The Joys of Plumbing

English Orchards. My first home. Dad worked in the orchards for Mr. English. I remember the outhouse.: a 3-holer. One of them was a smaller hole so kids wouldn’t fall in! Using it in the winter was not fun. At night we used a slop jar that had to be emptied daily. During the day we had to go out. Seats were cold! In the summer, I had to deal with a rooster. He would chase me all the way from the house to the outhouse. I’d slam the door shut and when I was finished I’d call for mom. She’d come out with a broom to shoo him away so I could get back to the house. He was really mean. Only place I liked him was when he was served on a plate! The first inside toilet we had was when we moved to Cable road. I was 7 ½ years-old and fascinated with the flushing and not having to go outside. Good thing we had a good spring and all that water! We had a tub in the bathroom and a shower in the basement.
Grandma & Grandpa Thayer had an outhouse, too. Every spring it had to be whitewashed. Grandma said it was so we could see black widow spiders against the white so we wouldn’t sit on one. I got to “paint” when I was still pretty young – young enough that I thought it was fun. The house never did get an inside bathroom. There was a toilet and tub and sink in the storeroom, but after grandpa died, grandma didn’t want to spend the money to have them installed.


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