As women shared their tea cups, and memories of other tea parties, I remembered when my
|Cup from Elaine W|
massage mentor introduced me to an older German woman, who needed in-home sessions. I would bring my (heavy!) table, and after the session, she began inviting me to stay for tea, which included some fresh baked goodie....
When Helen requested I come twice a week, I told her I could come do massage two times, but not do "tea party" both days!! We would drop into a mix of English with some German words, and I'd hear parts of her story.
We always had herbs in our garden, and when my kids were young, Michael and I would gather our own favorites for Monday night tea blends. He loved sage, I prefered Lemon balm, and a sweeter brew. We had a wonderful black English peppermint from his elderly friend who lived in the house "my" gallery, 10 Oaks, now occupies.
Like my folks, we liked using local honey, and would use a bit in our brews. Sage or ginger and honey we favorites got sore throats, and in the late 80s, I took an herb class to learn more medicinal uses. Our local friends Melanie and Andy Van Hevlingen grow some of our favorite herbs.
During my years at the mountain hot springs retreat, Breitenbush, several co-workers loved tea and tea ceremonies. Rosa was born in England, and Gwynne had studied at the Guild theatre school in London. I'd often be invited over for elevenses, with tea served from a pot, and perhaps jam on a biscuit or bread from the kitchen. I was happy to discover a coconut black tea at our local Velvet Monkey tea room, similar to the one from a London tea shop. At Christmas, Jamshed would host a well attended high tea with poetry, in the lodge with a fire burning.
One housemate, Ray from the kitchen team, was an expert at simmering the spices and making fresh Chai. Like the little Red Hen, he encouraged Emily and me to make it sometimes, but no, we wanted his brew, and would patiently wait for our chai.
For our Red Thread Circles, we often brew tea in a pot, along with small oranges, nuts, chocolate, for help washing and clearing emotions raised as old stories are processed. We have a collection of tea cups, and teas, as well as tea in bags for individual use. A teapot appeasers in many of our Apothecary paintings, brewing new stories.
What favorite memories of tea and tea parties do you have?
Happy Paint Party Friday!