Winter meant hardship, fun in bygone days

THURMAN - Now that we're in the depths of winter - with cold, snowy, windy weather - it reminds me of the good old days. But were they so good?

Back in those olden days, not too long ago up here in Thurman, the wood stoves would die out before the night is over, and you'd wake up to a cold house. When that occurred, if nature called at night the toilet seat felt so cold for those who had modern indoor plumbing, and for most residents who had outside facilities, the trek to the outhouse would provide a memorable expedition. We'd put on boots, coats, hats and mittens, run down that long snowy path to the outhouse with two holes cut in the seat.

Many times you had to kick the door open as snowdrifts came in through the cracks in the outer walls, and a mound of the cold white powder was oftentimes deposited on the seat too.

The old issue of the Sears and Roebuck catalog was likely also covered in snow, but its pages still served their purpose as toilet tissue. Yes, those were the good old days. After your duty was done and you had kicked snow out of the way to be able to shut the door, you would rush up the path, onto the porch, then on into the warm kitchen.

If it wasn't breakfast time yet and mom wasn't cookin' in front of the big old kitchen woodstove, you could pull up a chair and put your cold feet up on the open oven door.

Most all of the local homes were banked with sawdust or hay to minimize the cold drafts at floor level. But the linoleum or bare wood floors were still very cold on bare feet. No one went barefoot in their home in winter months.

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