Holy freaking cow cheese!<quoted text>
So have I and I was probably 10 or 11 before we had a flush toilet in our home, and around 7 or 8 before we had running water, and that would have just been in the kitchen and the adjoining room where my mother had a washing machine and a laundry tub. We bathed in the laundry tub or the kitchen sink. We had a bathtub a few years later, and a shower when I was in high school. My dad's parents, who lived on the same farm, had running water and a flush toilet likely from about 1950 when they built a new home, and we might get to use their toilet and tub (they never had a shower in it), a time or two a year. Back then one bathed once a week whether you needed it or not, and that was after playing in mud, in the barn, in the school yard all day, with no water at the school except what someone delivered every morning in a cream can which was poured into an urn with a water spout used for the occasional person who might want a drink of water every month or so. We never had water in our school until entered grade 9 in high school in town. Our toilets at school were two regular toilets, one in the boys entrance and the other in the girls behind a door in each, which had a big hole dug in the ground under them, much as an outhouse, but not with the wooden seats with the hole cut out, which we did have at all of our homes.
In our home, as long as I remember though, we had a large pail in a closet in my parents' bedroom, in our first house, or under the stairs in the basement of our new second home, with a toilet seat on the top, and the pail had to be manually carried out and dumped over the back fence when it got too heavy for my father to carry, I guess. I think I did carry it out a few times when I was a bit older.
We got newfangled dial phones from Bell part way through 1970, after I graduated from university. Until then we all had the old crank telephones (my maternal grandfather and my mother's brother were the linesmen and telephone repairmen, as well as farmers) one of which is hanging on my wall beside me at this moment. My mother was also the local telephone operator as long as I can remember until Bell took over, and part way through my early life, they put a switch board in a neighboring home, so that each home would operate the community phone lines for a week at a time, except if one or the other needed to go to town when they would ask the other to take over for a while. We kids even operated the telephone switch, because my mother had gardens, babies, and barn work to do too. For church on Sunday, or for special community events, when no one was expected to mind the switch, we would put all the lines together and connected to the town line, so that anyone who had an emergency could just call the town operator, which was always manned, and they would put the call through to a doctor or police.
I lived a year with my grandparents in Lufkin Texas. They had no bathroom but the dreaded outhouse. Besides that fresh aroma there were always grand daddy long leg spiders around in that outhouse. Or some kind of spider.
They had a well and water had to be lifted by a bucket. We took our baths like you described it. I glad I had to a chance to see the transformation of how people lived in the 1800s to modern times.
I remember my Grandfather plowing with a mule. Now tractors were available in those days but they were costly. Without telling me your location. What State did you grow up in?