Friday, May 27, 2005

the outhouse

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Jed heads past the outhouse at Garfield Farm Museum. It is, of course, non functioning. I laughed the first time I toured the old inn. The costumed tour guide spoke of the daily activities of living in the 1840's as if it was ancient history. Sorry to tell her that many people in this country lived a very "primitive" lifestyle up until the 1960's for sure, and some still do. Although I was raised a city kid, summers were spent in Tennessee, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Outhouses were a way of life and never much bothered me except at night or in a rainstorm. I'd rather walk the path in the dark than the alternative.....the potty jar! I imagine that my childhood experiences are why I love adventure to remote places with more primitive peoples.


srp said...

My grandparents didn't have an indoor bathroom until the early 60's, Bible Grove, Illinois. The little Methodist church, Shouse Chapel, had an outhouse even longer. As a child, the scariest thing I remember about them was being afraid I would fall in. Oh yeah, and the fact that Black Widow spiders seemed to really like outhouses as home base.

Zanne said...

OK....Bible Grove sounds like an absolutely fantastic rural place to visit. So I'm going to check it out on mapquest and make plans to do a road trip to SPS's grandparents stomping ground. Hopefully, it's not too far from here. And then I can do a field trip report...what do you think?

Zanne said...

Oops, I meant SRP's grandparents.

srp said...

It's just south of Effingham, and north of Flora. Both grandparents are now gone, but there are uncles and cousins running the farms. One cousin has a woodworking business as well, makes absolutely wonderful cabinets and furniture. Another has built an underground bachelor house with stone from the creek bed and recycled wood from old farm houses. And yes, it is very, very flat.

Bluefrog said...

Yes, yes the spiders. How do I say this delicately? When I was a young child and had to use the two-holer while visiting my gradpa's farm, I had an absolute fear of being bitten on the tip of my modesty. The Girl Scout Camp where my daughters go every year has outhouses and I still have that fear. Your writing has this ability of dredging up long forgotten memories. I will most likely regret leaving the comment about the spiders after I leave.

I don't know which I like more the writing or the photographs. Sometimes it one or the other and sometimes it's a toss up.
Warm regards,

KatKit13 said...

Growing up in rural eastern Ohio, smack dab in the middle of a large Amish community, outhouses are pretty normal to me.

I love driving by, to this day, and looking for the phone lines ;) They hide them in there... if the main breadwinner of the house has to be accessible by phone for his job. They have to get permission from the Bishop of their church to have them.