87 Years Old and Never A Single Shower???

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner 21498

My mother is 87 years old, and she has never taken a shower in her lifetime. Never. Not even once. Oh, she is a clean lady, don’t get me wrong; she’s just never had a shower. And she is not alone among ladies of her generation.

My mom takes baths. She would never dare dream of standing up andMom's Bathtub putting her face in the path of gushing water from a shower head. Not in a million years. She draws a modest amount of warm water into a clean white tub, carefully eases herself into that tub, and cleans herself with bar soap and a washcloth. Then, when she is done, she carefully steps out of that tub, lets the water out, and dries herself off and gets her gown on. (She takes her baths in the evening – has for as long as I can remember and probably longer)

My mother is 87 years old, and she has never taken a shower in her lifetime.

There’s something kind of cool about that…don’t you think?



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Sheila Newton   
Sheila Newton Team 
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices -
C. Dan Joyner, Realtors
864-225-1205 (direct)
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Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Years ago when my grandmother was still alive, I went to visit her in her town of Corwith, Iowa. I went in the one day to take a shower and to my surprise..no shower. She laughed, but she also always used a tub. She was in her 80's at the time too.

Dec 03, 2010 02:26 PM #2
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

I'm with her -- showers suck.  It's amazing how many times I've had someone reject a home because there was no tub in the master bath, and I offer no retort.  No bathtub?  No deal!

Dec 03, 2010 02:27 PM #3
Cinnamon Wright
Wilmington Real Estate 4U 910.547.1446 - Wrightsville Beach, NC
Assistant to Tish Lloyd

That's pretty cool.  My Grandmother won't take a bath -- she grew up without indoor plumbing and swore that the minute she had a shower in her house she'd never use a tub again! 

Dec 03, 2010 02:33 PM #4
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

My Great Aunt Mary will be 101 next week.    She remembers Outhouses and Sears Roebuck Catalogs for toilet paper.    Not sure what her stance is on showers... I will ask her.

Dec 03, 2010 02:43 PM #5
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

Hi Stan >> I was actually in Middle School (Junior High School) before I took my first shower. I don't know that I would have taken one then but for the peer pressure.

Hi Cindy >> HaHa...isn't that funny? NO shower in the house! My dad took showers all of my life; I think being in the military sort of modernized him.

Hi Tni >> Well, well...the voice of a younger generation saying "NO" to the shower! Ha! I guess this proves that it is not just a generational/age thing!

Hi Cinnamon >> Another example that it is not generational...from the OTHER direction! An older lady saying "NO" to the bathtub! I love it!

Hi Fred >> I am interested to learn where your aunt comes down on showers! Hope you'll report back.

Dec 03, 2010 02:56 PM #6
Jason Channell
Diadem Property Inspections - Serving Southeast Michigan - Troy, MI
The House Sleuth

Very interesting! My Grandma's house only had a bath. As a kid, when I'd visit her in the summer, I only had to take a bath on Saturday nights.

And I love the picture of the ball-and-claw bathtub.


Dec 03, 2010 03:46 PM #7
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

Jason >> Oh to be a kid again!! :)

I love the photo too.. that is the best type of tub ever to take a bath in! I love how deep they are!!

Dec 03, 2010 03:56 PM #8
Bill Pohl
Tetra Homes, Inc. - Loveland, OH

Sheila-  I wonder when showers made it into the new home construction routine? I also remember my Grandama's house with just a tub. It was a 1930's house.

Dec 03, 2010 03:56 PM #9
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Sheila... there is something so civilized in what you describe.  I like it!

Dec 03, 2010 04:09 PM #10
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

If I remember correctly my grandmother was the same way until she was forced into a retirement home with Alzheimers, then that all changed. (Really kind of sad if you ask me)

Dec 04, 2010 12:14 AM #11
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Our tub was a metal one in the middle of the kitchen with hot water off the stove.  Then, when the swimming pooll came to town, it was time for my first shower, before getting into the pool.  Then school PE classes and the military.

Showers are best for clean.  Tubs are best for soaking.  Love a good hot soak in a tub.

It's nice that your mother can "have it her way" all her life.

Just did a home inspection last week or so that the home didn't have a single tub.  Found it kind of odd!



Dec 04, 2010 04:18 AM #12
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Sheila and this is unbelievable and I think that baths are better for you myself, more relaxing etc. Your post has been "Highlighted/ Featured" at one of my favorite groups ...


Vegas Bob ;-)

Dec 04, 2010 11:24 AM #13
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

Hi Bill >> Good question; My guess is sometime in the 1950’s, but I would love to know for sure!

Hi Steve >> I guess there is something classy about a lady and her bath… : )

Hi Todd >> I agree…it is kind of sad. My mom had to go into an assisted living facility not long ago for a short term stay to have an injury assessed and treated, and they insisted she take a shower while there. She REFUSED, stating it insulted her dignity…I concurred. Needless to say, no shower was forced on her.

Hi Erby >> I love the way you describe your old home tub…it reminds me of a country home; middle of the kitchen with hot water off the stove…classic.

Hi Bob >> I am thrilled to be highlighted/featured at EXPRESS WITH WORDS AT ACTIVE RAIN! What a delight! Thank you for the honor! Hugs, Sheila  : )

Dec 05, 2010 03:41 AM #14
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Sheila, I have a big old Jacuzzi that I love to soak in.  I use the shower when I'm in a hurry, but the tub with the bubbles and jets is really relaxing. 

Dec 06, 2010 04:01 PM #15
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

I am in a hurry more often than not and have to use the shower.. I would love to have a Jacuzzi tub.... that would be awesome... I am trying to learn to slow down and enjoy life more (including more baths)

Dec 07, 2010 02:18 PM #16
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Sheila, There is something relaxing about taking a bath, that's a luxury for me!  Your kitty pictures are beautiful.

Dec 14, 2010 02:43 AM #17
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

That is so cool. I would think for someone elderly it would be harder to get in and out of though. I guess in her times she wasn't as rushed as we are today. Sometimes I am in and out in 3 minutes!

Dec 14, 2010 02:44 AM #18
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

Susan, a bath is certainly a lot more relaxing than a shower.. and thanks.. i love my kitties :)


Kristi, It is getting harder for her, but she still won't consider a  shower!! lol..

Dec 14, 2010 04:07 PM #19
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Sheila, the house I grew up in had a clawfoot tub and no shower. The house was built in 1910. When I was a little girl, my mother made me keep the bathroom door open because she was afraid I would drown, after all, it was a deep tub and I was a little kid. We never had the luxury of a shower and my mother lived in that house until 2006. Had she lived, she would have been 85 years old.

I guess I never realized how lucky I was to always have the option, bathtub or shower. I lived in many places after I got married and never gave it a second thought about how much luckier I was just because I could have one or the other. My mother and father lived until the day they died only having one bathroom and one clawfoot tub. Also, the bathroom did not have any heat vents or even a radiator to keep warm. When it came to taking baths, none of us spent a long time in it because it seemed to take forever to fill up the tub and it didn't take long for the water to get cold. In addition, our bathroom was in the kitchen and during the cold winter months, my mother used to bake something in the oven to keep the kitchen warm for us while we took baths. I came from a family of seven, so today, it would seem like a challenge or an inconvenience, but when I didn't know any better, or had anything else to compare it to, it didn't matter. So I guess, my mother was a lot like yours, she didn't complain and was thankful for what she had!


Jan 10, 2011 04:23 PM #20
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

we should all be more thankful for what we have!! a good lesson there.. :)

Jan 11, 2011 11:57 AM #21
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