Sunday, January 13, 2008
Water Bottle, R.I.P.
Two years ago, at Camp OUTT '06, Marcie Wright donated a large number of huge water bottles to a group of hot, thirsty campers and grown-ups. Christen Taylor and I each snagged one for our own use, since the bottles held more than the daily water needed by a person. Christen would fill hers up at the end of the day and leave it in the freezer at Camp OUTT over night so it would be ice cold all day the next day. I was unwilling to part with mine for so long. Some days I would easily drink 2 bottle's worth. Even after Camp OUTT ended, Water Bottle has been my faithful friend. Much like "Mary's Little Lamb", everywhere I went, the Water Bottle was sure to go.
To work, to church (at least for the ride in the car), on every shopping venture, of course. I lugged him along with me. And lugged was precisely the word for it. This bottle held 76 oz. of good old H2O. Water Bottle made his way to Word of Life camp in New York, to the Night of Magic in Danville, and of course, to live with us in Louisville. (See below holding down the corner of the blanket in Downtown Danville)
Somewhere along the line, though, things began to go wrong with Water Bottle. Perhaps because I dropped him so many times (he got slippery when condensation formed), or because he'd endured the elements so much, Water Bottle got a teeny-tiny crack in one corner. If he was only half full, it made no difference whatsoever, but most of the time he was dripping, dripping, forming a slow circle of water around him, soaking the carpet, the chair, the floor of the car. I wished it wouldn't happen, but most of the time it was still okay. It just meant I had to stow him under my desk where the carpet could take a bit of a soaking, rather than my desktop where he tended to drench my important paperwork.
Josh had something against Water Bottle. It was like a married couple who does not agree on the treatment of a pet (like Anna and Bob with Rogue). He didn't see why Water Bottle needed to go everywhere with us ("I get thirsty" -- the obvious reply. I'm a drinker. I love beverages). Josh disliked Water Bottle's loud breathing (he tended to let out a huge sigh of air when I finished drinking a long drink) and slow whine (when air was squeaking out of the nozzle). He really disliked Water Bottle rolling around the backseat of the car (he was much too big to just hold on your lap). Josh consistently pointed out the slow demise of Water Bottle, which made me more aware that his days were numbered.
And then I did it. I left Water Bottle at my in-laws at Christmas. Yep. That means I have been without him for all these weeks, just drinking from cups. I actually bought a couple of Desanis at work the other day because I couldn't take it.
I think this means Water Bottle's life is over. I am saying goodbye. Here are some things I will really miss:
1. Constant jokes about Water Bottle. I heard some pretty good ones. One time I was at a picnic and a person thought my bottle was the jug for everyone and began pouring out of the mouthpiece into a cup. I was laughing so hard I couldn't stop them (it was a stranger)! Mrs. Schreiner used to say "Gretchen brought the water for everyone!" When Stuart (at work) used to refill the water cooler, he would walk around with the empty jug and say "I just wanted a water bottle like Gretchen's."
2. Complements about Water Bottle. Sometimes these were tied to jokes, and often came from women. At my fitness class, women would gaze admiringly and say "Wow! Do you drink a whole one of those every day?"
3. The really great little flippy cap that covered up the mouthpiece. I cannot believe I never lost it in the time and travels I spent with Water Bottle. Christen's did not have that little cap, so I knew mine was very special. It was so great for keeping the mouthpiece clean! Kids were constantly touching the little cap of the water bottle and saying "Miss Gretchen, your water is so big!" and I was thinking all the time how glad I was that their little fingers were only on the cap!
It is the end of a chapter in my life. Farewell, Water Bottle. I shall never forget you. In fact, I will now be on the outlook for your successor.
Will you raise a glass of H2O to my dear departed friend?