Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Necessary

I loved Stephen Hopkins in the musical 1776 who several times had to go to the 'Necessary'.  Still tickles me.  I remember when Robert was first coming to visit me in OHIO before we got engaged.  He was sent to meet my family (as if my family might be the wrong family to marry into).  I was worried sick about having to use the Necessary in front of him. We only had one bathroom growing up...for the 5 of us (my dear grandmother lived with us) and we got along quite fine. There was never a problem and even the cigarette smoke left over from Daddy didn't seem to bother us.

What did bother Debi and me was going down to KY and visiting Daddy's family in Campton, Wolfe County...and except for Uncle Dewey and Aunt Anna Rose's home, there were only outhouses...one was a 3-seater! Oh joy!
 Oh yes, the men (and women) in Wolf County all toted rifles and guns, happy to eat flying squirrel meat, chaw their tobacco, live on welfare or off the profits from their tobacco yields.  There was always TP but I am pretty sure my mom brought ours.  The inside walls were papered with pages from the Sears, Roebuck catalog...truthfully!  Often peeling and yellow with (?) age.  AND OH THE SMELL!  My mom also brought along a child's potty chair because there were days Debi and I refused to use those outhouses!

As a teen I was fascinated that Cris Marriott's mom always had blue toilet water...so impressive! That's what came with wealth, I figured, because this family seemed to have a lot of money.  Now and again, I have blue water in my Necessaries, too.  And chuckle as I remember the Marriott's home.

When we were married and still living in an apartment in Provo, we had a lovely new apartment, under the dentist office.  Altho it had only one bathroom, the Necessary and the tub were in a separate chamber from the vanity, separated by a door.  When we got away from Utah (phew!) we lived in this teeny tiny house and that bathroom was ... well, I don't know how to explain it.  You walked through a door from the kitchen into the area that held a shelf, the boiler, the heater and finally a teeny tiny Necessary.  We rigged up a curtain to separate it from the utility area (nope, no laundry).  I don't think there was even a window.  We moved to N. Olmsted and had a rather large Necessary, with 2 sinks. In Sheffield Lake at 809, with Robert's ability in action, we had 3 Necessaries, as we do up here at 3830. These current 3 all work sufficiently altho Jordan did promise to put down new floors but he upped and moved to Florida!  Oh well...one day.  Currently we are dealing (still ) with a leaking roof which only leaks when the wind is fierce so the great repair guy who has been helping us has deduced it's something called flashing and counterflashing that's the problem, NOT the solar panels thank heavens.  but still the Necessaries work fine for our needs.

When I was broken and had to sleep in the kitchen, I was grateful for the half bath here on the main floor.  Getting the wheelchair in through the doorway was tricky and the wood still bears some scars but it was serviceable.

I've been battling the church over the need for a handicap accessible bathroom...not just a larger stall. It took a lot of demanding to get an addition put on the toilet that raises the seat.  In a state that has LAWS,
I am amazed at how unwilling places are to abide those laws altho we say we believe in being subject to them, and in honoring and obeying them. Seems there are minimums that can pass as obedience.  We got the minimum but we need more.  I realize it costs a lot to plumb a new handicap/family bathroom...but I came up with a solution....just put a locking door on the one men's bathroom.

Voila...all is happy (especially if they deliver that seat adjustment).  I've been promised this correction by year's end.  I have a sweet friend who could benefit from this...as well as someone who drags around O2 as she ambulates on a walker, a man in a turn about wheelchair, another old woman who has an old woman who pushes her in a wheelchair.  We have NEEDS for a proper NECESSARY! and by gum! I was determined we got one.  It took several years for me to win that battle at the stake center. They had a family bathroom once, years ago, that got turned into a CLOSET! Really?  A closet?  And all the plumbing was removed. How short-sighted.  But it's back to being a handicap accessible Necessary with the cheapest floor tiles that are already curling but at least it's useable.  And my friend can now attend Stake Conferences and Firesides.

So what brought on this epistle on Necessaries, you ask? Well, last night I had a long dream about one. But the bathroom I saw 'located' in our ward building is not the Necessary that is in there.  I awoke a bit befuddled.  I tried to remember what Necessary I had dreamt...and suddenly, I remembered.  It was the Necessary in the first LDS church we attended and later joined...the one that used to be on Lake Road in Cleveland.  It was a grand building, sweet and small. The cry room was located behind the chapel, behind a huge noise-proof window (wish we had them today altho some parents see no reason to remove their squalling kids from services no matter what.)   There was an Upper Room for RS as well as clerk/branch president offices, a basement for a long kitchen (very cold in the winter and I know because my SS class was held there) a hall for dances and parties and bazaars, MIA but also where the Jr. SS met, a stage for productions and Primary classes (under the floor of that stage was the baptismal font with a room on either side for changing).  It was on that stage that Pearl Vasenda taught the CTR class (my first as an investigator) and where she told us how on judgment day we'd be sitting in parked cars like at a drive-in and a screen would unfurl and we'd see a movie of our lives, with all our sins shown on the screen for everyone to see...and that was enough to scare me perfect for life (haha), a couple of classrooms, and the best part was a door, with wonderful outside stairs that lead to the parking lot in the back of the lot.

But the women's Necessary was right off the foyer which was right off the chapel.  It wasn't a big bathroom but it was nice!  Very nice!  Bright and warm in the winter.  A long mirror.  Once Sue Hinckley stayed the weekend with me and I did her hair on Sunday morning to look like the Beatles hairdo and her mom freaked out when she saw Sue...dragged her into that Necessary and made her brush it out (now remember, the Beatles when they first hit the music scene had 'long' hair by that day's standard but it wasn't long at all.  I think the men's Necessary was down a little hallway but would have butted up against the plumbing of the women's Necessary...not sure cuz obviously I had no use for that Necessary but remember averting my eyes when I passed the door in the hallway going either up or down or out.

As we think about all we have to be Thankful for during this November, I think I am very grateful for Necessaries.  I would not like to have to use an outhouse, do not currently need a handicap one altho at one point I did but I sure want one for the people I know who do need one now.  I love 2 ply TP, bowl cleaner, a place to hang my head when I'm sick and then the sickness disappears in a flush with a downward swipe of the silver handle.  I still like blue water. I like the door that locks. I am grateful I have never had to share my Necessary moment with one other person.  I think doing the necessary in the Necessary is a private affair.

Did you know the Jews have a special prayer for the blessing of being able to remove the unwanted from our bodies?  There are times I have remembered that and have said such a prayer of my own.

I am grateful for The Necessary!  And for a body that struggles with things and ideas and health.  A mind that can think and put plans into action.  All of which are so very necessary.

2 comments:

Lin Floyd said...

fascinating topic...my mom grew up with a two seater...I currently have 4 bathrooms-wow in my little retirement house cause we have two casitas separate for guests then 2 bathrooms in the house which we make good use of. Couldn't survive with only one or an OUTHOUSE! lol...

mom said...

As a beneficiary, I thank you.

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