Fifty Steps To The Outhouse

Charlie and I as the outhouse was being built. The seat actually faced the road so you could wave at people as they drove by.

Or so… actually, I probably never really counted.  But it was off in the woods a little way.  The thing is that we didn’t actually finish the walls on the outhouse that first year either.

Dad got up first in the morning and the rest of us just waited for him to restart the fires and take the chill off the basement.  You could hear him moving around, building up the fires in both the wood cookstove and the potbelly.  You could only see him by the glow of his cigarette and the occasional light from the open stove doors.

Once he had his tea and cigarette he would make his way to the outhouse.  He was the first each morning to make a path from the house, through any new fallen snow to the privy.  Since the walls weren’t completed, neither was the roof.  So dad would have to first shovel of the snow from the floor and sweep it off of the “throne”.

Now think about that a moment.  That’s one cold toilet seat!  Unless you detach the seat and bring it inside.  That’s right.  Just behind the potbelly stove we had a large nail in the wall where we hung up the toilet seat to warm by the fire.  So when you went to the outhouse you actually grabbed your coat, the hot seat, the roll of TP and then you headed out.

Generally, this worked pretty well except that sometimes, when the fire was really hot… you burned your ass.