Sweet Lake Outhouse

One more before we begin with sales again.  (Waiting on a client who is getting a check for me.  I need to leave here in 30 minutes.  Do I think there will be a check waiting for me?  Probably not.)

Sweet Lake Outhouse

That’s an awfully nice outhouse, isn’t it?  Built by my dad probably 30 years ago, maybe more, using old siding from his brother’s cabin on Sullivan Lake in central Minnesota.  That outhouse has withstood the tests of time and other things.  It serves as a storage shed, too, and as a great place to hang some old deer antlers. 

The thing has held up well.  I don’t recall any plans being drawn up.  The dimensions were pretty much eye-balled with a tape measure, lumber and siding cut to fit.  It has an old linoleum floor and plenty of hooks on walls for hanging things like old rope.  And this shovel.

I felt queasy — again — when I saw this shovel.  As a little boy my family vacationed with my aunts and uncles and cousins for a week on Big Sandy Lake.  The resort we used had a small sandy beach that was all but destroyed by castle and canal building.  One year I was all ready to go with my new shovel — this shovel — and I started digging away when the shovel hit a rock buried beneath the sand.  The shovel stopped, my hand didn’t.  My delicate young thumb sliced over the sharp end where the shovel’s blade and handle meet.  It bled quite a bit and I got very, very woozey.  I made a quick turn for my family’s cabin on wobbly legs.  

Pre-Recall Era Shovel. Probably Stamped Out in Detroit.

Got to the cabin and wrapped my thumb up tight in a wad of paper napkins and recovered.  Eventually an adult came in, looked at it, gave it an “Oh my”, and bound it up it up Band-Aids so tightly that I thought the thumb might fall off.  It didn’t fall off, of course, but for many years I could still see a fine light scar where that shovel cut my thumb.  Until this trip, I didn’t know that shovel survived.  I stopped using it ca July, 1971.

Yes…you might not really think of them this way, but outhouses can be filled with treasures.   And if they are very old and very, very lightly used for their primary intended purpose they can have a pleasant smell, too.  Ours smells like old motor oil and tarps.  Give it a thought for a moment.  Is there a better smell than old motor oil and tarps?  Maybe the autumn woods has it beat, but not many other things do.

But let me tell you what this outhouse has that most others do not:  A tremendous view!  I’m willing to bet it is even a good one in the winter, spring, or summer…but I got this in the fall.  Kinda makes you want to stay for a while, doesn’t it?

Can’t stay here now though.  Time to kick in the sales career and chase a phantom check.

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