Friday, September 11, 2009

I Warned You...

A friend has an outhouse worth mentioning. I will not name her, as a branch of The Feds might swoop in and close her down. Actually, she already was told to get rid of it, but she didn't listen. I'm glad she didn't. She doesn't use it out of necessity; it is used for overflow, if you will. Whenever large numbers of people arrive it is used to prevent overflow on her current system.

I was over to her place recently and she was preparing for a soiree. So we cleaned and prepared the outhouse. It was inside a small grove of trees, surrounded by lush greenery. Several tall, pink-purple phlox stood alongside, as well as vines of purple Morning Glory clinging to the outside of its weathered gray exterior. Small wind chimes hung in the tree next to it. An old metal headboard, standing amongst the trees outside the door, held bric-a-brac.

We took everything outside and washed it. "It" being several items all having to do with outhouses; gee-gaws and doo-dads - artifacts of The Outhouse Culture. She has, outside the door, a metal washstand with a beautiful cobalt blue glass plate rimmed with suns and moons and stars. On it, a metal bowl rimmed in blue. Alongside, a cobalt blue glass candle holder. Inside were several photos, poems, and other sayings, all honoring the Outhouse. The window held two small stained-glass panels. There was a roll of paper, no, not that kind, real paper to write down your thoughts during your brief stay.

I was reminded of other outhouse stories, the chief one being the night, many moons ago, during which I attended a bonfire get-together at the home of a mutual friend with my old pal, JB. Our friend had an outhouse, out of necessity this time. JB went around back to use it, returning with the suggestion that perhaps it was time to dig a new hole, as his trip, he felt, had resulted in a net gain. This was not the case at my new friend's house. She is a responsible outhouse owner. I trust that my other friend, who also shall remain nameless, has since taken on that horrible task of digging a new hole. Digging holes is never fun, unless you're ten years old and are creating a new kind of fort in the pasture, forgetting that it's a pasture for cows and your dad insists it be filled in immediately. But, hey, we were all young once...

Back to The Outhouse. It had glass door knobs, which needed repair. So we repaired to her shed, which is a wonderful story for yet another time. Up on a shelf in the corner she had a metal box containing several sets and individual glass door knobs. Quite a collec-see-own (I did that because I don't know how to write collection in French). She even had a small light blue glass knob. We decided they needed to be displayed somehow. So we sat down at her outside table and washed each one. Then, voila! She realized how she could display them ! She had just recently bought a two-tiered round glass table. We took them inside and placed them on the top tier. She thought it would be nice to have them lit from below, on the bottom tier. Her mother's antique Tiffany-style lamp was too tall. Voila, Again! She had just bought, at a garage sale, a lava lamp. It fit perfectly and it had orange-red lighting. We went outside to clear some brush, and when we came back in it had started doing its thing. Very nice, indeed.

The outhouse has glass door knobs again and it is very pretty. I even used it before I left.

And that's my story about my friend's outhouse.


  1. Wow! I have never heard an outhouse sound so lovely before.

  2. Are you guys traveling incognito now? :)

  3. Apparently there is not a speck of artful imagination within my Soul. Growing up in a world of outhouses, I should have come up with something pleasing to the eye, now thinking: "What a Lost Opportunity". I'd like to visit this Blue Knobbed Beauty. Sounds delightful...where is it!

  4. NE Minnesota, where outhouses are frowned upon by the powers that be. Folks pay that no mind when they can get away with it, though. It was even more interesting than I could possibly describe. It was a thing of beauty. :)