Sunday, October 7, 2007

and then there was tea

As we are getting ready to depart this coast, my friend Susan asked, "what would you like to do before you go?" Of course, have tea with her and Sarah, children optional, location negotiable, clotted cream an absolute must.

Here's what I got Tea At Sarah's and it was ALL THAT. Her garden is incredibly beautiful and as I've mentioned before, her house is like an overflowing treasure chest. Every time I go inside, I can't even hold a conversation and look around at the same time. There are so many cool things everywhere that I can't even believe it. It was the perfect setting.

Little did I realize that I would get a "real" tea cup too. And that we would use her grandmother's silver tea pot. I do not share my friends' addictions to porcelain or tea thingies, so I was stumped at the offer of getting to choose my very own tea cup to use for real (a cool old one with little purple flowers on it). Most people offer me paper or plastic cups. They know. Was she kidding? I was sure that the cup I chose was 100 years old and a family heirloom and that I would smash it into a thousand bits before the tea was even in it. "Yard sale" she told me - no worries! Susan picked the cup with Queen Elizabeth II on it. No comment. Studley got the matching mug.

There were four "big" people and two "little" people. Studley and Lucy Carol (the little people) got their very own tea table, cups, plates and "tea" (apple juice in case you need to know) and decorative gourds. While the big girls were chowing on curried chicken, salmon, and cucumber sandwiches, they got hummus, apples, carrots and crackers. Studley put his plate on his head, it was empty at the time, and Lucy Carol informed him in a quite authoritative tone, "Simon, that is not how we take tea." There was snorting at the adult table.

Sarah's husband hid in the house and refused to come out. He had "important computer work to do" - guess he didn't see the boxes of goodies that we unpacked from the Dunbar Tea Room. My husband would have jumped right in and joined us. Mmmm, goodies. I'm hungry just thinking about it.

We chatted. We ate. We ate some more. Studley and Lucy Carol went to play with/feed/harass the chickens. Then we noticed Studley on the riding mower next to the coop. His hands were on the wheel moving it back and forth. There was a moment when we all considered that he would ride off on the thing. Sarah mentioned that it didn't have any gas in it. But Steve had just filled it. Uh, oh. Was the key in the ignition? Yes, again uh, oh. Would he know where the ignition was? Sure enough, he was reaching for the key and trying to turn it. The Son of McGyver knows these details. Sarah raced across the yard and extracted said key. Let him try hot wiring it - that would take a while as his fingers are small.

Oh, did I mention that he's a toddler still in diapers? Speaking of, he then started shouting "poopie!" and facing us. Observation or statement? Was this a commentary on the tea? On our "girlie" conversation in general? Was there dog doo next on the ground? Chicken doo? Or had this been the reason behind riding on the mower? To drive it to the bathroom as he was referring to the state of his diaper? Lucy Carol confirmed the latter as she announced, "Simon has to poop." Clearly, the adults needed the clarification.

And all these years, I thought tea was for the snooty mcsnooters. Tea comes to the common (wo)man.

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