It started with my grandfather as we watched westerns on the magic black-and-white TV, and he sipped his cup of tea with just a touch of milk and sugar. I was always on his lap, and he always had a plate of butter cookies, the round kind with scalloped edges and a hole in the center that he let me dip into his tea and eat. “Bonanza” blasted around us in the comfort of tea and our time.
By the time my grandfather was gone, and I was scrambling through the thorny brush of my teen years, it was my own cup of tea. Tea with milk and sugar, and when I could get them, those great cookies too.
In college, Kathy introduced me to Constant Comment, which I lived on along with some of my roommates in a big house full of two many women in Columbia, MO. Early mornings? Tea. Mid-afternoon slumps? Tea. Broken-hearted trauma drama processing every nuance into the ground? More tea.
Throughout young adulthood, I was all about the tea. Black tea, herbal tea, freshly mixed blends of peppermint and orange peel tea. Later on, red tea, green tea, white tea, chai in many varieties. Tea for migraines, tummy aches, sadness, menstrual cramps, colds, and to de-frazzle me from the relentless of reality.
After I started popping out the babies, somehow coffee, with its muscular allure, moved into the house, and tea skittered into the background. Waking up was all about getting the coffee into me as soon as possible, which meant I usually drank it iced, and lately, with almond milk, after it was freshly made, strong and dark, with the French press. At the same time, I’ve been collecting tea pots, which, after someone gave me a new tea pot last month, I decided to display altogether in my dining room, thinking perhaps it was time to start using these.
That time arrived from a direction I couldn’t have anticipated. After my blood transfusion a few weeks ago, coffee seems as appealing as rawhide, and I’ve returned to tea each morning, many afternoons too. Early Grey, English Breakfast, Ginger Peach, and even Constant Comment. I’m guessing the blood now running through my veins came from a human who loves tea, reminding me that I do too.