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Sunday, November 20, 2011


I have never smoked. I do not drink. I exercise to the best of my ability. However, I am not claiming that I have no vices. I am a tub-lover. My close friends know this about me. To me, a deep tub of hot water is like a siren to a sailor at sea. I do not overeat, nor do I gamble, but the thought of a bubble bath in 107 degrees of hot water has a hold on me.
When I make hotel reservations, I always inquire as to what the bath facilities will be in my room. I have stayed in hotels where I have to plug ta leaky drain with wash clothes and a shower cap. As a result, I developed a fairly foolproof method of plugging drains almost anywhere - my discovery? The lid of a large hot drink from McDonald’s seems to create just the right seal. Finer hotels have water worthy tubs. They also provide lovely bath gels, and, on occasion, bath salts that positively elevate the experience.
At home, I have scented epsom salts and scented oils and bath bubbles. The hot water releases their aromas and carry me to places I may have visited - Paris, New York or Montreal. As I soak, I remember the heat of the sun baking me until I remember to turn to avoid burning. The heat relaxes my body and soothes my tired spirit. It penetrates into my muscles, gradually relieving the pain that has them in knots. It is mostly this pain that drives me into my hot baths. They provide reliable relief, day or night. When pain keeps me awake for hours on end, I will run a steaming bath and lower myself, slowly, into water that seems unbearably hot. That exact moment that insanely hot water finally masks the pain in my joints is what keeps me daydreaming sometimes.
There is a casualty of my bathing habits. My books suffer. One out of every other book ends up going for a dip. One out of every other book goes in for repeated dips. My baths take a toll on my reading material. As my body finally relaxes, and my eyes flutter shut, my arms grow heavy, too heavy to hold a book, or even a magazine. And, oops, into the water it goes. I have learned to replace any books that I damage. There are consequences of my behavior, I can see that. However, I have not found anything that
grants me the same pain relief as these hot baths - even if for only the half an hour I am submerged. As I reflect on the pleasure of a long, hot soak, I am grateful that I have hot water, a deeo well and Amazon to replace most anything I read.

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