One of my multiply contacts, Dave, posted a picture of an old outhouse in his blog. There have been interesting replies about that, and, although somewhat gross, haha, I thought I would share this about my grandmother.
We used outhouses, when I when I was growing up and would visit my granny. I'm talking about 1975 to about 1985, and, by the way, my grandmother's outhouse seat was made of cement, not wood, although the little house also had a shower. My granny lives on the Island of Culebra (means 'snake") and would use rainwater for bathing and cooking and cleaning. We had to use cloth coffee filters to filter out mosquito larvae and anything else floating in the water barrel, which was really made of metal, a large metal drum, sort of. We'd get water twice a day, through the pipes, which was really just filtered sea water, not fit for drinking or cooking. We had to taste it, because sometimes the water company would send out what we called "sweet water" and if so, we could fill up the water barrels and have good water for cooking and drinking.
Water was just two hours during in the morning and two hours in the evening. If you missed it, then you had to go to bed that night without a shower. And, even if you DID get to shower, it was uncomfortable because the water was somewhat salty, so you had a residue.
So, it was hard, over there, when I would go visit my granny, but life was great, too. She's the best granny in the whole world!