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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

What do you remember about your Out House ?

Grandparents had no water & no bathroom in their house until about 1962. Out house was about 150 feet west, down wind of their house under a very large shade tree. Yard had big shade trees it was a nice walk to the out house. Hot weather you had to hold your breath 30 seconds and do a very fast dump then run fast to breath again. Never use slick magazine paper it smears the brown spot bigger. We had corn cobs after the corn harvest they work better than sticks. The worse thing was setting on a frozen 20° seat with 15 mph wind blowing snow through the wall cracks, do the worlds fastest dump then jerk your pants up.

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Greener Thumb
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Re: What do you remember about your Out House ?

Indoor plumbing is really the greatest thing on earth. I'm so glad I ever got to use an outhouse, I'd throw up every time I needed to use it. Not to mention if you ever needed to go outside at NIGHT to use it?? No way.
And I'd rather not get a raw rear from using catalogue or magazine pages either. If I had to go back in time and could chose only one modern convenience to take with me, I'd take indoor plumbing.

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Re: What do you remember about your Out House ?

My wife's family got indoor plumbing in about 1968-9. A cistern under the kitchen where water was delivered from a water tanker with a hand pump in the kitchen sink that was the water source. The sink drained to another cistern at the back of the house. The outhouse was about 100 feet from the back door. We met in 1971 so I never saw the water system or the outhouse in action but heard lots about it over the years. We now live in that house and cisterns have been filled in and capped and where the outhouse was grows great flowers and shrubs even fifty years later.
Paul F

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Re: What do you remember about your Out House ?

Oh you've set me off on nostalgic childhood memories. Our outhouse was a quite big one built out of brick, attached to the rear corner of the house. Yes, the proverbial brick-built s**t house. Besides the toilet throne it housed a huge copper wash tub. I think there was a gas burner under that but I don't remember. Can't imagine my mother hauling pots of hot water from the coal stove in the kitchen but maybe she did.

Anyway; my memory of it: I would have been about 4 years old. Dad had taken us to the 'camp' cinema that night, at the RAF airfield where he was stationed. There was was a jungle film full of scary wild animals I'd never seen before - leopards, tigers, pythons; you know the style . Later that night - it WAS a wild stormy night - I had to visit the outhouse. It's hard now, to believe they let me go alone but those were different times. Maybe they were glad of a few minutes by themselves. As I sat shivering on the cold throne the wind was howling & clattering around the house and I became convinced there were wild tigers outside, waiting to get me. I started yelling for help but of course nobody could hear me. In memory I sat there calling for ages but it really must have been no time at all. Eventually I must have made a run for the kitchen door but I don't remember - all I recall, like yesterday, is how terrified I felt listening to the howling racket outside my little brick shelter.
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

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Greener Thumb
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Re: What do you remember about your Out House ?

my outhouse memories are not from as long ago as y’all. in the fall of 1997 i lived on the navajo reservation (and got college credit for it). a friend and i lived with a pair of grandparents on the top edge of a mesa, no electricity or running water. the outhouse was kind of just over the ‘lip’ of the mesa, was slightly drafty (only a problem during the colder times) and the flies that would inevitably come had led to a significant population if black widow spiders under the seat. they were feet below, so no real danger, but you never forgot they were there! it was just far enough away from the cabin i was living in that the one time i got sick from a bad load of water we got in, the waddle out there was excruciatingly long.

the view out over the canyon when you left the door open was excellent.

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Re: What do you remember about your Out House ?

You have prompted some memories. I'll start with an outhouse that I didn't use. It was behind a one-room Oregon schoolhouse. My mother's youngest brothers were in the last "class." (Of course, all classes were together in that one room ;).) It seemed like ancient history to me because I was a kid but the schoolhouse and the two-holer out back (with a wall dividing it) must have been used about 20 years earlier, in the 1930's.

When I was younger still, we lived with my grandmother for a year. There was a bathroom in each of the 2 houses on the property but it was a fair distance between them and an outhouse in between. What I remember, other than the location, was the sunflowers that grew around it.

Now my own "little house out behind the shack" ... was built by yours truly when I lived in the sticks for 4 years. Like the shack (cabin), the little barn, and the chickenhouse/woodshed - the outhouse was built out of logs. Sturdy but it had a problem.

It was at a discreet distance from the cabin, across the driveway and facing into the woods, including quite a few dense young fir trees. That was a good thing because I probably kinda threw it together. I must have not been carrying my tape measure that day. Without some remodeling, there wasn't enough room for a door. That is, there was not enough room for a door to close when I was in there with my Big Feet ... since I couldn't see any further than about 10 feet because of the trees, I felt comfortable enough and never did put a door on it.

We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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