The old outhouse had become an eye sore. It had been falling down for a few years now. I think we were a bit sentimental about the thing. We had never really used it ourselves. At one time, I kept a pet goat in it for his house. It didn’t contain him very well, as he got out often. When we moved here in 1999, we brought with us a SunMar composting toilet. Walking outside at night in total darkness when nobody was home, but Nikita, our dog and me, was not something I had planned on doing. Before we moved in, I had located a composting toilet and we bought it and brought it home to wait for our moving day. So the old outhouse had become a storage shed after a short time of us living here.
During the winters, I’d worry that the snow would cause the outhouse to collapse. We would have to remove the snow if it had accumulated too much on the roof. It turned into a good spot to store gasoline cans though. Since we weren’t using it, it had become quite neglected and it showed. This year my husband went to work on cleaning it out. Moving items he wanted to the barn and his work shed. He took a few loads of trash to the landfill. Saved parts of old motors and other items that he decided he did not need or want to keep. He could have sold those loads for scrap metal, but didn’t want to mess with it. Just get rid of it and do it quickly.
Since the outhouse was built on a rock foundation, he was trying to push it over after he had emptied it out. It was a little too much for him alone. I contributed my strength to the effort and we did it. I was a little sad to see it go, but the time had come and gone for it. Every year we would have a huge amount of bees between the outhouse and the work shed. I’d run past them at times. Snakes lived underneath the outhouse. When you walked out past it, they would be in the grass and would surprise you. Not that snakes worry me. I am not afraid of them. It is just anything surprising you in the grass makes you jump. I am sure I surprised them too!
The stump next to the outhouse is another story. It has an iron bar, like from a bed frame, in it. The tree had grown around the bar. So it can’t be cut with a chainsaw like a normal stump. It is rotting. If I know my husband, he will figure out a way to get it down and out of there. I have been tracing the history of our house and believe it was a hunting camp from at least the thirties, maybe longer. So this outhouse may not have belonged to the original builder of our house, Daniel Loomis. I mean there was not even a hole dug under it. The hunters who used this property as a hunting camp were mostly city people and used hunting as an excuse to get away and party. They littered the whole property terrible with beer bottles and cans and liquor bottles. We have been cleaning it up ever since we moved here.
At first I did not want to take the old outhouse down because it gives us that ability to “grandfather in” having an outhouse. But does that really matter? It is just the two of us here and we do not have much company. If ever. So what did we really need an outhouse for? In the future, we may put a small outhouse building up and keep a sawdust toilet in it for convenience. Other than that, getting rid of the original outhouse was the right thing for us to do.
Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole