#164: Memory of Childhood - 1: The Outhouse

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How many people today know what an outhouse is, much less have used one? Not a port-a-potty at a construction or other site, but an honest to goodness two-seater spider-webbed outhouse?

As a youngster I spent time with my grandmother on her farm in South Central Indiana. Her outhouse was a fair distance from the house. For a six-year-old, that was a very looooong walk in the darkness penetrated only by a flashlight while all manner of strange and unknown insect and animal sounds attacked my senses as I hoped nothing would attack me. Many times if I only had to go number one, I would simply slip around the corner of the house and let fly, so to speak. Otherwise, a very thorough search of the inside was made before I could use the facilities. And of course I never sat completely down because no one ever knew what entities loomed beneath the wooden seats.

Later my grandmother elevated our experience to an indoor chamber pot and eventually indoor plumbing. No more trips outside to dispose of the pot's contents and no more having to pump water from the well to clean the pot, although she did use well water for bathing, washing clothes and cooking because she thought it more pure than "citified" piped water.

In 2002 my uncle and aunt finally remodeled my grandmother's old house, adding a jacuzzi tub, marble counter tops and updated plumbing.

But for me, no matter how nice the house, when I visit I always look out at the corner of the property where the old outhouse once proudly stood and recall being a scared little boy trying to act like a man as he trekked alone to the wooden structure.
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    Oh Lou, reading this blogs brings back fond memories of Grandma's house. The out house was not one of those fond memories - I hated to use the bathroom when we were there. But I loved her giant size homemade biscuits, fried chicken and gravy for breakfast with cooked hot apples. The Well Water made our hair and skin feel so soft! Feather beds and pillows so cozy. Thanks for the Memories. Hugs, Joy
    4145 days ago
    I guess I am a old timer. LOL I was born on Christmas Morning in a little house build too close to the rail road tracks. Back then you had Midwifes. My Mom woke up early and told Dad, to wake my 2 brothers and one sister and rush them up to Grandma's and bring the midwife back. It was Christmas Morning and my brothers and sister wanted to open their gifts but there was no time for that . Panic! Dad, told them a Baby was coming and they could come back and open the gifts later. They cried and cried saying "We don't want no baby , we want our presents". They got both but not in the order they wanted. LOL I was born into a house with a out house. We got indoor pumping when I was about 4. It was scary to go to the bathroom at night and it stunk in there! The holes were too big even the smaller one and I was always afraid of falling in. LOL
    Thanks Lou, for reminding us of what we have to be thankful for today.....many things!

    Have a nice day , Paula
    4145 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/11/2009 11:35:55 AM
    I remember my Grandparents out house too. I don't remember actually using it, but I remember to this day where it sat and how it looked.
    4145 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    Oh, how I remember outhouses. We never had one in our house, but I do remember going to the beach and how I hated going to the bathroom in them. UGH...but for a little city girl that was unusual.
    But, now when dh and I go hunting, of course, I have to use the outdoors. As long as I have a log to sit over, I can do most anything... emoticon
    I loved your blog, though because I actually LOVE outhouses...at least the reproductions, and have two in my bathrooms that sit on the floor (crescent moon on the door and all) that hold extra toilet paper.
    And I can relate to your chamber pot too. I own 2 of them...not that I ever used but I loved them so much (I love antiques and such) that dh got me 2 from eBay and I use them for planters in the bathrooms.
    Thanks for this blog, Lou!

    4145 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5741646
    I remember the old out house and my grandma had before they got indoor plumbing. She was an amazing woman, she worked very hard sunup to sundown. and never complained. she took what small resources she had and made do... if she couldnt do something she would teach herself how... thanks for the blog it brought back a lot of memories.
    4146 days ago
    Ah yes...the good old days of Girl Scout Camp. We roughed it for a week during the summer, and occasional Friday night stays at the camp, complete with the two seater, spider-webbed out house. That was an experience I do not think I will ever forget. LOL

    I am so thankful for all the "modern" conveniences we have today! I am so glad to be living in this day and time!

    4146 days ago
    All I can say is God knows where to plant us in history because I'd have been in deep doodoo (kinda literally). lol This city girl does not even go camping because I do not pee in the woods. My idea of roughing it is a hotel with no remote for the TV. lol I love reading about that slice of your history, though!


    4146 days ago
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