny bathroom had to serve nine people, five of them girls. It was barely big enough to turn from the sink to the tub without tripping over the toilet. No loitering with reading material happened in this place. There was always a line of people waiting to get in there, sometimes two at once while getting ready for school. We learned to ignore sounds and smells if you get my drift (literal drift, ha ha).
I spent a week at my friends property recently and when I took a photo of this bath house I couldn't believe how small it was. In my child's mind it was so huge and the reality of it is that it is very small. As I peeked inside the memories of things came flooding back....the smell of the propane gas that heated the water, I could see the empty plastic ice cream buckets which were filled with toiletries for my friend and her sister. I was so jealous. They not only had a "big" bathroom just for the summers but they each had their own shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant and all of the essential things we take for granted. I came from a family where all of these things if we had what they had were a shared commodity. Well except my brothers didn't really want to share in perfume, Kotex or the like I guess. Lucky!!
Thankfully I have grown out of the jealousy phase of my childhood. Being a middle child I was always searching for what was "better" than the things I had. I do admit that sometimes it bubbles up a bit but usually I can squash it with the thoughts of all I have to be thankful for. I talked about this with my friend and we both laughed and then remembered how we used to chew on pitch pretending it was gum and our parents wondered why pine needles were stuck to our teeth and my braces.
Oh the memories!