Way out in the sticks

My wife’s cousin Carol who was raised around Ledger, Montana wrote the other day about rural Montana. She said she figures with Montana there’s rural, very rural, and way the hell out in the sticks rural. I know what she is talking about.

…with Montana there’s rural, very rural, and way the hell out in the sticks rural.

When I tell my kids we had running water out on the farm, I meant we went to the pump house about 75 yards from the house and we pumped water into pails and we ran to the house with the pails. I carried a lot of water buckets to the house, I always told the kids that is why my arms are so long from carrying all those buckets of water. When we wanted a bath we bathed in a long tin tub, with the water heated on the stove in teakettles and poured into the tub.

Did my best thinking here

Now the bathroom, it was a wooden shed fondly called the outhouse which consisted of a hole dug in the ground and inside a wooden seat on a platform over the hole. This fantastic structure was about 50 yards from the house. When you had to go really bad, you could run a very fast 50 yard dash. One sure didn’t linger in the winter though, when it was 30 below zero. When it was very cold if you didn’t have to go number 2 you could use what was called the slop bucket in the house. Of course the slop bucket got it’s contents emptied in the morning. If you had to go number 2 when it was that cold you really had to go.

Yes Carol, I know about way the hell out in the sticks, rural. Thanks for jogging my memory

468 ad


  1. Carol Carlson says:

    You’re welcome Russ! Outhouses…you also didn’t want to linger too long when it was hot out…if you know what I mean… I have very fond memories of growing up in Ledger and attending the one room schoolhouse. Such good times and such a great community.

    • Bobbie Floerchinger says:

      Well, speaking of Carol Carlson, could I tell you stories….well, not really I was too young and she was my sister’s age, Vickie. But, some of my fondest memories are of Carol, MaryJo, Johnny and Monte Carlson, their Mom and Dad. MaryJo and my sister Kim once got stuck in the cow pasture, it was very muddy…they had to yell at my dad who was working on the roof to come and save them. I just put up a picture on Facebook of the Carlson kids, us Floerchinger Girls, the Grubbs and Mrs. Decker. I have always wondered how you all were, I just remember being very little and being told you moved to Pierce Idaho and wondering where or what that was because it was certainly out on the highway somewhere, and I was not allowed to ride my bike there. Have not seen you all for probably 44 years and I still think often of those warm summer days playing at the Hall and stealing the coke bottles from behind Mrs. Hall’s and riding our bikes on endless childhood days. Stop in Facebook, the 3 sisters are also on it, I know they would love to hear from you all (or email me direct)

      • Slim says:

        Thanks for your comment Bobbie, I will be sure to tell Carol to get ahold of you

  2. Ronitta says:

    Don’t forget you had to hit the side of the outhouse first to make sure no rattle snakes were inside…..

    • Slim says:

      You are right on Ronitta, that is a whole other story…

  3. Mary says:

    My first 6 years were a duplicate of yours, rattle snakes, outhouses, baths in the tin tub, splashing around in the horse trough on main street. When we moved to Billings, we all got out of the car and rolled and rolled in the grass. We had never seen a lawn. Then we went inside and took turns flushing the toilet. I don’t think we even knew that there were bathrooms inside houses.

    Lovin’ your stories!

  4. Slim says:

    Thanks Mary, that is a good one about the lawn and the indoor plumbing, definitely a step up that’s for sure. I appreciate not running to the outdoor bathroom very much now, the older I get..

  5. Arla says:

    I remember a story about Carol, calling the outhouse a flushless toilet.

  6. Arla says:

    Not that Carol,, our side.

    • Slim says:

      Sure Arla, Carol, Mona Belle’s daughter. I’m sure it was a flushless toilet.. Good one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *