It’s A Man’s World – The Cabin, Outhouses, Peeing & Bladders

I have the bladder of a camel.  Only now that I think of it, this may be factually incorrect as I’m not certain camels really do have exceptionally large bladders, for all I know, they just pee where ever they are because they can, and that I’m confusing this with the fact that they go for long periods of time without drinking water, but that first sentence has a certain power to it and it gets the point across.  Okay, moving right along here…

You may wonder why I bring this up.  You may be thinking, this is not the sort of post I am interested in reading.  You may be thinking I don’t care about camels or bladders in general and particularly not hers and anyway what has this got to do with autism?  Or you may be thinking – Oh DO get on with it.. or you may be heading over to google because now you want to know all about camels, or you may be..  okay, okay.

Allow me to explain.  Both my children have, it appears, inherited my ability to not pee for inordinately long periods of time.  I can also go for long periods of time not drinking any liquids, coupled with my excruciatingly slow metabolism I could basically out live anyone should I ever be stranded somewhere, like a broken elevator, where there was access to neither.  (Oh I know.  Welcome to my mind.)  This ability to go long periods without having to pee comes in handy: long car trips, aversions to using public restrooms, and sleepovers at our cabin.

I’ve mentioned our cabin before.  It’s a rustic, one room log cabin, which my family built (literally) in the late 70’s.  It has no electricity or running water.  There is a sink with cold water piped in from the creek that runs nearby, but I think we turned that off and since no one lives in the cabin, it’s not something we bother with.  My father dug and built an open sided outhouse just up the mountain.  The outhouse is far enough away that you definitely do not want to try to go there in the middle of the night or at any time of the day or night during the winter because of the snow drifts, unless you’re wearing neck high gators.  Trust me, post-holing up the mountain at 3AM, while trying to locate the outhouse because you forgot to bring a flashlight (and toilet paper) in below zero temperatures to pee is not a good idea.  I speak from experience.

Emma LOVES the cabin, as do I and Richard, who couldn’t quite figure out the allure the cabin held, was converted last summer when he had his first sleepover there.  Nic…  not so much.  Every time we come out here to stay with my mother, it’s a given that we will have a sleepover at the cabin.  Emma anticipates this event days in advance.  “Sleep, wake-up, sleep, wake-up, sleep, wake-up, sleep, wake-up, have sleep over at the cabin!” she will say upon our arrival and before we’ve even had a chance to unpack.  “Yes!” one of us will confirm, while Nic looks at us with a look of Please-tell-me-I-do-not-have-to-go-too on his face.  (That kid has way too much attitude for a twelve-year old.)

I think I look forward to sleepovers in the cabin as much as Emma does.  Last night was our designated sleepover night.  After unpacking our things, sweeping out mice droppings, cobwebs, dead wasps, opening the windows and airing the place out I realized I hadn’t peed before leaving my mother’s house.  “Hey Em, do you have to pee?” I asked, figuring I’d take her with me, since I was going to make the trek to the outhouse anyway.  “No!” Emma said emphatically.  So off I went while contemplating the positioning of the outhouse, its considerable distance from the cabin, how inconveniently located it was, how Richard AND Nic have never even used the outhouse, how only a man would build an outhouse this far away and while it was certainly positioned in such a way that one could appreciate the view as one sat in it, how many people were seriously going to do that when it was freezing cold or in the middle of the night?  No, I concluded, this was the sort of outhouse only a man would build and then never use.  And then I bushwhacked my way back to my family.

Which brings me back to my bladder and the ability I, and both my children, have  in not needing to relieve ourselves for hours on end.  It’s a gift, pure and simple.  One that I was particularly grateful for last night, knowing that not only would Emma not require me to accompany her up the mountain at some ungodly hour, but that I would not need to go either.

It’s important to contemplate these things.

Bucks – there were three of them, but I was only able to capture two, the third is just to the right.

View of our ranch

Emma heading up to the cabin

View of the Rockies from the cabin’s porch

Em heading home

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20 responses to “It’s A Man’s World – The Cabin, Outhouses, Peeing & Bladders

  1. Had to go to the bathroom before I commented…. I’m back now. I’ve got 3 states left to visit in the U.S. and Colorado is one of them and after looking at these pictures I look to seeing such beauty!!! The only elevation we had growing up at sea level were the draw bridges! 🙂

  2. Your cabin sounds nice. I love the wilderness. Although I alas have the bladder of I don’t know what. A dog on a walk maybe.,.. My sister-in-law has friends who have a cabin with an outhouse with stained glass windows (the woman in that partnership is quite an artist) Since they spend time there in the winter in Alberta where winter can be extremely harsh it also has a remote control seat warmer you can click from the cabin and wait for a bit before risking extreme posterior frigidity.

    • Posterior frigidity! Perfect turn of phrase!

    • Gasp! *Silence while I try to imagine sitting in an outhouse with stained glass windows and heated toilet seat.* Sigh.
      I give up. I can’t picture it. And the remote control to top things off..
      Our outhouse doesn’t have a seat, but a crudely cut hole in the middle of a plywood platform. The whole thing is rickety and as the years have passed, erosion has widened the hole so that you literally have to jump over it in order to stand on the platform and then carefully and very gently lower yourself onto the plywood platform. It requires balance, fortitude and focus. As I said, this outhouse’s design is screaming out “MALE OUTHOUSE” I want the kind with a seat. That would be nice.

  3. I love when you randomly post about peeing and stuff, because it is awesome. And I am not going to Google camel bladders all day, just to revel in the mystery.

  4. ha, I have gotten my boys to perfect the art of peeing into a plastic bottle in the back seat of a car. Oddly, it comes in handy much more often than I ever expected. There have been many a road trip when I’ve envied that ability….

  5. I think maybe a bonding with outhouses is genetic. Lest you and your readers are wondering how this could possibly be true, my sister Nina and I took on the project one summer when she was 10 and I was 8 of painting our grandparents’ outhouse at their cabin-without-water-heat-electricity near Estes Park, Colorado. Nina, being a natural artist, was very creative decorating the two-seater with hearts and flowers around the cut-out openings–reminiscent of an old German saying: “sag’ es mit Blumen”, translation= “Say it with flowers”, while I painted sun, moon and planets on the door, even then I was a budding scientist.

    We did in fact use the out-house during the night even though I was given to reading a volume I treasured called “A Century of Creepy Stories” and so demanded that my sister go with me armed with a flashlight for vision, and a shovel for bears or spooks, just in case.

    Funny how one remembers things like that. After almost 84 years of memories, those nocturnal treks are etched in my memory permanently.

  6. As a girl who hides a stash of female urinals under both her car seats, you do indeed have a gift! I enjoyed the photos. Lovely. 🙂

  7. After camping the last 2 days, none of us ever parted with our RV potty! That is my idea of “roughing” it!! :O) Pics are gorgeous!!

  8. Oh, glory be, a fine view with a pee. If you are in want of an odd fact, coyotes use the same tree.

    • There you go again, rhyming irreverently, all the while pining for a response more sophisticated than me, because you see, I am incapable of truly keeping up, and so am on bended knee, begging for another chance to redirect this reverie.
      (okay, next time I’m going with free verse, damn it!) 😀

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