Portable sanitation equipment
Have you ever used an outhouse?
I went to my granddaughter’s soccer game. Her team, Pipeline Soccer Club’s 2006 Girls Black team, was competing. The game was a contested game that Pipeline lost 0-1 by allowing a goal in the late second half. With the end of the game came a strong call of nature. (I didn’t want to miss a come back that didn’t materialize.)
I made a mad dash for the portable sanitation equipment, better known as porta potty when the final whistle blew. While I waited for my turn, my thoughts turned to how accepted the offspring of an outhouse is now its known as “porta-potty.”
A little country house
My mother’s parents lived on a farm near Philpot, Kentucky from 1950 to 1958. Their house was a small four-room building. My parents used the smaller of the two bedrooms when we visited. We, my two brothers and my sister, slept on blanket pallets in the corner of the kitchen.
The house lacked indoor plumbing. We pumped water from a well and use buckets to carry it into the house. We heat water on a big, black potbelly stove and took sponge baths.
I said there was no indoor plumbing. When nature called during the day, we trekked about twenty yards to a small building with a single seat to do our business. This is where I first learned Sear’s had a catalog! At night, we would take a flashlight and journey to the outhouse or use the chamber pot, functionally the same as those mentioned in medieval stories.
The slamming of the porta potty door brought me back to the present. It was my turn. This porta potty had a single opening like my grandparent’s outhouse. They modernized it with a urinal style attachment and a toilet paper roll holder. (No Sears catalog in sight.)
The modern outhouse
My grandparents have been gone for over sixty years and with them their outhouse. Yet, the portable sanitation equipment, a porta potty, is filling the role in places where there are no fixed buildings to meet calls to nature.
As one who appreciates modern conveniences, the offspring of the outhouse is most appreciated at locations without a modern bathroom, such as at several soccer tournament locations.
The memories the outhouse image evoked grew to include wonderful remembrances of my visits with my grandparents. I hope to share some of them with you in future articles.
Are you old enough to remember outhouses? Have you used modern portable sanitation equipment?