What does an outdoor shower have to do with aging in place?

In a previous post, I wrote about using rain memories as part of the Vitamin N - Nature - in your garden. and there's more to it than adding a place to stomp in puddles following a storm.

A friend of mine laments that "the rain isn't the same" where she now lives compared to where she grew up.

I was reminded of this comment recently when I saw an ad for outdoor showers. The company Oborain makes these great-looking modern design prefab showers to be eco-friendly and adaptable to most environments.

Modern outdoor shower

Modern outdoor shower

Any kind of outdoor shower, not just the Oborain™ could easily be part of the amenities in your aging-in-place yard. What a fun idea!

Most of us enjoy taking a shower. This feeling is hard to get outdoors. The closest experience is   standing in a waterfall. The wonder and surprise of raindrops on the skin is a strong memory that generates joy.

Do you think that an outdoor shower is silly for you - at your age?

Maybe you haven't stopped to consider exactly how you experience rain - and what you might deliberately include in your garden to enrich and enhance that experience.

Here is a quick exercise to explore how you remember and perceive rain using 3 of your senses. Take each list in turn and think of how you've involved yourself with rain.

Sound

  • Inside your house with doors and windows closed
  • Standing at an open door or window
  • Sitting on the porch
  • In the garden in the open
  • In the garden under a tree, gazebo or arbor

Sight

  • Inside a building when there are roof gutters
  • Inside a building when there are no gutters
  • Standing under a natural shelter such as a tree
  • Sitting under a natural shelter such as a tall shrub, a pergola with vines, a big arching clump of ornamental grass

Touch

  • Putting out just a hand into the raindrops
  • Standing in the rain bareheaded
  • Standing in the rain under an umbrella or in rain gear

If you have lived in different locations, try this exercise for these places.

Reflect on the sounds, sights, and touches that involved you with rain. What did you enjoy? What would you like to duplicate or re-create in your yard?

Got the exercise finished? Now you know more about the details of rain that make you happy.

You might want to

  • put a metal roof on the garden shed for the thrumming echo sound rain makes there,
  • add a bench under the big pine tree to watch how raindrops fall in slowly growing drops from the needles at the end of a drenching, or
  • install a simple outdoor shower just to remind you of summers at camp when you ran from cold lake to hot sand to cool bathing.

Exercises like these are a standard activity when I create an Elderyarding® design. Let me know what you discovered when you pondered your life with rain. Is an outdoor shower in your future? Second Summer can help.