An Outhouse to Celebrate

by Jeanette Levellie

“Did you see that?” my husband guffawed, pointing out the car window on a recent road trip.
Why does he torture me like this? If I miss something spectacular or funny, him saying, “Did you see that?” only makes me angry. “What was it?” I said.
He was still hooting with laughter. “A billboard for an Outhouse Festival; I can’t believe it!”
 “Are you serious?” By now, I was giggling, too. “What is there to celebrate about outhouses?”    
I can understand celebrating the Honey Bee, the Furry Bear, Covered Bridges, Popcorn, and Raggedy Ann & Andy. Bring on the parades. Sell deep fried Twinkies and tacos in a bag. Hire a brass band to play on the town square for festivals honoring those essentials in our society. But, outhouses? Every time I’m forced to use one, I am not thinking of Ferris wheels, lemon shake-ups, and ice cream cones.
I suppose they are a great invention, if you’re out in the middle of nowheresville and can’t find a bush. Still, to have an entire weekend dedicated to holes and the houses that hide them? How desperate must we be for something to party over?
            If you really want to celebrate, I have a few great ideas:
  • Celebrate living in a nation where you have a free education, can criticize a political candidate openly without being arrested, can vote, and can worship whatever god you choose.
  • Celebrate being rich, even if you only have one set of clothes and food for just today. Most dogs and cats in this nation live better than millions of people in the world.
  • Celebrate if you had parents who loved you and taught you right from wrong. Many children don’t.
  • Celebrate that you are in sound enough mind and have decent enough eyesight to  read this article.
  • Celebrate your friends. My Dad used to tell me, “If you get to the end of your life and can say you have one faithful friend, you are a rich person indeed.” I am discovering how very true that statement is.
  • Celebrate your marriage if it’s lasted over ten years. Most do not.
  • Celebrate a God who gave you all the wonder of creation simply for your enjoyment, and who loves you just as you are.      
I’ll bet you can come up with a few more reasons to celebrate; things we all take for granted and fail to notice until we’re without them. For that matter, next time I go camping, I may have to reconsider celebrating an outhouse after all.

A spunky, sometimes reluctant pastor’s wife, Jeanette Levellie has published articles, greeting card verses, stories and calendar poems.  She authors a bi-weekly humor/inspirational column in her local newspaper, and regularly speaks to any group brave enough to have her, offering hope and humor in every message. She is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress to several cats. Find her blog, On Wings of Mirth and Worth, at http://jeanettelevellie.blogspot.com


  1. Great post - not only did it make me laugh at the idea of an OUTHOUSE Celebration, but it reminded me of all the wonderful things for which I have in my life to celebrate. It's something I try to teach our little one. We have so much, so very much. Not just in material things but in love, in opportunities. It's easy to take it all forgranted. Here's to a Celebration of Life!

  2. Thanks, April. I so agree with you!

    Sidetracked: You're welcome.

  3. Fantastic! Definitely LOL over here.
    It is amazing that we live in a country where we have the luxury to celebrate such things as outhouses. But like you said, Jeanette, may we not forget the things that are truly lasting, go deeper into our hearts and minds than the hole in the outhouse, and are worthy of celebration.
    Thanks for the laugh and the pondering!

  4. I could never get desperate enough to celebrate a sweat box, sitting deep in someone's wilderness backyard. Nope, never:)

    But your list sounds like a party!

  5. Jeanette:
    Coming back from seeing our son this past Monday,we almost ran out of gasoline. We celebrated finding a gas station.
    We should celebrate if we have a roof over our heads, if we have clean running water, and if we can waken each morning.

  6. Loved this!! Your humor is always right on and yet you make great points:))

  7. I could easily celebrate an outhouse... the only 'place of convenience' (besides behind a bush) that our wilderness cabin had for over twenty years. (There's no running water or electricity there.) Just recently we did some renovations and I convinced DH to convert a closet into a 'water closet' by adding a marine port-a-potty. Oh, how wonderful not to have to head outside in the middle of a cold night! But I was thankful for that outhouse for many years, just as I'm thankful for being able to own that cabin, to have a home and family and friends... for the privileges that I too often take for granted. Thanks for this reminder (and the giggle).

    Carol Garvin

  8. One of my book ideas is to follow an odd celebration in every state. I think it would be lots of fun, and this is a good possibility!


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