Houston, Texas, July 13, 2008 (with ongoing revisions)
I started this blog because I think people should write. It’s so easy to do it in a blog, where you can write and go back, edit, and improve or add to what you’ve written. It’s just a lot easier than sitting down with a journal and a pen, and more fun when you can add pictures and whatever else.
I write a bit of everything here. If someone likes what I have to say, great! If someone is shocked by something, maybe they’ll learn something. If people get offended by something I write or put here, at the very least, they’ll have to think. And my opinion is this: those who easily get offended have probably never done very much thinking.
Besides my opinions, I’ve written about places and events that have been part of my life. I’m especially attached to my old hometown, Dorrance, Kansas, and count as wonderful memories, the years I spent in Greece with the Air Force.
My dad was always a quiet man, and I wish he had told us more things about his life than he did or had written them down somewhere, so I think getting down some of my own experiences will be a way for some of my family to know me better.
I know I have some strong feelings on some issues, but only if you could live a life in someone else’s shoes, would you probably know what makes them tick. But when you have gotten beer bottles thrown at you and called ‘fag’ enough and had to run for your life from three bashers only a block from your own place (for anyone who’s worried about it, nothing like that has happened to me for a long time; I just have never forgotten it), and been denied rights that so many people want to claim are somehow special rights (for one, if you didn’t know it, gay men still cannot give blood, as if they are the only ones who could be HIV+ and with all the tests they have to check blood these days), then I say it’s high time that you get on your soapbox.
And that’s what I’m doing here, along with whatever else comes to mind, because there’s a lot more to write about than just issues.
August 18, 2008
So where did the name for this blog come from? Actually, there was no planning to it, but in the end, it seems an appropriate one. A friend of mine has had a blog on WordPress for more than a year, and, though I had thought about trying to do one, I had always thought that there was too much “techie” kind of stuff to know to be able to have one. On the spur of the moment, I decided to go to the WordPress page; it asked a few questions, like your email and a little bit more, but it also asked for a name for the blog. I hadn’t even contemplated that before that moment, but I knew that I didn’t just want to put “happyguy2185” or something that somebody might use for an email address. Why it came to me, I don’t know, but I just wrote down “triptotheouthouse”. I knew no one else would have something like that.
Now that I’ve been doing this blog for awhile, I realize what an appropriate name it is for my blog because I wanted to write in part about some of the days when I was growing up on the farm.
Actually, when I was a very little kid, we still had an outhouse; we called it “the toilet”. It wasn’t exactly a short trip out to the toilet, especially on cold mornings. We finally got an indoor bathroom when I was about five or six. (This was about the middle part of when Eisenhower was in office; you do the math.) I remember the folks must have ordered the toilet, tub, and sink from Sears Roebuck because the truck brought it, and those fixtures stayed out in the front yard for awhile until the room which was going to be the bathroom had the plumbing and pipes and whatever other connections and carpentry work finished.
My grandma, who lived in town, even had a toilet; she called hers “the backhouse”. Some people also said “the john” and “the can”, which people still use for bathrooms and restrooms. There were other less savory names these little buildings were sometimes called, among them were “the shithouse” and “the shitter”. I’m sure that’s where the derogatory term to describe a lot of nasty places, “the shit hole” came from, which of course referred to the place inside where you sat down. Nice people that we were, we just called it “the hole”.
As best I can remember, we always had toilet paper in our toilet, but I know that some people also used other paper. Some people would put old Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs in them to use. The paper in those big books was pretty thin, so I guess it didn’t scratch too bad.
I think some people even took the newspaper with them to read while they were “doing their business”. When “the job” was done, then they could use the newspaper for something other than reading.
And that’s why I think “Trip to the Outhouse” is a good title for my blog. Most things I write on here can be disposable. If I put something I don’t want any more, it can go down “the hole”, and I can delete it. If someone reads something they don’t like on here, they can zip up their pants, and go do their “job” somewhere else. Or if someone really likes something they read on here, they can spend as much time in “the outhouse” as they want.
I’ve already found that I enjoy writing, editing, and adding to this blog. It has a little of the flavor of doing yearbook pages, like I did quite a few years ago.
I hope one way or another you find something here that you might enjoy during your “Trip to the Outhouse”.