As I passed the “little building out back” I offered a small thanks that I don’t have to make the long walk to the privy during the winter.* I will say, however, that sitting on a china bowl doesn’t offer the same atmosphere for thought as a trip outside where one is kept company by spiders and beetles. There, seated on a warm piece of maple worn smooth by friendly butts, you forget about the sound of ventilator fans. Instead you can listen to the sounds of birds and the wind rubbing branches against the board walls. With no wi-fi, catalogs and old paperback books become interesting again. Or you can just sit and watch the light change through the cracks and knotholes. And when you’re finished there is no loud announcement of a flush toilet, only the sound of a squeaky hinge and a gentle bump as the door is closed. Ah, simple pleasures!
*In the interest editorial honesty I will say that we have indoor plumbing and it’s been a long time since I used an outhouse. But there are some things we remember from childhood with fondness even if they might lose something when experienced as an adult. And yet…..