Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This lovely photo of a bathtub sitting in the middle of total serenity has been re-blogged so many times I'm hard pressed to give credit to the right photographer. Because it reminded me of a short story told me many years ago by a friend, I'm going to trust that its use here without attribution will be ok. (Were I a little more techie-sophisticated I might know how to find that person).

Anyway, as I looked at this photo and contemplated the likelihood of naked bathing (what other kind is there?) in total privacy, my friend Arlene's old story was brought back to mind.

Arlene's husband was a hunter and a fisherman. He worked hard all year long as a postman, kept in good shape by miles and miles of walking during the daytime and bicycling at every free moment. He often arranged hunting and fishing trips with his buddies, but that wasn't enough. The family vacations also were always out in the wilderness somewhere. Civilized campgrounds with port-a-potties and showers were out. Real, honest wilderness was in. If Arlene didn't like it, she managed to keep quiet about it. Her husband was boss in her family.

After one camping trip she was filling me in on the details, describing for me just how isolated the site was and that she really looked forward to returning to civilization. But, she said, a very embarrassing thing happened. Since there were no portable toilets where they were, they had to go behind a bush when the urge hit. One morning after breakfast she made the trek to her private bush. She lowered her pants and squatted - and just about that time two Edison company linemen walked out of the bushes a few feet away from her. Like gentlemen, they averted their eyes, and helpless Arlene burst out laughing, which of course caused them to laugh too, but still with eyes averted and feet moving swiftly.

I had lunch with her the other day and asked if she remembered this episode. I swear she blushed as she said, "Oh, I was SO embarrassed! And so shocked I could only laugh. Imagine, 6 days without seeing another human being and then to be discovered in that position!"

When I saw this picture, and I looked at those lovely empty fields out beyond the tub ... and what an amazing bath that would be... it occurred to me that actually one couldn't assume that it would be a private bath! Just ask my friend Arlene.

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