A four-sided building was actually a six-sided structure, because the roof and the underside were penetrable surfaces too. The impervious building had to have ventilators to keep the air circulating. It was in Southern California, where a windowless building with no air-conditioning was an oven. A building couldn’t serve as a business without bathrooms, which meant there were water pipes going in and sewer pipes going out. The place had electricity, which required insulated lines running from the nearest step-down transformer to the building and then inside.
Her experience of growing up was simply trying to be alive — helping to find enough so everybody in the house got to eat, and then remembering not to eat everything up before there was something in the house to replace it.