Did you ever play tea party in the swimming pool. When I was a kid, I used to love that game. It was an important part of summer. I played with my friend Penny or with my brothers. To play you take a deep breath and then sit cross-legged on the bottom of the pool sipping pretend tea. One person either says something or sings part of a song. Then you go back up above water and the listener tells what she heard.
When I got to be a grown up and had my daughters, we started having tea parties on dry land. In the spring and summer, we had fairy tea parties in our little city backyard, with tiny cups of tea and little fairy cakes, usually decorated with flowers. We also left some for the fairies to have later. They were too shy to join us. Sometimes they left little presents for the girls–a pretty stone or a flower.
SPOILER ALERT (If you’re my daughter) I did that–except for once. One time, we left out a treat for the fairies and the next day there was a little flat marble, sometimes called an angel tear. I didn’t leave it. I have no idea how it got there.
Sometimes, we went downtown and had tea at the Drake Hotel or one of the other hotels in downtown Chicago that serve afternoon tea. I liked the Drake, though, because it was so elegant and they had a harpist. We would all get dressed up and pretend we were fancy ladies. Even, or maybe especially, for me, it felt like pretending and that is part of why I liked it so much. It really was a special treat. Later, my younger daughter and her friends started having monthly tea parties at their houses. They would pick a theme and prepare tea and snacks according to the theme and then dress up accordingly, as well. I don’t remember them all, but I remember a Japanese tea party.
Sometimes we had tea parties for our friends–moms and daughters. And we have one friend who had an annual holiday tea for all of us, too. It was always fun and elegant.
One of my favorite teas was when I was in London with my girls a few years ago–part of my first (and only, so far) trip to Europe. Of course we had to go to tea. I was gluten free by this time, but we found a hotel that served gluten-free tea for me (and regular for the girls). I don’t remember the name of the lovely hotel, but it was, well, lovely
And now, since it is hard for me to go out for tea and find something I can eat (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, xantham gum free…) we’ve started making tea at home for special occasions. We don’t always get dressed up for tea at home, but we get out our fancy tea cups and fancy serving plates and serve everything beautifully. It still feels liking playing dress-up to me. I still love it!
Writing this bring back some very happy memories.
That’s it for today! and for the letter
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