Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wistful Wednesday: 1953

Well, you know not many people talk about it,  but everyone has to do it..sooner or later we were all potty trained. 

Apparently I undertook this training when I was eighteen months old in March of 1953.

connie 18 months old potty training

My potty chair was in the kitchen..next to the door that went upstairs.  I seem to be quite proud of myself. No screaming, only a big smile!  My doll must have been keeping me company.

There were four doors off the big old farm kitchen. The first a door to the front porch, the second door to the living room where the rocking chair was and all the plants were on a stand in the east window and where the big old heat register was in the floor where I loved to sit and get warm. My tiny bedroom and my parents bedroom were both off of the living room in the old house.  The third was the door to upstairs. We never used upstairs..flies were in the tall windows and the shades were torn, the curtain rods were crooked and the curtains were threadbare and each room had different linoleum on the floor and a different wallpaper on the walls. The steps going up had been painted white and so was the railing upstairs.   My Grandpa and one of my Uncles slept up there one time during harvest..but other than that we didn’t use it..and we were not allowed up there to play either.  Finally the fourth door to the big old room where my Mother kept boxes of stuff and where clothes were kept, and sometimes where we took a bath in a metal tub if we didn’t go to sauna. It was always cold in that room. Later in 1959 or 1960 that room was remodeled to make a bathroom and a sewing room. 

The outhouse..was just that out..in the yard…it was a cold, cold place in the winter, and a smelly place in the summer, where flies would crawl on your bare butt if you sat too long.

Sometimes we had toilet paper..sometimes not. Peach papers were pure heaven and my favorite kind of papers.  Newspaper worked ok too..I didn’t like the catalogues…too slippery. We did not have a chamber pot or what my Mother called a “piss pot” in the house either…if we had to go..we went out to the outhouse. Oh, what a luxury it was to go to the bathroom at school, the only down side was that you couldn’t read in the bathroom at school. 

I still like to read in the bathroom. We have a whole basket full of reading material in our bathroom. I am a short sitter compared to my other baby brother who lives next door.  If he is in the bathroom..it could take him a whole hour..sometimes if we go to see him and he is in the bathroom we ask “How long has he been in there?”..so we know how long we will have to wait, or if we are better off coming back later.

I was nine years old before we got a bathroom indoors. To me an indoor bathroom is a luxury, I know not many people think of it that way anymore, but if you are part of the “outhouse generation” you will understand what I mean:) 

Blog Signature

21 comments:

  1. We were lucky....the house in FL had indoor plumbing.....but....when we went to the family farm in the summers...to help with the harvest....there was only the outhouse and a pump sink......i guess i was about 7-8 when they added a "real" bathroom onto the back porch......ahhhhh...the good ole days...!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We got our "flushie" when I was about 5 or 6. Thanks again for the memory!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Larry spent part of his childhood in an outhouse:) Then it was sort of funny about 5 years ago he worked at a place that was within a few hundred feet of one of the houses he lived in that had an outhouse.
    I remember my grandmothers 'outhouse' back in England. She lived in an old stone row house, kitchen and living room downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs. The bath was under the kitchen table, and the toilet was in a stone little room out in the stone back 'yard'. The water tank for the toilet was way up high and you pulled a long chain to get it to flush.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so proud of you!

    Could be a flush toilet is why I was raised a city girl instead of a country girl. From stories I was born ahortly after most places out here (the "country") managed to have indoor plumbing. But my folks were settled on town long before I came along. Only the oldest houses in the neighborhood where I lived even had remnants of outhouses. I do believe out houses were one of the reasons my mother found country living quite unsettling. Well that and mud, animals, flies...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Boy I'm glad that we always had indoor plumbing! However, in the summer when we'd go stay a week in ND with aunts and uncles, we had to use a outhouse! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh yeah, I remember the outhouse - full of yucky spiders and their webs. I think that is where my fear of them began.

    Our farm house had an empty room for the bathroom, but it wasn't adapted for that purpose until I was about six years old.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Never had an out house other then camping always had an in house bathroom. I remember I had a pink potty though lol
    Hubby is a bathroom reader as well, sometimes I would yell to him , things like, you allright in there ? or Still breathing in there? or did ya fall down the hole ? lol it's a constant joke with us haha ! Have a great day !

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh yes, the awful outhouse. I had a horrible phobia about falling into the hole and being left there. That is one memory I do not cherish from childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not too long ago, my father used the 'facilities' during one of his visits... he ran out of paper and used one of the magazines on the floor...Hubby lost the cover to his Triumph magazine that day...at least it didn't clog up the works...teehee...

    ReplyDelete
  10. You betcha, Connie.

    I am grateful every day for indoor plumbing, the telephone and the frig. (we had an ice box till I was about 8). Those supposedly lucky people who have been born into a world of modern conveniences are really to be pitied..........they take everything for granted, cannot reminisce about the good old days (?) and, worse yet. have fewer things to be grateful for.

    Of course, I sort of hate living in spider web nest of tangled wires for every damned electrical device in the world, but (sigh) you can't fight progress.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I too was nine before we had 'indoor' plumbin' and remember well everything you wrote about. We've come along way baby!!!

    You look so 'stinkin' cute on your potty chair. You and your little doll too! :o)

    God bless ya and have a remarkable day sweetie!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. We did have a bathroom when I was growing up. but not at the one room school. Little boy's and girls toilets out back. I still have the highest mark achieved in the "see who can pee highest" contests held there! One of my few accomplishments in life, but one I am very proud of! :-)

    Especially after I beat out several of the top competitors, who were girls! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wish we had Peach paper guess it was because we didn't live around a fruit farm. Grandmother did have a "piss pot" for us to use at night. You sure make me laugh making us reach way back when.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was a city girl, but we had a lot of relatives on farms so I was very familiar with outhouses. I didn't mind the flies as much as spiders!! I hated the spiders. When something is crawling on your bare bottom and you are afraid of spiders, you never think it is a fly. ;)

    It was a very long walk in the dark to the outhouse at the one place we stayed. (No piss pots in the house there, either.) You had to cross the yard, go across the front of the barn, and all the way down the far length of the barn to behind the barn--skinny path with tall weeds in the summer...and spiders! I'd rather freeze my tukus off and go at night in the winter. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. When I was eleven my parents bought a resort and while there were indoor toilets we didn't have water so we couldn't use them, so we used the outhouse instead. One March when I was 16 or 17 our pipes froze or something happened with our septic and we had to use the outhouse again. I used the outhouse for number one but I refused to go number two in it... I drove to my grandparents to use their bathroom.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Interesting and informative post, Connie. I grew up in a city and never knew about outhouses until visiting parks which had them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. my 2 year old granddaughter started her training this week, oh the praise she gets! she also has big girl underwear with butterflies, she is so proud of them

    ReplyDelete
  18. I remember my grandmother's house in the UK having an outhouse, but luckily, they moved to somewhere with indoor plumbing.

    Lots of summer cottages in Sweden still have only outhouses. The one we hired two years ago was an example. This year, the house we are hiring has the luxury of a dry toilet indoors as well as an outhouse.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My grandparents (in MN) didn't get a real toilet until the late 80s... so even I have experience with the outhouse (I'm only 27). My mom grew up with no indoor plumbing until she grew up and left home. My grandma had a chamber pot for us to use only at night... and she still got it out when we visited even after they installed the toilet, b/c they don't have a bathroom... the toilet is just in the corner of her bedroom. Still doesn't have a bathtub. The old farmhouses just weren't made for that stuff. And her toilet now has plumbing problems so she doesn't let people use it for solid waste... only liquid. :) Luckily for me though, using the outhouse was always kind of a novelty... not a necessity.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That smell comes back in three seconds or less. We lived in a cleaned up chicken house temporarily and used the outhouse until we had a new house finished in 1959. Pink toilet and tub and sink. What a luxury. The water was cistern water though so we still had to carry water to drink.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie