The Blessing of a Flush Toilet

Sandy Jordan

Church sounded like a raucous hen house, filled with bumble bees as everyone exclaimed, “human beings!” The crowd was large, full of pent up energy. Like my friend exclaimed,”it was the first time in two weeks, she’d driven her car.”

My car sat waiting for me to start it. My son had taken me to church as my yard shimmered in water. His Jeep could handle it. My son in-n-law had nearly buried his truck the day before. I felt like I needed the Beetle’s “Yellow Submarine.”

The air was filled with blessings, thankfulness for the help of our adult children and the sheer joy of surviving the deep freeze.

My son was muttering his own praise;”thank God for flush toilets.” His water had unthawed.

The day before my son-in-law picked me up. I was transported to this wonderfully warm place where I could turn on hot water, luxuriating in suds and shampoo. Oh that shower felt so-so good after two very cold weeks!

The smell of clean laundry embraced me as I came into the living room. Clean laundry has a very special scent. Avon actually carried a perfume called “Clean Linen.” It was so refreshing. That smell soon mingled with delivered pizza. What a blessing! I also reveled in the sound of a flushing toilet.

I grew up living for short periods in houses without indoor toilets. One place had no running water. Water came from a long tube dropped in the well and pulled up to dump in buckets. Having indoor plumbing was not considered a high priority. It was no reflection on social status. All you needed was a wringer washer and water pipped into the kitchen. I hated wringer washers, they always caught my fingers and hair in their rollers. It wasn’t a nice gadget.

My earliest memories were of Grandpa Ketchum’s kitchen. He had a huge cast iron sink that mama plucked me into each night, rubbing me pink in her drive to get me squeaky clean. I hated outhouses. It always seemed that at least one rooster took a dislike to me. I would be chased into the outhouse, screaming for a rescuer as he hoovered at the door….crowing his victory.

The pitch in the sanctuary rose as the new babies arrived. Born in the same week, but, fascinatingly different. Life renewed. We had lost our three oldest matrons in a matter of months. Three husbands had crossed over in our congregation. Not from COVD. Death had taken more neighbors outside of the church doors. The wailing of the Egyptians at the death of their first born rivaled this valley’s weeping.

Yet, here was life. Here was hope. The church’s water was frozen also, as is mine but soon—very soon the sound of flushing will be heard again! Let the people,.mourn for the good ole days..I am sorry, modern convinces far outweighs the nostalgia. The flush of a toilet preferred over a rooster’s spurs digging into the door!

- Sandy Jordan is a local writer and a founding member of The Crowder Quill literary magazine. She writes a weekly column, Bits and Pieces.