Sunday, November 1, 2009

November theme: A trip down memory lane

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?


ControllerOne said...

Good topic choice. Something not Moho-centered.

slp said...

I enjoyed your story about the wine making. It made me chuckle.

No, I am not an over-acheiver, but I wrote and posted my "November theme" blog recently. :)

Thank you for the themes. It has been good to have something specific on which to reflect.

Hope all is well for you and yours.

Max Power said...

Gah! I forgot to write my post for October. I'll do better this month.

Abelard Enigma said...

There's still time to post about your journey - extra credit if you post about both your journey and an embarrassing secret :)