Monday, March 3, 2014

What It Was Like Growing Up In A Small Town In West Virginia In The Forties And Early Fifties

My Mom & Dad always had plants in pots on the front porch, the side porch, and other areas. Before the first frost came they would bring them in the house and put them on a table in my room. They had done that for years with good results but one year my Mom kept noticing that some of the plants were dying and she could not figure out why. One morning she walked in my room and caught me peeing in one of the flower pots, she was not happy.
Now for my explanation, we did not have an inside bathroom, we had an out house. At night I had a potty in the bedroom and it was stored under the bed. I don't have a picture of the one we had but it looked like this.

Turns out she was talking it outside to empty it into the outhouse before I woke up some mornings.
An outhouse was a primitive toilet that was seperate from the main house, or building. It did not have a flush handle, it was not attached to a sewer. Outhouses commonly built in rural areas and mostly constructed of wood with a seat inside over a trench which held the waste.

This was what the outside of an outhouse looked like for those of you that never had the good fortune of ever using one.

This is what the inside looked like. I would wake up the potty was gone, the wind was howling and the snow was coming down. I would decide I was not going outside, the flowerpots became so convenient. From that point on she did not take the potty out until I was up and took care of my business. I never had an indoor bathromm until I moved to Maryland when I was thirteen years old.
After my daughter was born and we would go back to Cass to visit my Aunt & Uncle they still had an outhouse. Om our first visit with my daughter Martha she said Dad I hve to go to the bathroom. I said ok follow me. When she seen what it was like all she could say was ugh. She never forgot that experience. Such was life in the forties and earlty fifties when you lived in the countrey.

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