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Thank goodness for indoor plumbing

Published August 06. 2011 09:02AM

This may be a subject that will make some of you uncomfortable.

It is a subject that is not normally discussed in public, but it is a fact of life.

And because this is a morning paper, some of you may have already visited the place I am about to talk about.

The bathroom.

We have lived in a half of a double for almost 40 years and these types of homes do not have large bathrooms.

There are advantages to a tiny bathroom.

It is efficient to clean. I can put towels away, clean the bathtub, scrub the toilet, shine the sink and windex the mirror without moving my body more than six steps.

We will never have to think about downsizing our bathroom.

It is hard to find clutter enough to set on the 2 12 inches of vanity counter space.

Raising four children, there was no loitering in our bathroom.

Using room spray was a necessity.

We like to think our small bathroom taught our kids respect, patience and the benefit of planning ahead.

No matter what the size our bathroom is, I am just thankful it is inside our home.

Growing up on a farm in South Dakota many years ago, our "bathroom" was its own room. Not only that, it was its own house. It was an outhouse.

My parents did not get indoor plumbing until I was about 9 years old.

I still have memories of that old biffy.

It was an all wooden structure with one adult and one child-size seats. The floor was also wooden and it had a small window to let in light. No worries about fresh air vents. They were everywhere ... under the door and through the wooden beams. There was always a breeze coming up through the two toilet seats.

Our outhouse was a good distance from the house and surrounded on three sides with lilac bushes.

It had no heat or electricity but we did have a silver Eveready flashlight hanging on the wall for those nighttime visits.

Yes, we always had a copy of last year's Sears and Roebuck catalog close at hand.

My greatest fear I can remember from our privy was spiders! In my young mind, our farm had the largest species of daddy long legs even known to man.

Many years ago when my husband first visited my family, I took him to my grandparents' farm. I will never forget the look on his face when I jokingly asked him if he wanted to see the inside of the old outhouse that still stood among the buildings.

The look of fear was unmistakable.

I kidded him by saying, "Honey, it not a lion's den. It's just an old time John."

He took a deep breath and held it, then slowly opened the door, stuck in his head to take a quick look-see and shut the door tight.

He was kidded about that for some time. Guess you can take the man out of the city but you can't take the city out of the man.

Our bathroom is small and will never be considered a master show room, but I will always be grateful for the sound of that flushing toilet.

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