Given the dip in the temperature, I got out my hot water bottle a few nights ago. My dad lives in an old house with an old furnace and just-as-old radiators. My friends referred to it as 'the cold house'. Two fire places at either end of the building supplied most of the heat which left the bedrooms in the middle of the house with a mean winter temperature of about 5 degrees... on the Kelvin scale. Hot water bottles were a must in my childhood.
I no longer need a hot water bottle but it's a ritual that I can't break. The return of the hot water bottle heralds Christmas for me in a way that TV, radio and print ads never will. It is winter, I must have a hot water bottle. As I filled it up last night, I remembered a writing project from last year. Our professor would give us a topic once a week and we had to write 100 words on it. No more, no less. On the topic of 'winter', this is what I wrote:
Oh, hot water bottle, thank you for holding not just heat but so many wonderful memories.The hot water bottle creates a small area of warmth at the end of my bed. I creep my feet towards it until I hit that spot where it gets too hot and I pull them back just a little bit. I don’t need a hot water bottle but it wouldn’t be a winter night without it. My feet dance to find that perfect location. I find it; my stillness signals my cats and they jostle each other for the best position on this heat source. Tomorrow morning it will be cold, but tonight it is a comfort to us.