Patsy and I were just back in Maine, visiting friends. One of the interesting things we saw was a long structure composed of a family house, a retirement house, a structure called a back house, all connected together and attached at the end to a barn. The middle house is where the grandparents would live once they retired, while the back house was a place for sheltering new-born animals and equipment.
This reminded me of the rambling houses we saw in Amish country, where they build a house connected to the main house, for the grandparents. In some cases, we saw several houses all in a row, so maybe the grandparents on both sides of the family lived there. We never asked anybody about this.
Here in the west, the casita was supposed to do the same thing, but in most cases it wasn’t attached to the main house. The haciendas like they have in Old Town San Diego, have long rows of attached rooms, which I suppose served the same function as a casita. There’s no particular point to this discussion, other than I find it interesting that certain cultures plan for the extended family by the way they build. More later.