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Tea Time

~Also published on The Huffington Post ~

Isn’t it funny what of our past comes rushing back…at the oddest of times?

I’m more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, but I do have a cuppa from time to time. Usually in the afternoon and always with a small cookie. (With coffee, I don’t need a sweet.)

Lately, I’m indulging in loose tea leaves bought by my dear friend at Teavana with rock sugar, or Downton Abbey Christmas tea, or Harney & Sons Fine Tea bought at L L Bean in a gorgeous, old-fashioned orange tin and named Hot Cinnamon Sunset.

But on an afternoon, I grabbed a plain old Salada tea bag for my cup. I was having a home-made chocolate chip cookie so didn’t need any spices in the tea itself.

And that’s when it all came rushing back.

Tea many nights after dinner with my mom when I was a teenager.

My mom was a tea drinker. With milk and sugar, not plain. And only Salada tea – nothing fancy or expensive.

I’m told my aunt, back in the day, even re-used her tea bags more than once. Reminder to self: I should be more frugal like her in small gestures.

Tea with my mom was a ritual, like so many other wonderful rituals she and I had. My grabbing the Salada tea bag made me remember some of them after 40-odd years.

Prejudice saves time;

it enables us to form opinions without facts.

I smiled seeing the little quote on the teabag. She and I would always read ours to each other, and Mom would always say, “Hmph” as she pondered the little saying as if it was a deep philosophical musing. Sometimes she’d comment on it, and it would start a conversation. Sometimes the little phrase itself was enough to satisfy, nothing more needed to be said.

We’d put our feet up on the kitchen chairs after my dad and sisters hurried off to their rooms and the T.V. And we’d talk.

How we loved to talk.

My mom was never in a rush on the evenings she didn’t have to get to work. There was no hurry to clear the table, load the dishes into the dishwasher or scrub the pans. She didn’t care if the pans got hardened with grease while we sat leisurely sipping hot tea. None of that was a big deal.

Chatting with me was what mattered to her. Laughing, listening, questioning.

If a Salada tea bag can allow me to remember that….and think of her…..and our special time together enjoying the simple…..well, that’s just worth a smile, isn’t it?

Happy Mother’s Day!

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