Outhouse Memories

When I was young both of our
parents worked hard, but Mom was always busy with gardening, canning, feeding,
cleaning, sewing, baking, mending, cooking, and all the other activities that
limited finances required. At the time, I had a younger sister and an older
brother, and it seemed to me that they always had more attention than I did.

But after supper when the dishes
were done, Mom and I went to the outhouse together! I can see as clearly as if
I were there, every crook in the path getting there and the view from the
outhouse door. It was there Mom and I had some very special talks.

In the summer we would watch for
lightning bugs, look at the sky and listen to the sound of trucks on the
highway a mile away. Even in winter we would light the kerosene lantern and
head for the outhouse. Then we talked about the stillness of winter and the
beauty of snow. Occasionally we would hear a coyote in the distance, but I was
never afraid when Morn was with me.

If I had any concerns or problems
at school that day, that was the time I discussed them with Mom. She even
shared some of her secrets with me and that made me feel very special.

Considering the way things are
today, this may sound strange. But the outhouse will never fade as far as I’m
concerned. It will always remind me of special memories.

Leona Shadle

Back in 1955 a call
went out from the editors of the then
Weekly asking for readers to send
in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early
settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from
grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were
received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first
Folks title – My Folks Came in a
Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine
other books have since been published in the
My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to
make those stories available to our growing online community.