Winning Prizes

No, we didn’t win the lottery this week, but we did win two unexpected prizes. I learned that not all prizes are what you want or need.

I heard my husband speaking rather harshly to someone on the phone. “No, I don’t want any free gifts!” and hung up the phone. I wondered briefly what that was all about, but decided it was just another possible scam. Later in the day, I picked up the phone and Walgreens was calling to tell me that my husband’s name had been picked in a drawing and he had won a Blood Glucose Monitoring System.

Since he had recently purchased new wheels, a fancy walker complete with a seat, wheels and brakes. I assumed they had put his name in the pot with that expensive purchase. When I told him what he’d won, he felt a little sheepish for hanging up on Walgreens. Since he had to pick up one of his many prescriptions, he also brought home the Monitoring System. Out of curiosity at the value of his prize, I found they sell for around $19.95 and on up. This was interesting, but of all the health problems my husband, Dick, has to deal with, diabetes is thankfully not one of them.

Still, a prize is a prize, but we were happy we didn’t need this one!

Cruise life jackets287

The same day I received a letter from the Caribbean Cruise Line with a boarding pass for two for a two day Bahamas Cruise. It included a travel credit voucher for $1,300 that could be used to purchase a fabulous “Stay and Play” vacation. Combined with the Free cruise it could be used to extend the vacation to Florida and the Bahamas. I needed to respond within 48 hours by calling a toll free number to be one of the first of the 500 participants.

This boarding pass looked like the one we received on our first cruise to the Bahamas 28 years ago. It appeared legitimate, but I didn’t bother to call for a reservation. At the ages of 86 and in poor health, I knew the trip was impossible for us. It did remind us of the happy time we had on our first cruise…a cruise Dick only agreed to go to please me. Yet, he was up at the crack of dawn to take hundreds of picture. He was also the one to admit of all of our six cruises, this one was his favorite.

Bahama cruise

Our dinner companions on party night.

black dress288

Wearing my little black dress,
I was ready to go to dinner

We couldn’t take advantage of the wonderful offer, whether it was the real thing on not, but we did get our scrapbook out and relive that happy experience. Looking back, we were so glad we actually went on that first cruise when we were both healthy and able to climb stairs and take strenuous day trips to exotic islands. Now, many years later, we had these pictures and were able to enjoy the trip again.

Dick in suit and tie ready for dinner

Dick in suit and tie ready for dinner

Learning to use the computer

 

Thirty years ago when I first tried using a computer I was sure it could help me write books faster and easier. Unfortunately, the computer I bought came without understandable instructions. All I got was some “gobbledygook” written by a person who already knew how to use a computer.

Since I’d already spent a lot of money for this marvelous machine, I vowed that it would not prove I was stupid. I spent days tying to read the instructions but gave up and started pushing buttons, keys or whatever was on the keyboard. By the end of the week I finally pushed the right button to print and came up with a document that was totally underlined, in italics and bold print. But, I could read it. Hurrah, I’d done it! Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember what I’d done! I kept believing in myself and wrote down each successful  action I took. Finally I came up with a formula that I understood on simple things like how to turn the computer off and on and type a simple document.

Now, you ask, why did I tell you this sad, but heroic story? I still don’t really know how to order a program from a company that wanted me to do certain things without telling me how. The one I just successfully purchased at 50% off almost gave me a nervous breakdown. After I’d successfully downloaded Face Off Max, it wanted me to put in the SN in the correct spot so I could actually use the program. These instructions were as poor as my first computer manual.

But, there was help from a qualified technician for $38 dollars. (I had actually clicked on the Help at the top of the page, so I was surprised about the paid help.)  I finally was instructed by Face Off Max to look for further instructions about the SN that was forthcoming on my email. It was a long complicated address with numbers and letters. I finally saw what SN meant printed in italics in small print with “Product License keys (serial numbers) This enlightening information was in a box above Face Off Max license. Next to it was the serial number which I had to put in the right place to enact the program. It was now clear that I had to have a license to use my new program.

Over and over I typed the long string of letters and numbers in the right place but nothing happened. Finally my computer consultant told me to copy and  paste the numbers. Sure enough, it worked.

All the time I was desperately trying to get my new program to respond to me, the agent who promised to help me was sending me messages: what did I want to know? I tried to answer his questions, but as I said at first, all I wanted to know was what on earth was SN and where to put it to make my newly downloaded program work.

To help raise my blood pressure, a program called Pay Pal started pestering me about joining it. I had just given the new program my credit card, and it had been accepted by Max, but Pay Pal wanted me to rank it by how easy it was to sign up for and use. I had enough trouble with the $38 expert wanting me to evaluate his performance. At this point, he had done nothing to help me and further upset me by asking questions.

The next day I had another message from the expert who again wanted me to rate his performance. There was a note that mentioned if I didn’t give it a better  rating than 50%, it would hamper his pay. There was no place to put “You didn’t help at all” so I had to start writing notes to explain my predicament. I didn’t want to damage his record, but I’m a very honest person, so I explained the best I could why I could not rate his help.

So, I told him that I was an 86 year old woman who wasn’t familiar with ordering programs that didn’t give clear instructions about how to fill them out.

I don’t know if my explanations about why I couldn’t rate him helped, but I finally thanked him and commented that he had been very patient in trying to help me. I further comment that as a teacher, I would never have asked my students to rate my performance from 1-10 about how effective my teaching methods were for them.

I hope Tom’s career hasn’t been ruined by my ignorance. Now that I can get into the program and see how difficult it is, don’t think I’m going to give up learning it.

I didn’t reach the age of 86 by giving up on anything.

Clutter

Dick believes the telegraph will return and he’s ready..

Is there really a good reason to clutter?

  If the sentence, “I might need that someday,” was spoken by a person with a Depression era  philosophy, I bet there is a clutter-er!. I know someone who has used that excuse a thousand times over the last 64 years I’ve been married to him. Meet my husband, Dick.

 In his behalf, he simply can’t make up his mind about what to do with that “thing.” He doesn’t have a favorite article to clutter, he just can’t find the right place to put anything.

  He was a newspaper reporter the first 25 years we were married, and the habit of always having a pen or pencil handy with a notebook small enough to fit in his back pocket was necessary. That’s the reason there were so many in his treasure boxes.

 Three years ago we had the carpet in his office cleaned, so I told him he had to move all the boxes and other “good stuff” off the floor. He did this graciously enough, but he deposited everything on the garage floor. Time passed. The things without boxes slowly scattered. No amount of urging, pleading or threatening helped. He just could not find the time to sort the mess.

In a couple more years, the carpet in his roomy office needed cleaning again, so the new assortment of “treasures saved in boxes” were heaped up on the sofa, the desk or a spot in the closet. There was no room for them in the garage.

 In the meantime, Dick’s  health became a problem, and he needed a cane to walk. Recently while walking through the garage, he became entangled with a telephone wire or some other treasure, and he fell hard.

 That was the last straw! He had wasted his time by not doing something with his clutter, and I called in the troops.

 My son, Mike, and his wife, Karen, are strict Anti-Clutters, and within an hour we had the garbage and recycle cans filled to capacity. We saved the pictures and a few other things like his old friend’s diploma from the University of Illinois. There were several boxes of telegraph cassettes which we also saved. He was a telegrapher at the age of 16 when the old telegraphers were called to server their country.

Dick was reading the Sunday paper while our activity in the garage was going on.  When he came storming out to see what we’d done with his “stuff missing from the garage floor,” he opened the garbage can lid.  On top,  was a yellowed clipping of a story he’d written in 1962 about a pioneer in Pleasant Valley.

 The files he should have saved but committed to the fireplace years earlier was a collection of his feature stories and some special news stories that appeared in the Phoenix Gazette or Republic Days and Ways over the eighteen years he worked for the Gazette in the 50s and 60s. These were the stories that should have been passed down to our grandchildren. Dick is a very interesting and often amusing writer. Besides, these stories could have been filed in the filing cabinet.

 The one thing I held on to was “Ten Commandments of Clutter” which he had carefully pasted on a piece of cardboard. The first rule was Stop procrastinating, II. Quit making excuses. III. Use it or lose it.  IV. Learn to let go. V. Be a giver. VI. Set limits, VII. Use the in-and out inventory rule. VII. Less is more. X. Keep everything in its place. X. Compromise. These rules came from a book by Stephanie Culp written in 1989.

 If he had practiced even one of these rules, it would have saved me years of frustration.

 

 

Squaw Dresses

squaw dress205We arrived in Arizona in 1953 when the squaw dress was very fashionable in the Southwest. Since I had been sewing since high school days, I decided to make one for myself.  Every major pattern company had a pattern available. While it was not difficult to make with the Simplicity pattern, it took hours to sew on all the rickrack trim. Gathering the three panels of the skirt was also time consuming. The dress I made was brown cotton, with a green yolk.

The fabric, squaw cloth, was specially made for these dresses, but fabrics of all kinds were used and trimmed with lace, ribbons, ruffles but the most used was rickrack in colors to set off the layers of the skirt and show off the contrasting trim.  If I had had a little girl instead of a boy, I’m sure I would have made her a dress just like mine. At that time my son was three years old and more impressed with cowboy boots.  Ruth talks to Mike

Although squaw (Indian woman)  is usually considered a disparaging term, this is the name of the dress that became popular in the 50s in Arizona. The term was so accepted, clothing manufacturers called these beautiful dresses  (squaw) by that name as well. Manufacturers of cloth even developed a special cotton cloth by that name. It was a strong and easy to sew fabric, and became very popular.

These dresses were also called patio, fiesta or Mexican and were popular all over the southwest and were suitable for almost any occasion. Since the skirts were the most time-consuming to make many women had more than one blouse to match, thus making it proper for many more occasions.

Concho belts and squash blossom necklaces were often worn with these dresses. I bought a silver Concho belt at an Indian fair at the Fairground soon after our arrival. It looked great with jeans or velvet jackets made in the Navajo style. It was years later that I purchased a pawned turquoise belt at Round Rock Trading Post on the Navajo reservation.trading pot217

We didn’t stop to shop for turquoise, but when I saw the beautiful belt for $200, I knew I had to have it. I don’t know how much the belt would have cost in Scottsdale, but it would have been much more. The unfortunate Navajo woman who pawned it also left her beautiful turquoise earrings there for $25. My new belt had  26 individual pieces of turquoise and silver that slid over a black leather belt. She must have been a bit larger in the waist because I took several pieces off and had a necklace and pin made using them.

When I looked on the Internet for squaw dresses, I found many  examples of dresses in different styles. Some sold on Ebay for  more than a hundred dollars. I was surprised they were still available. I even saw a squaw dress for an American Girl doll for $30. I noted this in particular because my granddaughter has four dolls with expensive wardrobes but not a single squaw dress.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have a Navajo doll I purchase at the Heard Museum in Phoenix years ago. It was made by a beautiful Navajo woman who grew up on the reservation and wrote a book about her experiences herding sheep and living in the traditional hogan with her mother, sister and brother. It has a lovely picture of Kaibah (Kay Bennet) on the cover. Her dolls all had the same manufactured face, one that resembled Kay. The doll is dressed in the traditional Navajo style with three slips, turquoise belt and jewelry. I’m so glad I bought the doll for $65 years ago because I don’t think I could afford it today.Kaibah222

The Heard Museum is a famous Indian museum  and market for authentic Indian art. It has an Indian Fair each year when Indians from all over the west bring beautiful jewelry, art work, blankets and crafts for sale. Since all of the artists are authenticated by the Heard Museum, I was sure I was getting the real thing. I have kept her in a glass case in my office and enjoyed her beauty for years.

She autographed her book on the back cover with, “May you walk in beauty.”I would like to add my wish to hers. May you walk in beauty wherever your path takes you.

Meet Katie

 

During my long life of living with cats, some  have done tricks. Well, maybe they weren’t exactly tricks, but simple games. My latest kitten, Katie, found her way to our house on her own when she only weighed a pound nine ounces. She has taught me to play “fetch the bean.”  A kidney bean is the right size. They’re sturdy and bounce drunkenly on the tile. They’re fun to watch twist and turn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Katie weighed a pound, nine ounces when she arrived.

Actually, I’m the one who tosses the bean down the hall, and she retrieves it for a kitty treat. She has been known to retrieve as many as eighteen beans before she tires of the game. If the bean lands in a spot that requires her to move something, she usually succeeds. She uses her head, paws and probably blows on it when the game is really hot. Sometimes she gets so involved in knocking the bean around and chasing it herself, she forgets about me and plays with it on her own. I don’t mind when Katie has her own game, but I resent it when she decides to chase the bean at night. Traveling beans make a lot of noise.

I don’t know which of us initiated the game, but there are certain rules we both abide by. She brings the bean back to the home base, which is the kitchen door next to the cabinet where the beans and treats are stored. If she fails to return the bean, she forfeits the treat. Katie feels it’s time to play anytime I stand on home base even if I’m putting a tea bag in the tea pot. She whines plaintively until I give in or she gets disgusted with me and finds another activity.

While playing, she keeps  watch over her shoulder to see if Seamus, the primary cat, is coming. She knows he isn’t allowed a treat, but I doubt if she knows why. He loves the treats but throws up shortly after swallowing them. She seems to understand the game is called off with his arrival. Even though Seamus is nine years old, his hearing is still acute to the sound of a bean bouncing on the tile. He understands there is a treat involved.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is my chair, Katie!

Katie is also good at playing “hide and seek.” This started the first time she ducked under a chair curtain and I said, “Where is Katie?” Maybe I said “Boo” when I peeked under the chair. But those words were clues that she was supposed to hide until I came after her and said the magic words, “Where is Katie?” So far, she’s the one who does most of the hiding, but if I don’t find her fast enough, she peeks out of her hiding place to see if I’m nearby. I know she is ready to play when she gets “that look”  on her face and slides out of sight under the chair curtain.

She has learned to turn a cushion over in my favorite chair to sit on the back or hide under it, but she is beginning to respond to my loud “no” instead of sitting there looking defiant. It doesn’t really hurt the cushion for her to sit on the back side of it, but I want her to learn that it’s MY chair.

Katie likes for me to nap on the couch with the afghan over me. That’s her invitation to come sit on my lap, well, where my lap would be if I were sitting. She doesn’t mind if I get up to do something else because she knows the afghan is free for her to snuggle under and take a nap alone. Cats love afghans.

When Katie first arrived, she stayed in Dick’s office until Seamus, the head cat, got acquainted with her. It took over a week for Seamus to agree to her presence, so Katie sat on Dick’s lap while he worked on the computer. There she felt comforted and safe. As a result of this closeness, she bonded with him.

When Dick took an afternoon nap and put his pants on a chair, Katie immediately sat on them. It was a lucky day for me when I found her sitting in them just as you see her here. I used the picture for a Christmas card with the line, “We’re tightening our belts this year.”

http://ruthsthomas.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Katie-christmas-118.jpg

We’re tightening our belt this Christmas!

A Teacher’s Memories

Ruth, 23 Second grade teacher at Franklin Park School

“To teach is to touch a life forever.” These were the words painted on a cup a former student and her twin sister gave  me when they took me to lunch last fall. Since it had been more than 40 years since the twins were in my seventh grade class, I felt the words meant something to them.

I graduated from Eastern Illinois University at Charleston, Illinois, in 1949 with a major in English. It was a time when the veterans of WWII were looking for teacher’s jobs. I was lucky to find any work, especially near enough Evanston and Northwestern University where my husband was completing his education in journalism. I was an instant teacher of second grade, and could have taught Shakespeare, but I didn’t know much about teaching reading. A teacher across the hall showed me how to print so second graders could read it.

By the second semester, I found that I was going to have a baby which was not in my plans. But Mother Nature prevailed and about ten o’clock each morning I had to rush to the bathroom across the hall and throw up. It was also at that time I started wearing a loose smock over my street clothes to keep the chalk dust an other school room hazards at bay. I thought I was being very secretive and clever wearing the smock, but one observant little girl said to me very quietly, “Mrs. Thomas, if you’ll tell my mother what size, she will make your baby some booties. Yes, I did get the promised booties. And, I did get through the year. Two months later I had an eight pound boy I named Michael.

I decided my experiences as a new teacher would make an interesting blog, especially after I received a wonderful and surprising email message this week. It was from a former student from the 1952-53 school year. I was an inexperienced high school teacher of 25 when this young man was in my English class. It was my first year of teaching in high school.  I taught English 1,3 and 4 as well as Spanish 1 and 2. That meant five different preparations each day. I was also responsible for producing the school year book. I was afraid I had gotten over my head in responsibilities. I also drove 27 miles to and from school each day and had a young baby at home. I worked very hard,  but I didn’t feel I had left any lasting impressions on my students.

You can understand why I was thrilled to hear in an email message from North Carolina University where he had been a history teacher 48 years that I was his  favorite high school teacher. This is a long time to remember any teacher, and I was mighty proud.

Not all memories of former students are happy.  Especially when I read in the newspaper that a father had shot his wife and daughter before shooting himself. This girl was appropriately named Kandy. She was a sweet special needs girl when I had her in sixth grade. In our school we had special education through fifth grade, but after that, they were transferred to regular sixth grade. Although I didn’t have any special education to teach that level, I learned by doing. I never found out why this father felt his special daughter and her mother would not be able to get along without him, but she was a very happy girl in my class. Her mother had told me in a letter that I had helped her daughter through a difficult transition period; that I had been a psychiatrist, nurse, mother and last a teacher. Notes like that mean more than anyone but only a teacher could understand.

I also remember a little Mexican boy named Tommy whose father was a dishwasher in a restaurant. At Christmas time he brought me a sprig off a tree he found on the way to school. I put it in a glass of water and gave it a prominent place on my desk along with some brightly wrapped gifts from other students. Years later, Tommy married and had children. One day he showed up at my home with his little girls and a big basket of flowers. He told me he wanted his girls to meet his teacher. I commented that he had many other teachers along the way. Why did he say that as though I had been his only teacher. His reply was, “But you were the only one that cared about me.”

A few years later I invited Tommy to speak to my high school class about his success in life, and he did a good job. Finally I told my class that he had been in my sixth grade, and they were most impressed with his words. Tommy took me to lunch after class, and he proudly led me to his new Cadillac and politely opened the door for me.

There was a pretty girl in my sophomore English class that liked to write poetry when it came to “journal writing time.” I don’t remember that it was especially good, but it gave her a lot of pleasure. She was not a well liked girl for reasons I never discovered. I gave her a little book to record her favorite poetry in, and she always had it with her. In a last note to me she wrote. “Thanks, again for being you and letting me be myself.”

 I have lots of notes and pictures of special students, but it had never occurred to me to tell anyone about them until now. There have been times in my 22-year-teaching career that I have needed happy memories to get through difficult days. During the years I have taught nearly all grades from second to high school. I spent the last ten years teaching English at Scottsdale High School. Then I took early retirement and started writing books for young readers. If you were to ask me which level I liked the best, I’d probably say the one I was currently teaching.

If a special teacher in your life is still alive, surprise her with a thank you note. It will mean the world to her.

 

 

Butter or Margarine?

I buy both oleomargarine and butter because my husband likes margarine, but I love butter. They both perform the same tasks, like spreading, baking and cooking, but there are some differences.

Butter has been around forever, but oleomargarine didn’t make its appearance until 1869, when a Frenchman with an impossible name created it for soldiers and poor folks. It’s made from refined plant oil and is 80% fat, the same as butter, but (butter helps fight cholesterol by burning fat. While oleo goes to belly fat.)

Through the years there was a problem between dairy farmers and manufacturers of oleo. Oleo was cheaper. The outcome after the dairy lobby got the government’s help to bring about laws that said oleo couldn’t be sold unless  it was white, thus helping the dairy industry. The manufacturers of oleo fixed the problem by having a packet of yellow dye put in with the oleo so customers could color the oleo themselves.

On the farm where I lived, we had lots of  butter, so we sometimes sold (traded) our butter at the grocery store. We also traded, eggs and freshly killed chickens for staples like flour, sugar and other products we needed.

While we had plenty of butter and cream, it didn’t come without a lot of work. I knew because I had many tasks to  perform in the long process of changing milk into butter. For me, it started with getting the cows from the pasture and filling the huge water tank full of water for the cows and horses. While bringing in the cows may sound like a simple task, cows have always been appreciated for their milk, not their smarts.jersey cows

Usually at milking time, our small herd of seven or eight cows were anxious to be milked.  On some occasions I found them at the end of the big 15 acre pasture. On stormy days they sometimes scattered, and it was my job to herd them toward the gate, across the road, and into the barnyard. I was lucky if the cows cooperated. They are not especially dangerous unless they have new calves. I have felt uncomfortable when a cow lowered her head and started in my direction. They have horns.

Milking time came at five o’clock. Daddy believed cows had to be milked at a regular time in order to get the most milk. I don’t know how long it took to milk each cow, but some of them were easier to milk than others. I tried to learn to milk on several occasions, but I could never get my fingers to work as they should. Milking wasn’t something I really wanted to learn. I had enough to do when Daddy brought the three or four steamy buckets of milk to the screened porch where the separator was installed.separator223

I have always had a secret hatred for that machine! It was very hard to turn the crank that fed the milk into the business end of the machine. I became winded before the first bucket was sent through the disks that took out impurities and sent the cream from one spout into the five gallon cream can and the milk into a different container. Mother and I took turns turning the crank until we had separated all the milk.

The physical activity was only the first reason I hated that machine. After everything was finished, I had to take the “thing” apart and wash it. The disks had hair and other impurities sticking them together and there was an odor I can still smell today.

That wasn’t the end of the milking project for me. In the spring we usually had a few young calves that had been weaned from their mothers and needed to be fed milk from a bucket. For a girl no bigger than I was, I had a hard time keeping the calves from bumping the bucket out of my hands.

On Saturdays, Mother and I took our cream cans and several of the neighbors to the creamery in Mattoon. A town of 18,000 at that time.  Since Mother never learned to drive, I was in charge. Driving wasn’t difficult in good weather when the gravel roads were dry, but a pickup truck without a load in back slides around and is difficult to drive in icy, or muddy roads.

glass churn224

Glass churn

Now that we had the cream in town, that was not the end of the segment of getting butter from rich, Jersey milk. We still had cream that needed to be churned before we had that delicious butter that tasted so good on hot biscuits and so many other delicious foods Mother made for us.

We had two kinds of churns. One was a gallon glass container with paddles connected to a handle. If the cream was sour enough, it didn’t take long to churn it into butter. We also had a crockery container that had a long arm with crossed boards at the bottom. This was an up and down process and was used for larger amounts of cream. If cream was too fresh, we would get whipped cream, not butter.big churn225

Even as I remember all the work necessary before we actually got that delicious butter, I still prefer butter to oleomargarine.

 

 

The Other Half of the Bathroom

Among all the inconveniences I experienced as a child, the lack of indoor plumbing was the worst. Mother was fond of saying, “What can’t be cured, must be endured.” I couldn’t argue with that philosophy, but I didn’t like it. However, we weren’t the only family whose bathroom was separated from the house by a long, drafty hall down the garden path. Nearly everyone who lived in the country had outhouses, and a lot of those who lived in small towns did as well.

There are probably more jokes and stories about the little house out back than any other subject. Everyone wants to give them a nice name, but they were commonly called a privy or an outhouse. They were almost always set some distance from the house for sanitary reasons.  Nothing could be done to disguise them, but hollyhocks often grew around them since they were tall, sturdy plants that didn’t require much care.

Lincoln outhouse207For both rich or poor, even a famous  President, all outhouse were the same small windowless buildings with one door. This well-painted outhouse is on the back lot of the Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois. A bench with two or three holes cut in it was the only furniture. Sometimes the holes were different sizes to accommodate the bottoms of its customers. The only ventilation was a small half-moon cut near the top, but it didn’t help much in summer. The heat was intense in that little room, and so was the smell. Even a shovel of lime after each use didn’t help. Flies flocked to the outhouse and were a terrible nuisance as well as a health hazard.

But if summer was bad, the winter was even worse. These little building weren’t built with comfort in mind, and the cracks that let in a little air in summer also allowed snow to drift through in winter. It was sometimes necessary to sweep the bench off before sitting down. The wind whistled through the cracks and up from below. Winter was indeed a poor season to spend much time in the outhouse.Old Catalog

Our bathroom didn’t come with soft rolls of tissue paper we use today. It came with the Sears Roebuck catalog which sometime served as entertainment for extended visits. I usually looked at the ready to wear dresses on my visits, and I got a lot of good ideas for ways to improve my wardrobe.  While the slick colored pages were the prettiest, they weren’t the best suited for the function they were now intended.

Bodie outhouset212Outhouses were prime candidates for mischief at Halloween since they were easy to turn over. That’s what boys bent on mischief  did. Sometimes they even moved them off the premises and put them on display in prominent places.

Yes, stories about these necessary little buildings are humorous, but getting up out of nice warm bed to take that drafty walk down the garden path wasn’t a bit funny.

This tilted outhouse was not the victim of a Halloween prank, we found  it in Bodie, California, in a ghost town where most of the buildings had fallen, yet many outhouses  stood the test of time. It looked like a community of outhouses when I saw it years ago.

In a small town of Gays, Illinois, there was a two-story outhouse for a grocery store with living area upstairs. It did double duty for the upstairs and downstairs customers. I don’t know how it worketwo story outhouse front211d because I only saw it long enough to take pictures of it.two story outhouse front210