Archive | March 2020

No TP? Never fear, the new catalogue is here!

I’m going to start off this post with a paragraph that many of us have seen or heard in the last few months.

“We in Canada have seen a stark increase in the number of cases of COVID-19. We are being asked to avoid non-essential travel and social distance ourselves. These steps are essential to help reduce transmission and help keep all of us healthy. “

This is such an important message and all of us, not only in Canada, but in the world need to abide to what the science is telling us.

But I’m not writing today to remind nor lecture you on this horrible virus. The news is full of this virus information and at times scary to listen to and can be quite depressing.

 I am not taking this lightly but I want to lighten things up a bit.  

I would like to share with you a few memories that I have recalled in the last little while when hearing about some very strange behaviours in our communities.

Even though we are being assured that there is enough food and supplies to go around, some people are filling their shopping carts as if they will never be able to get them again.

The toilet paper hoarding issue and mostly the fear of people not having any, made me recall the many visits to my Gido’s farm in the early 1960s.

My Gido and Baba lived about five miles out from our small village. They had a typical prairie farm house large enough for their family. The house was connected with power from the hydro poles on the main roads and therefore they had electricity.  But they had no running water.  Here is a photo of a farmhouse similar to one that my grandparents owned. 

With no running water that was connected to the house, Gido had to go out and pump water from the well.  Baba heated their water up on the stove and it was used for cooking and cleaning.  There was a wash basin in the porch so we could always wash our hands or even have a sponge bath in the house.  But no indoor toilet.   The toilet was an outhouse.

For those of you who may not recall an outhouse, it was often a small wooden building that was situated not too far nor too close to the main house. 

Most had a one-hole or even a two-hole seat cut out of two pieces of sawed off lumber.  We had to watch out for the crack.  Of course there was a roof and a locking door.  My grandparent’s toilet did not have any electricity but there usually was a flashlight handy to grab on your way out at night.

But you are now wondering …why is this post about toilet paper?  It’s because of supply and demand! You see, the outhouse never had any toilet paper.  

To my recollection, Gido and Baba never had store bought toilet paper.  Oh no.  It was too expensive for them to waste in the toilet.  I’m pretty sure it was available in the grocery stores.  The Co-op store or the Farmer’s Store had all sorts of supplies.  In fact, I remember asking my mom about this one time when we were at Gido’s house.  Mom told me to ask Gido.  

I can still hear him saying,

“Petrooska….why would I want to waste money on store paper when the catalogue is free?”

That is right.  That’s what we used at the farm.  The latest version of the catalogues had come in and had been stacked on the floor next to the toilet seats.  It didn’t matter if it was an Eaton’s catalogue or a Sears catalogue.  As long as it had clean pages, it was good enough.  I’m not going to elaborate because if you have ever used an outhouse with this type of “toilet paper”, you will understand.  I’m sure some of my followers remember using this from a few years back.

I hope you had a wee laugh and enjoyed this little memory of mine.  Be thankful that our supply chain in Canada is pretty secure.  But if you run out, don’t go looking for an Eaton’s or Sears catalogue.  They are no longer in business.

Stay safe and healthy!


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