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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, July 29 2001

Outhouse

The "outhouse" or "little brown shack out back" is an icon that probably few of us can still remember. Pat and I had our memories nudged on the Fourth of July when we attended a family gathering on a farm in Clearfield County. The 150-year-old farmhouse where my mother and her 9 siblings were born is still standing and so is the outhouse. I noted that it has one big advantage over modern bathrooms. It has two holes, one high for adults and one low for children. So, if during a time of concentration, a youngster pounding on the door and yelling in a panic, "I have to go disturbs mom or dad" he or she can simply invite the child in for a moment of relief.

My first experience with an outhouse was from the outside and was very frightening. We lived on Metro Street in Nanty Glo and I was five years old. My father was one of the first to purchase his house from the Heisley Coal Company and he was the first on Metro Street to install indoor plumbing. So by the time I was old enough to use the outhouse, my dad had converted it into a coal bin. Nevertheless, that didn't prohibit me from joining the gang of boys when the cry echoed up and down the street, "The honey-dipper's coming. We all swarmed around like flies as the tank truck pulled to a stop. Several workers got out and soon tipped an outhouse off its foundation. One of the men removed a long pole with a bucket attached and went to work. I was so fascinated by the sickening sight that I didn't notice one of the men coming toward me. He reached his arms out as if to grab me and said, "I am going to throw you in." He let out a devilish laugh as I whirled around and ran all the way home. In retrospect, it couldn't have been too frightening. I continued to watch from the safety of our house.

A year later, we moved to a farmhouse that had no indoor plumbing. The outhouse was a three-holer. Mom, dad and junior could all go at the same time. Having three options, though, caused me problems. More than once, I wet myself before I could decide which hole to use. I don't think I am indecisive. Well, maybe. Another drawback to this outhouse was its location, 100 feet from the house. On cold winter nights, it sure was great to have the slop-jar in the hallway.

Little Brown ShackWhile surfing on the Internet this past week, I came across the song, "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back," by Bob Wheeler. I am sure that anyone who has had experience with an outhouse will enjoy the song, which should be playing as you read this. If it isn't, you probably aren't using Internet Explorer or Outlook Express to read it. If you have Netscape (which refuses to stay user-friendly or keep up with web technology) you'll have to click the musical notes icon in this paragraph.

Martha Stewart's way vs. "my way"
(collect all 19)

Martha's way #16: Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces. My way: Leftover wine?

Martha's way #17: If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a nonslip grip that makes opening jars easy. My way: Go ask the very cute neighbor to do it.

Sent by Bonnie Turner

Christianity is a religion of paradoxes:

The way up is down; the way to get is to give; the way to be first is to be last; and the way to live is to die.

Sent by Zan
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