I've been going through stuff trying to simplify my life and get rid of junk. I can't believe how much crap I've accumulated over the years. Anyway, I cam across a box of stuff from my high school days. In this box was a hydrometer.
A hydrometer kinda looks like a big old fashioned thermometer and is used to measure specific gravity. It is/was used by vintners (wine makers) for measuring the alcohol content of their brew.
You see, I was not a Mormon in high school. That didn't happen until I went away to college. My senior year in high school I decided I wanted to make wine - and so I setup a brewery in my closet. To this day I don't think my parents ever knew. Being the typical teenage boy, my room was usually a big mess and probably smelled of dirty clothes - effectively masking any fermentation odors that might have emanated from my closet.
We lived on a country road at the time. We had a mailbox up on the road (which we had to hike to); but, my parents preferred to use a P.O. Box. My father owned an antique store; and, the post office was just a few doors down from his store. Anything that had to be shipped to a street address came to the store; so, my parents never bothered to check the mailbox at home. My mother worked as a nurse; so, I was always home alone after school. This afforded me the opportunity to mail order my wine making supplies and have them shipped to the house - which I was able to collect from the mail box after school before my parents got home.
Graduation came and I went away to college the following fall. By then the wine had completed brewing but had to age. I left my wine aging in my closet cleverly hidden behind some boxes. I usually came home from college once or twice a month when I would check in my wine.
I never actually got to taste any of the wine I made. In time, I investigated the LDS church and was baptized. On a subsequent trip back home, I dumped out all of the wine I had made (which was several gallons) and threw away all of the equipment - except for the hydrometer. I really don't know why I kept that particular piece of equipment. Perhaps I paid a lot of money for it and couldn't just throw it away; perhaps I thought it might have other uses; I don't know.
But, I'll bet I'm one of the only Mormons you know who has his own hydrometer for measuring the alcohol content of homemade wine.
So, how about this as a blogging theme for November. Any fond memories you care to share? Any dark secrets from your past you just have to get off your chest?