Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Although I never walked 2 miles to school uphill through the way...

...I did get a lot of first-hand (so to speak) experience with an outhouse as a teenager.

When my Dad retired from the Air Force we moved back to rural Ohio to build a house on some of my Grandma's land. While we were building it we lived with my Grandma.

I was getting ready to head into high school. You know that song "Summer of '69" when all the kids were running around playing guitars until their fingers bled?

I was trying to survive no indoor plumbing or running water.

Her kitchen had a metal pump for water, a big 'ol wood-fired stove was how she cooked, baths and showers were taken at relatives or in a tin tub. And there was a two-seater outhouse by the barn.

I kid you not.

I thought I was going to die because nothing smelled quite as ummmm.... ummmm.... "ripe" as the outhouse in the summer. I thought that I had reached the pinnacle of misery. Being a teenager AND having to survive the outhouse in summer.

But then it got worse. Because we got to experience the outhouse in winter.

I remember waking up and burrowing out from under about twenty blankets to see my breath fogging the frigid air. The big dilemma was to try to hold it until morning or to choose the lesser of the two evils when that was impossible - the trip to the outhouse OR using the chamber pot.

I almost always chose the chamber pot.

Let me just say that to this day when I see chamber pots used in country chiq decor I still shudder. I see nothing remotely charming about them. One lady I used to know used one in the kitchen for bread storage. Needless to say I never ate a sandwich at that house.

When our new house was finally done and we moved in I actually used to get out of bed in the middle of the night just to pee...even if I didn't have to.

Wow, what luxury. What impossible luxury.

And today I read an article about the charm of outhouses, and how people in various states are even putting on "Outhouse Tours" so you can "enjoy" the experience.

Charm? Charm? What charm!!!!!!?????? Enjoy!!!??? ENJOY!!!!!!!?????? Pu-llleeezzze.

The only possible good that could come of an outhouse "experience" is ummm... ummm....

...well dangnabit, I can't think of any possible good.

Hmmm.... still thinking.

No...nothing. Not one teeny, tiny, eeny, weeny good thing at all.

Oh wait! I've got it!

Look at all the money I can save by not going on Outhouse Tours!



Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

It's too early in the day for this kind of laughter isn't it? I'm going to wake up my children carrying on like this!! Girl, you are a riot. Loving your blog and your humor....

Mardell said...

Oh yes! I remember using a chamber pot when we went to stay the night w/my grandma. Although she had a bathroom, she thought it would be easier for us to use that in the night instead of going downstairs. When her house was first occupied it didn't have a bathroom. She was all about chamber pots. All three of us (my two brothers & I) would sleep in the same bed ~ Little Rascal style.

Then there was the time (1975) my parents were remodeling our home. We slept in tents all summer & rented a port-a-potty. Well, we thought we'd be done by summer, but soon the snow began to fall & we were STILL using that dang thing! I remember that same exact feeling during the night ~ do I get up & go or just try to hold it? (I was 11 yrs. old.) Scraping snow off the seat...brrrrr!!!!

My MIL (in her back room), there is a two seater. It's actually attached to her house. Imagine that lovely aroma so close to the kitchen!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

My dad told us stories about outhouses in His area of PA was a mining town and there was a lot of illegal strip mining going on. One morning they came out to find their outhouse had collapsed into a hole because someone mined under it --imagine every one's surprise!

My PA grandmother had gotten plumbing by the time all her grandchildren came along, but she still cooked on a wood fire stove and often had chickens running in and out of her kitchen...ol

Christina said...

That is too funny (maybe you can laugh about it now?) makes me think of the camp I went to as a kid. Now they have flush toilets, but back when I was a camper we had to use an outhouse. It had toilet seats and paper, was a hole in the ground, stinky, poopy outhouse. When I was a young counselor at the same place, I had to clean them each day ( :) ), the seats, sweep out the concrete floor. Nice! I tried to have fun with it. Also, at night each cabin had a "White Suitcase" or as you named it, a chamber pot, so that the kids wouldn't have to go across the creek in the dark, in the woods in the middle of the night. Had to clean those, too. And believe it or not, I LOVED that place.
Here at home though, definitely needing the running water and toilets that flush!