The Glory Days of Outhouses

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A few days after the turn of the new decade, I made a commitment to myself that I would beginning the first few minutes of my waking hour to write 20 things I am grateful for. 

Somedays I struggle with coming up with new and different things despite the fact that I have many, many things to be thankful for.  I have, however, noticed a recurring theme: several times a week I am thankful for indoor plumbing! 

As I began to explore why this may be, childhood memories began to stream like a Hulu Original through my mind.  Memories of creeping down a set of very steep stairs with no railings in the dark of the night and sneaking out onto the grass to take care of business. 

I grew up in the country. My father, with the help of relatives, built our first home. It was small but was adequate for our family of five. Although we had a washroom with a concrete floor, sink and shower, there was no indoor toilet. But my father happily provided our very own outhouse.

The problem was that it was located about 150 yards away from the house and around the side of the barn.  There are no streetlights, of course, in the country. I thought it­­––and I still do––very unreasonable to oblige a young child to trek unaccompanied in the dark to the facilities. If the occasion arose, I simply refused. Thus, the short journey. 

While I cannot recall being afraid of the dark as most young children are, I feared the country critters that reigned in the night, like a skunk or racoon, or possibly an escaped cow. (I had an irrational fear of cows.)  Without even a flashlight to guide my way, it was even more scary. Then there was the possibility I would stumble and fall in! EW!!

Having to endure the use of the outhouse for the first nine years of life until we got a “real” bathroom indoors, it’s no secret why I am continually thankful for indoor plumbing. 

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