A Little Red Outhouse …by JoAnn
There is a lot to be said about indoor plumbing, and all of it is good. Whoever came up with the idea of putting a flushing toilet inside the home was a genius. And I’ll bet that he was very tired of racing outside in cold or rainy weather in the middle of the night to use the outhouse!
But there are also many good things to be said about the outhouse. We had a small red one when I was young. Before I was born, that little outhouse was the only toilet to use. My dad and mom bought a tiny, three-room house when they married. He spent some time building onto the house, adding a bathroom, laundry room, and two more bedrooms. So I guess he and mom used that outhouse for quite a few years. By the time I came along, the bathroom had been well-loved.
The new indoor bathroom didn’t mean the little outhouse was out of commission, though. Oh no, not at all. We were instructed to use it whenever we played outdoors and not run back and forth through the house. My dad also used it while he was working long hours outside. That outhouse was also a blessing if there were ever a plumbing issue to arise indoors and we could no longer use the bathroom.
My daddy took pride in everything on our property. He wanted the outside of our home, and all of the grounds to always look neat and inviting. The little outhouse was no exception. He proudly gave it a fresh coat of barn red paint every year. He kept it clean and smelling decent too.
Bugs! There was only one problem with the outhouse for this little girl. If I opened the door and spotted a spider, cricket, wasp, or any other insect, I would scream at the top of my lungs and wet my pants. Not wanting this to happen, Daddy sprayed for bugs and ensured the little red outhouse was always clean and bug-free just for his little JoJo. Ha, ha.
He made the little red outhouse so nice and clean. It became one of my favorite places to play! It became my general store. I would collect old cans from a trash bin in the back of the house and place them all around the inside walls of the outhouse. It was extra special if I found a can that still had the label. I would play for hours, pretending to shop for groceries.
To my knowledge, the little red outhouse is still on that property. It’s been 13 years since the property was sold to a distant relative after my parents’ passing. I surely hope it was kept. I would hate to see it gone if ever I get the chance to visit.
It’s funny the childhood memories we hold dear in our hearts. Of all things to remember but an outhouse. It was more the love my daddy gave to it that I remember and his love for me. But it was a cute little outhouse, and I do miss it. I miss everything about my childhood home. This time of year always brings up fond memories of my beautiful parents and all the beautiful things they gave me. Even a little red outhouse!
Dale Divine says:
Good one JoAnn. When I was growing up in the hills of Kentucky all we had was the outhouse. I can remember using the old Sears Roebuck and Company and Montgomery Wards catalogs because we couldn’t afford the nice toilet paper. At least they were printed in black and white thin cheap paper. LOL
Frank Shortt says:
Joanne, we also kept the outhouse for emergency purposes. Dad continued to use it even after they got an indoor bathroom. He seemed to like the old ways, although, he did use the bathtub and the sink in the new bathroom. When my wife and I got out of the Air Force in 1964, Mom and Dad still had the outhouse. My wife, when she saw the facilities at the old homeplace, went immediately into culture shock!
Pat Wring says:
My mother had an outhouse when she grew up in Pleasantville, N.Y.
She moved there with her sister’s and parents from New York City in 1922.
That was quite a change. Indoor plumbing was naturally in New York City.
I remember it was in the woods away from my grandmother’s house.
Recall playing around it and sometimes used when playing outdoors.
That would be in the 1940’s. Memories.