Chances are if you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you’ve seen this tea kettle. It is the first thing my husband and I bought together for our kitchen. I suppose we’ve had it for fourteen years, or so now. We use it every day.
It had started to get a little dingy over the last few years. It wasn’t whistling properly any longer and it was taking forever to heat water. One day, back in early November, I noticed that my tea tasted funny that morning and I really inspected the tea kettle. I realized that a lot of gunk had built up on the bottom while I was ignoring it. I thought about throwing it away and getting myself one of those fancy electric tea kettles. I actually had it sitting in the Goodwill pile and had a fancy new kettle in my Amazon cart.
But you know, I thought about watching it spit and sputter in a vain attempt to whistle and I felt some compassion for it. Odd isn’t it, to feel compassion for something that is failing you? Having been a broken thing once in my life, I get it.
I looked at it closely and I was pretty sure I could make it work again. More importantly, I really love my tea kettle. It has been there for me every groggy morning for a very long time now; I have pretty much built my morning routine around the amount of time it takes to whistle. It has helped me nurse sick little children and make ice tea for special visitors.
The kettle definitely needed some work. I took a little screwdriver to it and fixed the whistle. I cleaned it and got some fine steel wool and polished until it was shiny, again. Every week since then, I’ve been boiling white vinegar in it- cleaning out the gunk that had built up the bottom.
Today, as I was making my morning brew, I realized that the little kettle is looking pretty shiny and new. It’s been heating water a lot faster and it tastes better, too. That’s not to say that there isn’t still some gunk to clean out, but I love that I was able to make it work again, when others would have given up on it.
Some of my friends accuse me of being afraid of change, or putting too much effort into reclaiming things that are old and broken. I find it ironic, sometimes, that these are the same people who value me for my loyalty. I am not without common sense, though. If it quits working again, I will have to replace it.
Today, though, I am just happy to watch my shiny old tea kettle whistle.