They are symbolic of many things in my life. Family history, comfort, beauty, and friendship.
I had my first cup of tea when I was thirteen years old. It was given to me by the woman who would, years later, become my mother-in-law. Tea making was a frequent activity in her kitchen, and there were certain rituals which surrounded it. Her name was Lucy.
Today it surprises me how many women do not know the difference between a teapot and a tea kettle. The former is what you steep the tea in after you have boiled the water in the tea kettle. Lucy was adamant that you must first begin with fresh, cold water.
You should boil the water until the tea kettle whistled. Now truly, so many years later, I can tell you that a whistling tea kettle has to be one of the most cheerful sounds in the world. Why anyone would substitute that moment of cheerful anticipation for a cup of water popped into the microwave and zapped for 60 seconds is just beyond me.
Yes, I know we are all busy and in a hurry. But some things are more than worth a few extra minutes. A well-brewed cup of tea is one of them.
Additionally, Lucy never (and I do mean never) used tea bags. For her, tea meant one thing: loose leaf Lipton Tea.
It is still my "tea of choice" although Earl Grey, Twinings, and several others are fine teas also. Alas, I may soon have to fore go brewed loose leaf tea, as there is only one store in our area which still carries it. Tea bags are now the norm, more's the pity.
I have formed new friendships over that first cup of shared tea. The warmth, the sense of peaceful communication that accompanies a cup of tea is just different from that of other shared beverages. For example, coffee drinkers may enjoy one anothers' company, but you rarely see people drinking coffee who look relaxed. They generally look like they are amped up and are talking a mile-a-minute. A cup of tea has only about one-third the caffeine of coffee.
Of course, it is just my opinion, but I think people having tea together tend to smile more.
It stands to reason, that with my life-long love affair with all things "tea" I would collect teapots. I have one from a visit to Windsor Castle in England, one from Mt. Vernon, the historical home of George Washington, and many others. They each have a little story, or family history, that goes with them.
One of my favorite teapots was given to me by my daughter, on her wedding day. It was a "thank you" gift to me, and I cried when I opened it and read the accompanying card, after she and her new husband had departed for their honeymoon.
But today, I tossed a teapot. We are in a new house, with new opportunities and new challenges, and when I unpacked one that had been broken years ago and glued together more than once, I asked myself why I was holding on to a broken teapot.
It was no longer usable, the glue might fail and someone could get burned. It wasn't very pretty either, as the glue seams now showed plainly. And goodness knows, I have plenty of other teapots to display for just the joy of looking at them. So I tossed it in the recycle bin.
Ecclesiastes says there is a time to keep and a time to throw-away. It was time. There is a time to toss away old, worn out, broken things which no longer serve us well. This applies to more than just teapots.
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Hope you are keeping the good things in life and tossing out the things that no longer serve you well. Until next time ...Marsha