Lanny and I were talking.

He’s trying to decide about redoing the bathroom at his house and his wife left it up to him.

His position is that if he chooses one thing his wife, Tari, will blame him and if he chooses another he’ll blame himself. Either way someone will be unhappy.

Getting his way will make Tari unhappy, meaning everybody will be unhappy. If he gives in to her only he will be unhappy. So he called me. It is about a bath tub. He doesn’t see the point because they don’t use the one they have. Tari talks about taking a hot soak but never does: But she might.

I’m not the one to ask because because I’m biased, favoring showers.

I’m old enough to remember bathing in a wash tub and have a picture of me bathing in a bucket so I can’t be too proud.

There is a bath tub in the mountain cabin, “Respite.”

The bathroom was an afterthought and the lack of planning left a ceiling too low to accommodate a non-stooping shower. Tub bathing was the only choice.

The tub was pulled from a construction scrap heap in the 1970s and hauled to the mountains for another life. It is a claw-footed, enameled cast iron thing that threatens to crash through the floor one day. The tub is so heavy there are dimples in the floor where it has compressed the plywood and tile.

The bathroom was built around the tub because it would have been impossible to muscle it through a door.

There are deep scratches in the enamel that do not lacerate to the cast iron. Still, while soaking you can feel the rough edges against your back.

There are necessary bathing accouterments. The tin soap tray, hangs over the side of the tub and has holes to allow water and soap to drip through.

The bar of soap in the tray has been there a very long time. After the soap is dry from the last bath it goes into a Mason jar and away from browsing mice. A bar of soap will last years at that rate.

On a shelf is a bottle of Watkins lilac bubble bath. Everybody who takes a bath at the cabin gets a bubble bath. It’s sort of a heritage thing.

A tin dipper hangs from a nail. It is dipped into bath water then poured out to rinse suds from my back, shoulders and head.

The cast iron holds heat well. I allow enough hot water in the tub to warm it up before topping it off.

By the time I slip into the water there are no cold spots on the tub.mThe faucets are worn enough so that I can add hot water by turning the faucet with my

toes.

A shower might have been a smarter choice but how would I manage the bubble bath part?