There is nothing more relaxing than a long, hot soak in a tub full of bubbles. Soaking is a stress reliever on so many levels, be it a hectic mind-bending day at work or to soothe tired muscles after a day of back-breaking labor. With warmer weather here, it is time again to enjoy our outdoor oasis.
For me the biggest downfall of purchasing the mini “money pit” in 2003, was the horribly uncomfortable, extremely shallow, 1950s bathtub in our tiny one-bathroom house. It wasn’t feasible to pull out the old tub and put in a new one that was suitable for soaking. The room was just too small and, years later, when the old tub did come out, a new walk-in shower went in its place, because we also enjoy long HOT showers in my house.
We did have big plans, but as often happens when you have a farm, other things come first and we just couldn’t find the time or the money to make those plans a reality. Maybe someday, there is always hope.
One of our plans included the purchase of an old 1904 claw foot cast iron tub. Friends helped us repaint and seal the outside of the tub to look like new. The inside of the tub was in very good shape, considering when we bought it the owners were using it as a horse trough.
Sadly, our plans got waylaid year after year. For six years, the tub sat unused in my laundry room because we weren’t ready for the added expense of a remodel to add a second bath.
Then a few years ago, my husband and I formulated a wonderfully creative solution. After seeing examples of tastefully done outdoor tubs on Pinterest, we decided we could create an outdoor oasis of our own. There are many advantages to living on 32 acres in the country, on a dead-end road, privacy is just one. Finally, we had a use for the beautiful old tub. I was over the moon about it.
We had dismantled our old pump house in the backyard earlier, as we are now on “city” water. The pump house foundation had a concrete floor and was conveniently located next to our newly installed deck that faces the upward slope and woods of our mountain. The concrete pad, 8′ by 6′, was the perfect size for the old tub. I tiled the pad using miscellaneous ceramic tile, left over from previous tile projects. We then put the tub in place. Along a half wall of concrete block, I used a recycled brick to build a fire pit alongside the tub for added warmth and ambiance.
In the summer we plant a screen of corn, so it serves a double purpose, corn for the grill and an extra layer of privacy to our little oasis. The plumbing is in place, so no longer do we have to cart water from inside to out, or heat water over the fire. Life is good.
Once we had it set up, I laughingly told Andy, my husband, “Our marriage would have been much better if we had done this 10 years ago.” Never being a “soaker” he just didn’t get it, until one night when his back ached and his muscles hurt, so I suggested a long hot soak in an Epsom salt bath. Now he gets it, and more often than not, it’s him you will find soaking in the bath. My hubby may not fully understand the therapy of bubbles yet, but he’s coming around.
While the mini money pit is still a work in progress, we are happy to have our little outdoor oasis to take away the stresses of the day.
The tub also serves double duty, when we barbecue we fill the tub with ice and drinks. Now, that is definitely something my hubby can appreciate.
Soaking away my cares, until next time.
This post was originally posted in 2013, but has been updated with new information.