Sunday's, I don't set my alarm. When I wake up, I wake up. No to do list is waiting. And every Sunday when I'm home...I find myself wandering into a little project. This morning was cleaning teacups. My grandma Ella had a big collection of teacup. Grandpa had made her 8 tea cup cabinets to hang on their walls. Each held 9 teacups. When she passed my sister and I were gifted her collection.
At the time, I wasn't having tea parties. Frilly, fancy teacups weren't really my thing. As much as I love my grandma, I didn't really want a giant collection of teacups. I didn't even like pink or fancy dishes.
Of course, growing up, I didn't like broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, or beets either. Everyday you lose cells and gain new cells. Every 7 years we become new people.
A few weeks ago, I cleaned out, organized, rebooted and downsized all my dishes, my grandma dishes, good dishes, tea cups everything you would find in a china cabinet. Which is funny because, I also never wanted a china closet and yet somehow, I had enough good dishes and such to fill a china closet. 90% of which were gifted to me or wandered into my life.
Like the dishes I didn't buy, tea parties wandered into my life. I didn't search them out, and yet they found me anyway.
This morning, as I was washing my tea cup collection. (My own collection whittled down to 9 tea cups with saucers.) I was wondering. As many tea cups as my grandma had did she ever have tea? Did she use her tea cups as tea cups? I never saw her have tea. And yet, as much as she like collecting tea cups, I can't remember one time her using those tea cups. Maybe she used them when I wasn't there. My hunch is, she loved collecting tea cups and making cookies, pies and the most amazing sticky pecan rolls. But the actual tea party...I don't know.
Now I find myself falling in love with tea parties, tiny bites. Moments you savor slowly, absorbing the moment as well as the food and tea. Tea served in a tiny cup feels special. Deliberate, better? I'm awake. Mugs of hot tea go well with books, afghans and afternoons. Teacups, are used awake-present.
I know my grandma loved her tea collection. Going to garage sales, on day trips, finding a teacup calling her name. Having the means to buy something beautiful just for the sake of beauty- was a gift to her. She grew up very poor. Her china closet was more than just dishes.
I understood why she loved teacups. This morning as I was washing each tiny plate, little cup, I was present. I was so present. This is what a tea party means to me. Savoring a moment. Being fully present and tasting life. Pausing from my own life to slow down, slow way down and simply sip, or taste a bite a tasty bite. Tea parties, even tea for one, when served on tiny plates and little teacups with a special treat...makes me... happy.
With a tiny tea cup you take tiny sips. You hold your posture a little straighter. The table set just so. It's a tiny moment in life. It is special. Tea parties are special moments.
Thank you, grandma, for my tea collection that took a long time to be appreciated.
If you have a teacup collection. Dust them off. Wash them. Take them out of the cupboard. Brew a bit of tea. Make a tiny treat. Sit up straight, breathe slow and deep - satisfying breaths. Invite a friend over. Tea parties don't have to be fancy. Little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do just fine.
I have an update to this tea party... Yesterday, my mom and I got into a conversation about sewing machines and tea parties. I gave away my sewing machine this summer. On paper, I should love to sew. My mom is an amazing seamstress, so is my step mom. I'm not. I'd rather be doing pretty much anything but sewing. To be fair, I love to sew straight lines, go buy material and fantasize about all the things I could create...but that's as far as it goes. I was telling my mom I was loving tea parties. She told me something I don't think I realized. Denise you have always loved tea parties. She would know, she is my mom. Thinking about it, I can't imagine a time that I would turn away a tea party.