Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Daily Respite

Dear Ladies,

How much tension could be eliminated by the act of afternoon tea, that moment of respite from the duties of the day.  I had an aunt who, upon facing a challenging decision, would immediately take to her teapot and get it ready for a semi-formal sit-down tea moment.

(All tea photos from the Fairmont Hotels around the world).

Financially and distance-wise, it is not always possible to go to tea, but there is another way of getting out of the house: tea time on the porch, or another room, little nook or cranny, corner of a room, or a tea area set up in front of a window so you can enjoying seeing out.

My aunt always said "Tea" when snags or little upsets came upon her home, but tea time is such a soothing and elegant relief, it should perhaps be practiced every day before stresses arrive. 

Some ladies claim they have no time for tea, or they do not like tea, but there are many ways to use that nice tea cup for other hot drinks.  I have showed you how to use berries and fruit, mint and other garden herbs to make a tea. 

There is more to taking tea than the beverage itself.  The act of hovering over a small table or tea tray and ceremoniously pouring and hearing the tune of the teaspoon on the porcelain cup, using all the tea accrouments, etc. that evokes a feeling of luxury.  Tea is usually taken in small areas where people may converse and enjoy each other's company, bringing closeness and friendship to lonely people.

Many of us may never get to the Empress Hotel for tea, but we can create just as good or even better moments in our own dwelling places.

How much needless nervousness could be avoided if one would stop for tea, no matter what is on her mind.

This brings me to the little lecture that has been formulating in my mind all week:  Do not forget to live. Do not put off doing things that would bring balance to your mind, whether taking tea or taking pictures, and, if you like cleaning cupboards or sorting books in a shelf, do not wait til life settles down. Do not wait til your finances get better, your family life gets better, your marriage gets better, your country gets better, the church gets better, the town gets better.  

People neglect the afternoon tea stop because there is so much to do. They do not feel right if there is unfinished business and they stop and have a cup of tea. Eventually we all get a little wiser after we have seen that life around us and the world is never going to be as beautiful as we want it to be, and we make our own beauty and sweet moments at home.  We realize there will always be laundry and dishes to wash, floors to mop, unfinished sewing, plus our long lists of things to do. 

Some people, like me, are reluctant to take tea if the house is not in order.  We fnd it hard to relax in a mess. Keeping one corner of a room clutter-free and one table clean, or having a tea set in a tray that can be transported anywhere indoors or outdoors, can be the solution. 

We start to create the memories we want our children and people in our lives.  What will your children remember? I would urge you to make tea time one of their memories, and do not save it for special occasions, but set it up using your finest tableware, and take pictures for your memory book. 

I have set my dining table for afternoon tea and begun getting the snacks ready.
The leaf placemats come in several metallic colors and are available at Walmart and BiMart. I chose the  platinum color, but the other choices were very bright and it was hard to decide.  If you only need two or four for your tea table, it need not be expensive. The placemats are under $2.00 each.  Check your Dollar store for other leaf placemats.

If you have moments of restlessness or discontent, be sure to stop for tea.  Sometimes people's moods are softened by the event, and if you can, invite someone to join you.


anonymous said...

In my working days before marriage, we were always instructed to take breaks during shift work. I worked as a nurse aide in a hospital. We did heavy and stressful work and needed those breaks to rest.

As a married homemaker I get more mileage out of myself if I rest for a short break. Sitting down and putting my feet up for just 15 minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon gives a real boost of energy to accomplish more.

Sitting down while having a small snack and a cup of tea can really be refreshing. It can put you in a better frame of mind because it forces you to rest.

Add a few minutes to reflect on a bible passage and already you are thinking something positive, which changes your outlook from stress to peace.

We can get so caught up in work and really need to rest. Thank you Lydia for reminding us to have a little refreshment in our day.


Alex said...

A lovely reminder, so especially meaningful for me today; I have been packing the contents of my `fragile and special' cupboard... my favourite, most precious teapots and china (we are moving) and as I did so I thought how silly it was that those are some of my most loved possessions and yet I have barely used them since we moved in seven years ago!!
Not any more! Think I will set up a little tea table just by the window in my new living room and put the pretty china out ready the very next day after we move...we can celebrate with afternoon tea!

Unknown said...

Beautiful post as always dear friend! I love the tea cups.

JES said...

Lovely reminder... and just a side note, my husband and I were able to have tea at the Empress for our honeymoon. Such a special memory!!! :)

Lynn said...

You are good to remind us, beautifully, to 'take tea'...thank you Lydia

Andrea R said...


As usual, this post is incredibly encouraging and uplifting! I so miss our discussions. Since my twins were born, and now homeschooling has started up, I just haven't made the time for regular communications with you. So, I'm starting today by reading your encouraging blog once again. I do take my afternoon tea/coffee each day, and it is always something I greatly look forward to!

Hope to be able to catch up via email soon. God Bless you so very much!


ladypinktulip said...

The art of taking tea has so often brought me back to a good focus if I have been working hard that day. It also refreshes my mind and heart. Love Kelly Thompson

Housewife59 said...

Dear Lydia,

I so enjoyed your post today. We are using our little spare room upstairs as a sitting-room, which is nice and warm and sunny in the colder months. We gave away the spare bed and put some small armchairs. I am enjoying gradually making it inviting with things I find around the house. For instance, a spider plant that was not doing well, is now re-potted, and brightening up the chest of drawers in our 'new' room. Now I am thinking of seeing whether we can find a side table and tablecloth for those tea-time trays. It is all looking so homely (in the British sense of the word! - 'homey' to our friends across the pond)

We enjoy English Breakfast tea, lovely strong loose leaf Assam tea, and your famous hot water over berries teas.

I do not spend much time on-line nowadays, because for some reason I find it stresses me, but I do love to pop in and read your blog when I can.

Unknown said...

Your choice of a tablecloth was unusual for fall but absolutely stunning! I never would have thought of using a red/green plaid combination. The platinum place mats and the glittered pumpkins make it really beautiful with your china selection! Your blog always encourages me to try new combinations and challenge myself to use what I have in new ways! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Your choice of a tablecloth was unusual for fall but absolutely stunning! I never would have thought of using a red/green plaid combination. The platinum place mats and the glittered pumpkins make it really beautiful with your china selection! Your blog always encourages me to try new combinations and challenge myself to use what I have in new ways! Thank you!

Lydia said...

I am planning to post a new picture of another table with a matching tablecloth. They are autumn flannel-backed plastic tablecloths in plaid, with colors of Amber, avocado, Browns, burgundy, cream, and muted orange, made to look homespun with white stitching on some of the lines.

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