Optimal Health

The Outhouse: December 4, 2016

The Outhouse

I grew up in a small rural town in Virginia where much of the population was considered to be at poverty level income. This included my family. The house I grew up in had no indoor plumbing for the bathroom. Yes, we had an outhouse. There, I said it. Out the back door and through the yard to the outhouse I’d go every time I had to use the bathroom. Rain, sleet, hail or snow. Out the back door I ‘d go. I can remember shoveling a path through the snow from our tiny home to the outhouse. I would find myself crossing my legs and holding it as long as I could but eventually I would have to bite the bullet and go.

Looking back, that outhouse taught me a lot of lessons. It has taught me to appreciate even the seemingly small things in life today. It has made me realize that most of us have way more than we need while others have practically nothing. The outhouse was one of many things growing up that made me who I am today. It created in me a more grateful, loving, and accepting attitude. It has brought an awareness of the many people who live without so many of the things that we take for granted or feel we just cannot make it without.

My memories of our tiny house with the outhouse live on in me. They will be with me forever as a constant reminder of how blessed I am today. They will stay with me as a constant reminder that material things do not bring happiness. Although we had no indoor bathroom, we had a loving, caring mother that brought me more happiness than an indoor bathroom ever could. We all have way more than we need to survive and be happy in this life yet it seems we keep accumulating and wanting more.

Our happiness is not founded on our 2 or 3 cars, our 2 or 3 bathrooms, our big homes, or any other material possession. Our happiness is something inherent inside of us. We can choose to be happy in whatever our circumstance may be. I have found happiness to be something that is not dependent on external things or people. It is very easy to get caught up in complaining about what we do not have as opposed to being grateful for what we do have.

As always, thanks for taking a minute to read my thoughts and experiences. Your support is appreciated. I hope you will take a moment to respond with your thoughts. Take a moment today to just stop and think about all you have in comparison to so many in the world today.


Peace and blessings

7 comments on “The Outhouse: December 4, 2016

  1. Like you, I grew up in small town, poor, and with an outhouse. This brought back memories & gave some perspective as I look at how I live currently. Thanks V. 🤗


  2. Thanks for not giving me a sneak preview:)
    At times we all need to take a temperature check to remind ourselves how grateful and appreciative we should be. Especially based on what others have or don’t in the world. A true blessing!


  3. Sissy Jordan

    LOVE this, Vince! That outhouse made you a good man!


  4. Thank you Vince. I too came from humble beginnings.
    This was a nice reminder of all that is needed to experience joy in this life.
    Less can sometimes be more………less things but more love!!


    • Julia,

      Thank you so much for your response. It is a great reminder. We can all benefit by reflecting on our past and appreciating our present. I look forward to hearing more from you.



  5. My parents lived in a small home with an outhouse when I was born. They moved to the only home I remember (and they still live there) before I was two. And you are so correct in bringing to my attention that I have WAY more than I need, and more than most of the world today. During this advent season, i am trying to pray more consistently, and reach out in the name and spirit of Jesus. Thanks for the encouragement.


    • Nancy,

      Thanks as always for your feedback and your support of my stories. You always bring out some great things for me to think about. Much love to you on your journey. I always look forward to hearing from you.



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