Folks in my family take their baths very seriously.
At least, those who still partake in the bathing ritual.
There are a few sellouts who shower.
Which, I do, from time to time.
My favorite bathing location has to be the master bath at my parents' farm.
The bathtub there is some sort of glorious creation of blue and green glass tile and a massive whirlpool tub built into something resembling a miniature deck.
To reach the tub, one has to stand at the very edge of the room and make a running leap.
At least, those of us are more vertically challenged.
I'm sure my 4'11 Momma could easily perform a swan dive as part of her ceremonial bathing.
When I visited last summer, I could always be found at the end of a long, hot day resting and soaking in that tub.
Around the tub is an assortment of wonderous bathing and soaking products.
It's like a dreamy spa... but free and over the top.
The first night, my niece brought in these glorious bath bombs. They were all purple and gold and sparkly. The particular one I tossed in the bath floated and bobbed across the tub leaving in its wake a trail of happiness.
The next night, my mom showed me...wonders of wonders...a box filled with rose petals made from soap. These had been a gift from my sister. I was tempted to sneak them home in my bag, along with the rose-scented wipes my mom kept on her vanity.
To even further the experience, I would drag in a pedestal fan every night and point the thing right at me as I soaked in the tub reading some delicious murder mystery.
It was as close as I was going to get to a vacation near a body of water....let alone a beach.
My own bathtub at home is well-used, though modest.
It is an older tub...not one of those new fiberglass jobs that leave the user feeling as if she is bathing in a sink.
I have my own collection of bathing paraphanlia...not as impressive as my mother's...but I do my best.
There is the Dr. Teal's salts, the essential oils, the marvelous spa brush that exfoliates, and the usual assortment of scrubs, washes, lotions, etc.
I have to share my space with Old Spice body wash, and several bottles of men's shampoo.
One of these days, I am sure that Jesus is going to send me a real-life claw foot tub.
We had one when I was a teenager.
It was wonderful. We lived in an 1800's farmhouse that had let the town grow up around it over the years. This room didn't have a shower. The shower had been added later in a downstairs afterthought.
This bathtub was a work of art. My mom bought one of those blow-up spa pillows so we could lean back and truly enjoy the soaking experience.
When I am in the tub, I can take some time to let my body relax. The water soothes my achy joints and calms my spirits.
There is something so comforting about those little rituals we have in our life. No matter how poor we've been...where we've lived...the time I have taken to unwind and care for myself has provided something constant and necessary.
There have been seasons that I was physically unable to get into a tub. Or even bath myself. So I don't take it for granted.
I think during this time of uncertainty it's been nice to continue the practice of soaking and thinking.
We don't like to talk about self-care. For most of us, it brings up thoughts of weekly pedicures, hair extensions, and massages.
I'm not going to fuss at you if you participate in any of those things...at least those things you can do when the world isn't locked down.
But...if you are like me and tend to neglect yourself in the care of others...you need to hear this.
It's okay to offer some tender loving care...to yourself.
Your TLC might look differently. A quiet morning with a cup of coffee. A time spent in front of an easel with a little pallet of watercolors. Saving up for those cute, but comfy shoes that will get you through summer and belong. No duct taping the flip-flops this year!
I've been inspired to add to my "spa collection" when we are free to shop at TJ Maxx. I am going to look for some of those rose petals made from soap. And maybe another bath bomb that shoots out purple and gold sparkles.