Thursday, January 7, 2016


Monday's story at one point featured a thunder mug.  Pictured here is our chamber pot, complete with lid, unlike the one sold by Eli.  Yes, we have one.  An unused item, to be sure, but there it is nevertheless.

Writing about this appliance sent me on a trip via the Wayback Machine as my friend Chuck calls it.

In 1942 we were living in Canon City, Colorado.  We had all the conveniences of running water but the flush toilet was situated in its own building at the alley.  Generally speaking I believe it was the rule that one relieved himself before bedtime and he was expected to perform next in the morning on rising. This would not work for me now.

In June of that year my parents made a trip to Owosso, Michigan where the father was a delegate to the Quadrennial General Assembly of his church.  They boarded us with their close friends Eldon and Leah Bolander whom we referred to as "Brother and Sister Bolander."  Kiddies did not under any circumstances call their elders by their first names, nor did they refer to them that way.  The Bolanders had a daughter, Grace, who is three years my senior.  My sister Vee is three years my junior.

A distinct memory involves doing dishes after the meal.  I recall a chastisement I received from Sister Bolander on one occasion when it was my turn to dry.  I had set down a plate in the stack of dried dishes when the hostess stepped beside me to inspect the work.  "David," she said, "this won't do.  This dish is crying.  See, there are still tears running down its face."

And now to the chamber pot.  There was a slop jar in the guest room.  It was kept under the bed and its use was explained to us.  Yet we were strongly encouraged to avoid the necessity of availing ourselves of its use, for if it were utilized it should have to be emptied properly and scoured clean first thing in the morning.  I think I never used it.


Grace said...

Yeah, I'm really glad I was born when (and where) indoor toilets were taken for granted.

Secondary Roads said...

Unless I was sick, I used the privy. That seat would be very cold in the middle of winter.

vanilla said...

Grace, memory is a little dicey but I think we had the indoor facility in operation by the time I was six, maybe seven.

Chuck, not a good thing, but a necessary one. Oh, I think we called it that, didn't we?

Ilene said...

I have no memory of that! TeeHee.

vanilla said...

Ilene, of course you don't, Sprout. Lucky you.