Outdoor Plumbing

Some days are just more special than others. This day is set aside as the day we got outdoor plumbing.

There are three of us kids. We were born in the early sixties. Yeah, I’m old. And yes, I am the oldest.

I was born on an army base in Georgia. It was a birth that probably caused my mom to consider ever doing that again. I will write about it another time. It’s a story I think my kids would like to know. Of the three of us, I was always the scared one. Come to think about it, my birth was probably part of the reason why.

We lived in Georgia for my first seven months until we moved to my dad’s hometown north of Chicago. We stayed in a huge and very old house that my mom called the Old Viking Home. Her parents, my grandparents, were part of the caretakers of the property. So we stayed with them for a bit. I’m a little confused as to the actual purpose of the home but I believe at that time it gave shelter to homeless people. Men, I think. But I could be wrong on that. See this is one of the reasons I should have written down all of my mom’s stories. Hence, the reason I write for my kids.

We stayed at the Viking Home for a few months. We had moved to an apartment by the time my sister was born. She was born twelve days before I turned one. So every year we are the same age for twelve days until my birthday.

We were both quiet girls. I think of my sister as the shy one. She was also a climber. I’m sure when Mom plopped me down I pretty much stayed there. Not my sister though. She was a mover. I was the shaker…from being afraid of everything.

See! I’m afraid I’m going to fall off Pike’s Peak.

I cannot recall what floor we lived on but Mom would have to drag us down the stairs to the basement of the apartment building with all the laundry including the loads of cloth diapers too. Once down there, she’d plop me down and then have to retrieve my sister from the stairs that she was climbing.

All in all, I think our little family of four was a quiet family of four.

When Mom was with child again, my sister was only a few months old. They were practicing Catholics which meant they weren’t practicing anything…as far as birth control was concerned. I’m sure it was tough for my mom to be pregnant and still have to haul us girls and the laundry down to the basement everyday. Cloth diapers don’t wait, you know.

I don’t recall any stories during that next year except for when I was two years old and burned my leg. I will have share more of that little story another time.

We were born in the era of you don’t know the sex of your child until they are born. So it’s a fun guessing game for nine months. You are carrying high, or you carry low. You crave certain foods. You get heartburn. Who knows all the crazy old wives tales that were also added to this guessing game. And there were a lot of tales and superstitions during that time period. Especially coming from the older generation, my grandparent’s generation.

But little did we know how our lives would change with this next baby. Our quiet little foursome family would never ever be the same again. But it was good.

When mom went to the delivery room, on July 3rd, only fourteen months after my sister was born, she wasn’t playing the guessing game any longer. I’m sure at that point all she cared about was get this baby out.

So finally when the doctor held up her new baby, he happily announced, “Helen, this one has outdoor plumbing!”

And so our lives were forever changed. Mom had her little firecracker with outdoor plumbing.

My brother is amazing. Amazing that he’s never grown up! He’s a little boy in a man’s body. Still full of antics and much silliness. He lives in Neverland, North Carolina. You know, with Peter Pan. I wrote about him earlier this year when we were in Florida when my dad was sick. We kids shared a hotel room together. Ahhh…..the memories I will never forget…although I’ve tried. Just kidding. He has a serious side too but it only lasts about 30 seconds before he has to lighten the mood with a joke or some type of bodily noise.

We love him. He’s the gift that keeps on giving and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Today is his birthday. It’s a little sad as it’s his first without both of our patents as Dad passed on March 29. My sister and I already experienced this in May. And it is kind of tough. But it’s also a day of rejoicing! We have each other!

Happy Birthday, Dan.
I love you so very much.

Enjoy this day. Enjoy your family and your children. Cherish the memories of time long gone. Hopefully, it was time well spent. ♥️


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