Grandpa’s Outhouse … (Old Folks’ Home Note)


Grandpa’s outhouse was different, a sort of addenda to the place.  The house had indoor plumbing; it even had outdoor plumbing.  In that space where an ordinary detached garage would have sat, a previous owner had made it a cement-like building to allow for minor metal work.  Inside was a sink with running water, a small fire pit and a window area. 

One could live in that “garage,” which was spacious enough for two cars and then some, and grandpa sometimes did.  It was a house that had up to five women at times and the one bathroom of an ordinary house.  He would sleep there, then go in the house for meals and then go off to visit friends or build something leaving the house part to the women. 

While it had a sink, it was all the plumbing there.  There was, however, an outhouse “bathroom” in a side area, which may have been for a worker or such in the once upon a time when decorator lamps were built there.  Regardless, it was rather unexpectedly there, and one day, maybe 70 years ago grandma thoughtfully said, if there was a need, use it. 

For future reference, every city-bred kid needs a visit to such a thing at least once.  The old folks’ home underfoot decided to revamp (or something) the plumbing.  Water shut off to the entire building runs eleven hours on Wednesdays presently.  And, “making do” to an extent is quite like an experience with the outhouse, if one’s unable to leave. 

It always helps to have background. Thumbs up 


Old Folks’ Home “Views” … (Why ATI)

         Dover 298 - Copy

The place underfoot supposedly has a “view” (something the residents are supposed to enjoy seeing).  If one stands in front of the place, straight ahead is the top parts of the string of old houses across the street.  To the right some more houses sit with backside there for viewing.  They are not “lovely homes” although not what’s classed “trashy.” 

Then there’s the side to the left.  (That’s supposed to be the view.)  It’s a fairly big river that is always a muddy brown with ripples that show that it’s flowing.  In what’s sort of the left front corner of the view is a bridge that the government plans to tear down, and it does look rather beat up.  There’s constant traffic, often trucks, on it. 

Due left (across the river) there’s a coal yard (a barge’s usually there, too) and often a freight train goes snaking past the area a bit more distant.  It’s all to be ignored, since what one is supposed to enjoy is the side of a ridge that’s to the right and covered with (distant) trees and a shiny skyline (above the left) that is Cincinnati, Ohio.

While some of this has been said before now, it merits the repeat to explain that nothing in sight suggests uplifting viewing nor what some call worthwhile activities.  Elderly means still alive, and while some are happy to just exist, life isn’t much without doing something worthwhile.  Enter some kind of volunteering (like support Aviation Trail). 

Seems like life should have a purpose.Coffee cup 

Point Of View … (“Rust Belt”)

      A Dover Wright 1a

Where someone is “coming from” is important with anything, and as a rule little of that is ever known.  It’s possible estimations of a few things can be established, but little can be sure.  Wherever someone is “coming from” is his/her “point of view,” of course.  It seems reasonable to recall that one point of view here is being in the “Rust Belt.” 

There are four American towns and two European ones listed that are “filing” places.  The two European towns are just ancestry and not too pertinent.  Those four American ones, however, are a life and are highly pertinent to everything published.  They’re in three states, all essentially “Rust Belt” and “old first territory.”  None are huge or tiny. 

The biggest town is Cincinnati, Ohio, and more or less the big regional center.  Only if the entire region is counted would it be something like two million people.  The city’s not near so populous.  The current location’s Covington, a few blocks away in Kentucky.  Dayton, Ohio, is city “long-lived.”  Terre Haute, Indiana, is city of long visiting. 

All four towns have a few things in common, e.g., all four can be considered “river towns.”  There is no seacoast and little navy.  Nautical terminology’s a foreign language at this desk even though the rivers are used for some boating purposes.  Some things are very different amid them.  And, this has been written for those interested in viewpoint.

Circumstances help make people what they are.Airplane 

So, It’s Spring In The Northlands

      Dover 204a

In the area underfoot, daffodils tend to grow and bloom as spring is about to start.  It is usually before the actual start of spring by some days.  Then, frequently, it gets a bit colder (like freezing) and rainy.  The flowers usually get beaten down.  It’s always so sad seeing that.  It does happen that they aren’t completely gone, which is nice. 

At the place underfoot, there is a drop of an entire floor near the main doors, maybe ten feet away, a basement entry for staff.  Several items sit in the space, a tree as well the daffodils; they are hard to miss.  At The House in the City they were just a small clump near the quince bush for more than thirty years basking in afternoon spring sun. 

The ones at the “current house” are not a bright yellow as those of the past were and are in an out of the way shaded spot, but they still bring a fond smile and happy thoughts when considered.  If they, too, last a generation and more doing nothing but quietly living as possible, they will be another everyday sign of the marvelousness of creation.   

There are negative connotations with that family of plants along with positive ones.  And, there are many “signs that spring is here” including other blooming.  Much is made of some of it.  Well, at both places mentioned, the daffodils were planted by someone else.  So, people long gone left a message for those who came by later:  new life is here. 

Odd things can make a house a home.Coffee cup 

“The Rust Belt” You Say?

      Dover 20a

Although not precisely the same thing, what today is named “The Rust Belt” is pretty much what more properly would be called “The Great Lakes Region.” In days long past, it was the industrial heartland of the United States.  Because of the lakes, it’s a special place on earth apart from recent industrial history and invention developed thereabouts. 

The oldest of today’s people lived through a sort of glory era that started ending after World War II.  With it, many people kept hoping things would get better but life, times and the world changes things.  It is pretty clear that the factory jobs that brought the mountain folks and Europeans (in earlier days) are gone.  Today hopes are different. 

While it is true that “end of an era” if one wants to call that such caused many people (and businesses, too) to find homes elsewhere, millions of people still live in the Rust Belt.  For many, for various reasons, it wasn’t practical, sensible or reasonable to leave.  They look to things like new ideas, restorations and renovations.  Some is good. 

Technology (inventiveness) may be centered elsewhere these days, but it is still a little too soon to “write off” the Great Lakes area and the surrounding region.  There’s some effort and there are young people still there.  It will be different from the past.  And, it would be good if it were called “The Great Lakes Region” (or something similar). 

One must think positive to do something.Fingers crossed 

Autumn In The Northlands

     Dover Holiday Thanksgiving 76b

Far, far away in places such as New Zealand spring flowers and the like are the order of the day.  Spring promises an annual hopefulness for the days ahead.  By autumn the hope dwindles and even ceases in the human spirit as the “take” and accomplishments of the year are largely if not totally established.  There may be more of something somewhere. 

Such is the spirit descending on the northlands at present since autumn is at hand.  The Ohio Valley is no exception, and human thoughts drift toward snow as well as holidays a long way off yet.  One noticeable difference at the senior retirement community (old folks’ home) is that move in and move out also dwindles just like with the “real world.” 

While the birds may be a-twitter over something related to the new season that isn’t quite here yet (there is some of that taking place), and some of the trees (stuff like oaks and maples, not anything like tropical palms) that cover a hillside in view just vaguely have a faint yellowish cast, the weather’s not freezing and holidays are months off. 

The really noticeable item is that by now the lessening of daylight is evident even though that’s only a minute or so morning and evening.  Some things can be sensed as much as clearly seen.  There is less concern about cars at the old folks’ home as travel is minimal and it seldom gets really bad for long periods, otherwise it’s “northlands,” too.

Time passes at the same rate all of the time.Clock 

Labor Day; It’s Fair Season

      Special 21

As is mentioned just about annually, one news topic in the place underfoot at this time of a year is a county fair in the place of personal origin, so, a way body and soul were bent for decades.  It takes a week to deal with just entry matters, like get them there and back home as well as look the situation over in the days in between those actions. 

Most places Labor Day weekend is just a long weekend.  The time is good for doing little or making sure all’s well in regard to any children being in school.  However, There is some sense in scheduling temporary carnival-like things on long weekends; there’s an extra day of activity.  For some it’s a hectic rush; for some a backyard gaze at the sky.

There’s nothing at hand to enter in said fair (or another, even if there were interest in another), no chance of even trying to get something together (not even cookies) and to get there wouldn’t be easy.  Even if there were something, the fairgrounds is about sixty miles away.  Comparatively, any “doings” in the place underfoot are “uninteresting.” 

While whatever’s planned for the immediate area around for Labor Day is guaranteed to be “uninteresting,” the “hectic rush” engrained years ago is in full bloom with nothing to have as an objective.  And, to be fair the “uninteresting” may very well be of interest to many.  The whole business, however, doesn’t lead to a “happy holiday” for everyone. 

Mere circumstances reverse things.Coffee cup