This beautiful tea set sits on top of my cabinets. It was a gift from my mother on my 25th birthday, and I love it. It makes me think of English gardens and cucumber sandwiches and good manners. I take it down, along with the other odds and ends on my cabinets, twice a year to give everything a good washin’–whether they need it or not.
They always need it. Badly.
As I was washing this delicate tea set today, I reflected that it was a shame that I never used it. I mean, I have used it–on very rare occasions–but I don’t use it regularly. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the biggest is that I am slightly emotionally invested in it…and therefore do not allow common access to it. We Americans do a lot of this sort of thing. Seems kinda silly, really.
I was in the middle of a big cleaning job with my two younger kids while I was washing these sweet dishes. I kind of wished that my mom lived around the corner so that I could call her over to have a cup of tea with me for no good reason. But she doesn’t. So, I told my kiddos that I was going to brew a pot of lemon ginseng tea and sit down to enjoy it once it was cool enough to drink and they were welcome to join me. I don’t know that my fourteen-year-old and twelve-year-old were too terribly thrilled with my invitation, but they humored me.
When the tea had sufficiently cooled, we sat down together at the table, in the midst of our cleaning chaos, grabbed another pretty tea cup and shared a spot o’ tea. We looked at pictures of lemon madeleines, meringue cookies and biscotti in an old cookbook and daydreamed about what we might like to make if we had all of the proper baking equipment and necessary ingredients.
It was a precious moment with treasured people–as lovely as my tea set.
I think my mom would be pleased.