A Fair Share
One of the tragedies of old age is that, for most people, the advancing years mean diminishing freedoms. Among the main concerns of the elderly is an increasing loss of control over their lives. And no event signals this onset more painfully than when the time comes for them to leave their home.
But Iowa City's Louise Thornberry discovered a way to postpone that threatening necessity. For the last 20 years, Thornberry opened up her home to young tenants, women who helped Louise with some of the homemaking tasks in exchange for bargain basement rent.
It's an arrangement that not only allowed Louise to stay put, but it introduced her to members of a generation she might not have gotten to know. And the women, mostly students at the nearby University of Iowa, profited from more than economics, forming a meaningful friendship with a woman three generations their senior.
Renée Van't Land (pron: Vant Lund) moved in on New Years' Day of 2000. The graduate student in Engineering said living with Louise was part of what life's all about. She enjoyed being part of a home, a neighborhood and a community and also learning from someone rich in life's experiences.