Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The little house out back

When I was young I was accustomed to using an outhouse. The first home I remember had an outhouse. We lived on 2nd North in a small house. The outhouse was out back.

When we go to the cabin near the Conejos River in Colorado, we either find a bush or use the outhouse. That outhouse is a double seater. What is up with that?

In the picture below you can see the trail that heads up the little hill toward the little house behind the bushes. Don't look at the shed on the right.

My brother Kent and his wife Betty were at the cabin for a family gathering. Not too many people were there when the dreaded event happened.

A little background first. The outhouse is only the top of the operations. The place where the business is delivered is in the ground. A hole is excavated that is sufficiently deep to hole a whole lot of ... well stuff. This particular hole was dug by using a backhoe. Since a backhoe does not make 4 vertical walls on the hole, but makes a more crescent shaped hole, it extends beyond the boundaries of the little building that sits on top. To cover the hole more completely some composite boards were placed over part of the hole and then the little house is placed on top of that.

On this particular day, Betty was going to the little house. She must have had just a bit to much bounce in her step. The board that covering the hole just in front of the door gave way and Betty was helped by gravity to lodge herself in the hole in the boarded cover. She was dangling by her arms at her armpits. She was rescued from her predicament when her shouts for help were heard.

I remember telling Elma Pagett about the incident and she accused me of fibbing. I could not understand how someone would not believe me when I was telling the truth.

Here is a picture of Betty in the little wagon we made, but you can see the little red outhouse in the background. That is where it all happened.

More outhouses

When one uses an outhouse, one must learn to bear certain things. Privacy, and comfort are two of the first victims. But even then, the problem is not as bad as in this outhouse in Houston.

And from inside:


  1. I remember that day, which Betty will never life down or forget! We are glad it wasn't any worse.
    I'm surprised at all the different outhouses. Some I prefer not to take advantage of. I remember hearing that years ago there were places to go in Sweden on the street and you could see the peoples heads and feet!

  2. Actually, Betty's outhouse incident was a little different. The platform that the outhouse was sitting on was concrete. It must have been poured too thin. As Betty was leaving, the concrete slab failed and fell into the hole beneath. Betty was left treading air. She wasn't about to let her feet touch bottom.

  3. Poor Betty. I remember when that happened, and how humiliating it would have been had she gone all the way in the hole. We giggle about it now, but I know it really wasn't too funny to her at the time! Thank goodness someone heard her little cries for help.

    I remember using an outhouse like restroom while visiting the valley with my Mom and Danette loved to get me scared. I think she knew that I didn't like using the outhouse type toilets because of how big and dark they were in that hole.

    She told me that the poop monster was going to pinch my butt. I was in the middle of taking care of, well "busienss" and missed the hole because I could visualize a little green gremlin pinching my back end. Crazy Danette! lol

  4. Oh, and I want a ride in the wagon!!!


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