Friday, February 10, 2006

An invitation

This is the December cup in a collection given to me by my husband
in the early years of our marriage.

This dear little teacup was owned by my mother.
The lady slipper is the floral emblem of Prince Edward island.
This teacup is a special keepsake for my daughter
who was only nine months old when Nana died.

Although "Meet you at Tim's" has become a phrase that is synonymous with relaxation and a quick visit after errands or a movie, " Come over for a cup of tea" is still the invitation you will most commonly hear on the Island.

We put the teapot on after our prayer gatherings, our home and school meetings, for a neighbourly chat, in emergencies and when words are not enough, we put the teapot on in silent solidarity with our neighbours' sorrow.

I have a collection of teacups and saucers in my china cabinet. They don't often come out but I've been inspired by Dawn.

There is a beauty and elegance in a china teacup that is seldom found in a mug. My mother always drank her tea from a china teacup - she said that it tasted better. I tend to serve tea or coffee to my friends in a mug. Mugs seem down home - more friendly and relaxed. I save my good china for special occasions like holidays or anniversaries.

But I am beginning to rethink that habit...

When my children were small we enjoyed an occasional tea party. Dolls and teddy bears were included in the invitation and the dress up box was raided for fancy hats, colourful ties and flowered dresses. Manners were astonishingly refined. We all became quite formal and addressed each other as Mrs., Miss, or Master So and So - the names changed for each party. It was considered a privilege to be asked to "pour". Such sweet memories!

There is a pleasant ritual and ceremony that is inherent in a teaparty. Slender sandwiches, with the crusts removed, and dainty sweets are arranged on a floral china plate which, of course, must be fetched from the china cabinet because an ordinary plate just won't do with teacups and saucers.

There is a lovely lingering which occurs over a hot cup of tea. We enjoy not only the taste but also the soothing fragrance and the elegant beauty of the cup.

Not to mention the company of good friends!! Why wouldn't I treat my dearest friends and myself to such a delightful respite??

Oh my goodness - I have myself convinced!

You are all cordially invited over for tea.

Fancy hats and dresses required.

"Time For Tea" by Barbara Mock