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Healing Cup of Tea

Linda & Tom

Sitting around a table or fire with friends must be counted as one of life’s greatest riches.  During the Virginia trip, teatimes were treasured opportunities to reconnect or connect for the very first time in friendship.  The whistling of a tea kettle, clatter of saucers, soft clicking of knitting needles, crackling and popping of a fire, and silvery tinkling laughing children proved comforting and welcoming.

Making Tea 2

Just as badly as I want to stop every horse trailer I pass on the Interstate so I can see their horses and ask where they are headed… I want to see dishes when I visit people. I ache to open their kitchen cupboards to look at salad plates, tea cups, egg cups, and other items. When hot tea is offered, I accept because I really like hot tea but also because I want to see their tea kettle/pot. There. I feel better now that I have confessed.

Making tea

I then tend to pepper them with questions about the origins of said teapot, teacup, or mug.   Did they buy it on vacation?  Was it a family heirloom?  Was it part of their wedding china?  Did they find it at a yard sale?  All the while, I find myself tracing the pattern on the tea cup or enjoying the weight of the mug in my hand.

Becky's Teapot

The story spills out while the kettle begins to hiss on the stove, as the kettle scrapes across the burner, and then while the hot water hits the tea leaves with the steam carrying the memory-evoking scent throughout the room.

That scent reminds me of the tea parties I would have with my girls (for those of you who are new to this site, I had four foster children last year and two of them were girls between the ages of 5 and 8).  We would spread an old embroidered linen table cloth, serve little bits of brownies or cake or biscuits with jam on tiny plates, and then I would pour hot tea in the girls’ itty-bitty tea set.  Tea parties were our special times and they extended a “cone of safety” so anything could be discussed from classroom crushes to secret wishes.  Oh, how I treasured those afternoon teas with my girls!

Hot tea is like a liquid peace-pipe.   You know?

Katy on Facebook @ Vinegar Hill, VA

At Linda’s house, Katy and I sipped hot tea while typing out emails/posts, knitting, or chatting. While I’d known Linda and Tom (and the other friends along the trip) for a decade or more, Katy was meeting them all for the first time.  Every two days, Katy found herself in some new person’s kitchen, living room, or guest bedroom or seated around a cafe table with a person who I had years of history with.  I feel sure it was uncomfortable at times for nothing to be familiar to her… but then the hot tea would appear and suddenly we’d all be relaxed and sharing funny stories.

Lacy's latest knitting project

The knitting would come out.

Embroidered tea towel from Linda

Handwork and projects would appear.

Linda's yarn

Project ideas would be shared and yarn ogled.

tea

There’s a saying about tea being able to simultaneously represent the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company. I believe that there is a great deal of truth to that statement.

Here is an Irish blessing for you, my friends, to enjoy:

May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.

  • The Cotton Wife - I really, really need to collect some interesting cups rather than just buying them at the dollar store!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - But that’s what makes them interesting, Jennifer! I have a whole post I’ve been working on about our stay with you and one of the things that Katy & I loved first was the fact that you always have a kettle on!ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - Nice table! What a cozy way to spend time with friends.

    Cheers,

    RosaReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Rosa: Linda’s table is really one of my favorite things in the world. It’s very simply set but the colors are always cheerful and the food is always spectacular. We have hot tea in the living room after each meal and throughout the day. She remembers to have homemade biscotti on hand.ReplyCancel

  • Kristine - What a comforting post to read! I too enjoy sitting down with a cup of tea, either quietly with a good book or knitting or with good friends and family. We must have tea sometime.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Kristine: We really need to have tea together some time! You should come over!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew Odom - I am a coffee guy and find just as much conversation through my “coffee chats.” However, my wife has gotten me into tea and I have to say the selection out there is more affordable and sometime more enjoyable. This says nothing of the tea culture though. There is something so rewarding about having a cup of tea from an old tea cup or something very proper. It is almost magical. Inside I think of myself as rather regal sipping from such a delicate instrument.

    Thanks for reminding me why I loved Europe so much and how I can recreate those warm feelings at my own table!

    Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Andrew: Josh is a coffee guy, too. He bought himself a french press and enjoys grinding coffee beans every morning. I love the fragrance of the freshly ground beans. I’m always disappointed with coffee though. It never seems to taste as good as it smells.

    I love the entire process of making tea and you are right about it being budget-friendly. When Josh and I first married and were struggling to make ends meet, I made a lot of tea. It was soothing and inexpensive. Good therapy!ReplyCancel

  • Fishing Guy - Lacy: Not much into tea, I drink it when i’m not feeling well. I guess I associate it with being ill. It was a fun post to read.ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Fishing Guy: I drink peppermint tea when I have an upset stomach. What kind do you prefer when ill?ReplyCancel

  • Aunty Katydid - Ah, tea. Sitting at Judy Bug’s now and enjoy a cup while in a state of extreme relaxation. I could almost curl into a ball and go to sleep on the big, squooshy loveseat by the collection of old vinyl records over here. I wonder if Alek would give me dirty looks if I did that…ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - Katy: I’ve never seen Alek’s dirty look… not sure I want to but it might be worth the risk if there’s a squooshy loveseat involved.ReplyCancel

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