I posted a photo yesterday and asked our readers to tell me what it was in the photo. That wasn’t a tough one for many of us in Sebastian County! Many of us knew what it was and some even admitted to having used one. The photo was of a “slop jar.”
I grew up with an outhouse on our property. We didn’t have the convenience of running water and indoor plumbing when I was a kid so the outhouse was a necessity.
Almost everyone had an outhouse. Some were built-in with their barn but we had a worn, “barn wood” siding outhouse. It has two holes! We were so uppity having room for two to go at the same time. It didn’t embarrass us kids as we played, slept and yes, used the bathroom together.
But when the weather was very cold at night or the ground was covered in snow, there was the “slop jar.” It wasn’t a jar actually. It was a porcelain pail with a wire handle and a matching lid. On those unbelievably cold or rainy nights when it was unbearable to hike to the back fence, the slop jar was a friend.
It was kept in our back ‘guest’ room where you could have some form of privacy. It was quiet in there, with the exception of any noises you made yourself. It was placed beneath the bed under the metal bed springs on the cast iron bed, out of site. Somehow, when the daylight forced my eyes open in the morning, the slop jar was empty and cleaned. Thank goodness it was never my job to clean it!
We are spoiled rotten today. We have so many modern conveniences that we take for granted. I can’t imagine how they will look back in 50 years and laugh at how primitive our lives are now.