Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ode to the Hot Tub

What did I do this evening? Let me tell you. It's going to be fascinating.

My parents' new house has a hot tub. Although they are not necessarily the sort of people you would expect to have a hot tub, they have had actually had two, out of the five houses they have owned. When I was born, they lived in a little cottage in Mill Valley, Marin, down the street from a redwood grove. My mother commuted to work in the City via the Sausalito ferry. Side note: Apparently there was a pretty swinging singles scene on the Sausalito ferry back in the day. The boat had a bar, and the Friday evening commute could get pretty raucous. Rumor has it that my uncle, who lived on a houseboat at the time, used to ride back and forth several times in one evening. But that's completely unsubstantiated.

Anyways, I think it was basically a zoning requirement that little cottages in Marin in the seventies had to have a hot tub. So my parents had the redwood barrel pictured below. As you can see, I enjoyed hot tubs from an early age.
Hot Tub Baby

I still love hot tubs. I know, who doesn't? But I really like hot tubs. I think partly it is because I am rather tall, and so there are few bathtubs out there in which I comfortably fit. Denied the everyday pleasure of immersion in hot water, it becomes a rare treat when I find a body of water small enough to heat up, but large enough to fit me. I could spend hours in a hot tub, staring into space, letting my brain cells slowly leech away into the water.

Unfortunately, my parents moved out of this house when I was very young, and I was without hot tub for many years. These were rough years in the hot tub-less wilderness. When my parents moved to Oregon a few years ago, however, the new house they bought, otherwise fairly staid, came with a large and luxurious hot tub installed in the back yard. I wasn't there when they moved in, but apparently my sister, who shares my love of the hot tub, got it up and running within minutes of arrival.

It's very cold in southern Oregon right now, with highs barely breaking 32 degrees. We've been trying to get the hot tub working all week, but it appeared to be too cold for the cranky propane heater to turn on. Yesterday, though, my dad finally got it running, and by this evening it had finally worked its way up to an appropriate temperature. So tonight, when my parents were taking the puppy to his weekly puppy class, I finally made it out for my annual soak. As I said, it's quite cold, about 29 degrees when I ventured outside. So I scampered out in a bathrobe, propped the cover up against a bush for a makeshift privacy screen--to wear a swim suit is not exactly in keeping with the hot tub spirit--and started the process of lowering myself into the scalding water. Despite my love of hot tubs, I am not very good about immersing myself in water of extreme temperature, either hot or cold. So it was a tenuous few minutes where I was perched on the side of the tub, my lower half in 100 degree water, my upper half in below freezing air.

But I eventually made it all the way in. And it felt wonderful. I think I might be ready to get back to writing my dissertation now.


Unc'l D said...

As the aforesaid uncle (you knew I'd read this), I think I'll just leave it at "completely unsubstantiated". After all, as you've said before, your mother reads this blog.

I will, however, point out an inconsistency in your characterization of the Sausalito ferry. If it was a REAL "swinging singles scene", why would more than one trip have been necessary? ;-)

Jewel Dakini said...

Sounds like you are having a great time! Glad to hear it. :)

Mary said...

100 degrees Phil! I am slowly starting to convert you to one that enjoys scalding hot water! wahoo! I was about to write a quirky comment about how your hot tub experiences are often other peoples luke warm experiences. Aww, I kid.