simpler times

musicteacherJune 20, 2013

Obsessing about all these choices got me thinking about my best friend in 6th grade (Smokey Mountains). We spent the night at her grandparents and enjoyed the afternoon swinging on grapevines (from one side of the ravine to the other) and picking teaberry leaves. We had dinner on the screened in porch - homemade bread and watermelon- which was just about the best meal I had ever had. The bedroom was wallpapered in newspaper - mostly the funny pages. Talk about bedtime reading. Going to the bathroom at night was exciting because we got to go outside - to the outhouse. They did have running water though - a very long pipe connected to a natural spring trickled in the kitchen sink 24-7, then ran out through the floor of the house and on down the hill. I didn't ask where they showered.
We had regular plumbing ( 1 small bathroom for 6 people) but we kids preferred the river. We used to take our shampoo, soap and razor down to the river in the summer. You haven't lived until you sat on a rock washing your hair while schools of minnows tickle your ankles. That water was so cold that 4 hours later your skin would still feel cold to the touch. Makes me kind of homesick.

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Those days are not actually gone, just relocated. They still exist in Wyoming, Montana, some parts of Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska and the Dakotas. But, please keep it quiet, we don't encourage people to move here. Spoils the view.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:47AM
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My grandparents lived in a house with a pump in the kitchen and an outhouse from 1938-1965. They had lived in houses with plumbing and heat prior to that.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:06AM
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My home was built in 1884, and didn't get indoor plumbing until 1925 or so. Judging from the middings we found digging out the fish pond, I'd hazard to say the Necessary House, was about 40-50 feet off the back of the house. We even have references in the title abstract about legal access to the well after a divorce proceeding.

I've lived the lifestyle you described as a kid at summer camps in the Blue Ridge mountains, but I'm glad that now, I don't have to think about taking a bath in a creek or walking to the outhouse in the middle of a Nebraska winter!

Always ;-)
occasionally still gets to relive pioneer days during power outages

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 10:32AM
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