Monday, November 22, 2010

Ode to the Hot Water Bottle

As if the small dump of snow this morning wasn't enough, it is howling in Victoria tonight. My deck chairs are no where near where they were this morning and my windows are rattling so hard I keep thinking they're going to break. I know that a few people will probably throw a couple of curses my way for saying this, perhaps even burn an effigy from some leftover hair in their bath tub, but I like snow. I'm not a huge fan of the negative temperatures that come with it, but I like snow.

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:

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.
Oh, hot water bottle, thank you for holding not just heat but so many wonderful memories.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi. I loved your article. I absolutely adore hot water bottles and could never survive the cold winters here in the UK without mine. We had them at home when I was brought up in a rather cold house, but I use them just as much today despite now living in a well heated home. There's something rather addictive, cosy and comforting about the smell of the warm rubber which reminds me so much of my childhood. I've lost count of how many bottles I have gone through over the years (must be dozens!) but I still feel sad when they eventually wear out and have to be replaced.JLB.

Shannon said...

I love my hot water bottle too! I usually fill it up and stick it in the bed five or ten minutes before I get in...then the bed is toasty warm...mmmm....I wish I had a hot water bottle at work (it's chilly today even with the space heater!)

AndreaC said...

It's so nice to know I'm not the only one who still uses a hot water bottle. It really is just the most comforting thing on a cold night.