Like my own heart

Fancy or plain, tin or paper, my tea boxes are full of treasure. May 2016

Fancy or plain, tin or paper, my tea boxes are full of treasure. May 2016

…box of tea,
like my
own heart
you arrived bearing
that had held
fabulous petals in their gaze
and also, yes,
lost scent
of tea, of jasmine and of dreams,
that scent of wandering spring.

Pablo Neruda

Ah, no wonder I love tea so much! Once again, the poet distills deep wells of emotion into a few well-chosen words.  As we sip our tea (or coffee) today, let’s imagine the miles those leaves and beans traveled to reach us, and silently give thanks for the hands that harvested the bounty that brightens our mornings.  Let’s savor the scents that linger, redolent of faraway lands and adventures we only dream of in our daily lives. I raise my cup with you in a virtual toast to refreshing moments that indulge the imagination as well as the senses.  Santé!


  1. Anon E. Moose

    • Eric, thanks so much for this hilarious reminder of one of my favorite sources of humor during Jeff’s first year of dental school. We really needed some help to defeat despair in those lean years, and Prince Mongo was the perfect reminder not to take life too seriously. Interestingly, he filmed this broadcast (for the TV show “Real People”) during the time I was one of his bankers. He told us afterward that he informed the production crew that he had “seven HIGH spirits at the bank” (emphasis his; clearly he wanted us to feel honored to be on a level above all the other “spirits”). Prince Mongo was not only funny, but very generous, bringing us pizza and cookies and lots of lively surprises to brighten up our days. I remember taking Jeff’s family by his home in the very posh Midtown neighborhood where he lived (Janice wanted to see his home because she had heard so much about it) and when he saw us drive up he invited us to come in, but they were afraid to. I would love to have seen inside his house for myself, but this video is close enough. One of the guys who worked at his pizza place had told me about the skeletons. Mongo had no need to keep his skeletons in the closet!!

      One thing he said in the broadcast that is different from what he told us, and it’s one of my favorite stories. Mongo came in one day and cashed a check for several thousand dollars (not unusual at all for him) and explained to me that he was about to leave for a trip to Zambodia. I asked him, “Mongo, how do you get to Zambodia?” He looked at me with a genuine mixture of pity and amazement. “Spaceship, honey, it’s the only way!” 😀 😀 😀

      • Anon E. Moose

        You thank me; but I reply, Mongo-Like, Think nuthin’ of it Dahlin’

        • Or as Mongo used to say to me when I’d pester him with questions: “Don’t you worry about that, honey.”

  2. Wileygrit

    The amazing thing is that where yours dreams take you there is a cup of tea or coffee waiting too expand those dreams even further.

    • Hey, that is a great thought! Thanks for reminding me of that. I’m sipping tea right now. 😀

  3. Our tea cups are clinking in a toast! My daughter would LOVE that elephant tea tin! She’s been an elephant collector for several years now. 🙂

    • Really? I’ll have to try to find one for her. Does she drink tea too? I am raising my Ginger Melon iced tea for another toast – here’s to weekends!

  4. And a toast to you!

  5. Sante.

    • Thanks Alys! I have a card STILL sitting out to send you, and the mental letter keeps getting longer… 🙂

      • I’m happy just thinking about the card that will fall into my mailbox one day.

        • Well, I finally mailed it yesterday, so it should be arriving soon. Matt is working on the dog park puzzle and really enjoying it. ❤

          • Julia, you card arrived today along with the card from Matt. He’s charming. I was happy to hear your news, and of course since your wrote that letter, you’re now a grandmother once again. Very exciting. Congratulations.

            • Thank you Alys! We are trying to chisel out a bit of time to plan a visit to see Owen and his family, although Jeff is still understandably a bit reluctant to plan anything.

              • I can appreciate how he must feel, poor man. And I imagine he has to guard his health while under treatment. I’m glad that cold and flu season is coming to an end.

                • Me too! 🙂

              • I can appreciate his reluctance not to mention the fatigue he must feel with all these procedures. It will be amazing to hold that little boy, won’t it? There is nothing so sweet as the smell of a newborn.

                • YES, we can’t wait– although we’ll have to. But it will be all the more special when we do get to see him. I just love babies, their sweet smell and their fuzzy little heads and fat kissable cheeks and toothless grins!

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I love the descriptive post! I know sweet
    tea is a southern thing and I love mine with ice and a slice of lemon, please. Thank you, m’am! How’s the “baby watch” progressing? It’s hard to think of Grady as the big brother, he’s still “Baby Grady” to me! Hi to all, thinking of your Momma! 💛 She

    • Hi Shelia! Owen Ramon is now officially past his due date, as was his brother and father before him. We will keep you posted when the big day arrives. Mama got to see Ellie Carlyle in person this weekend and she was carried away with her new little great-granddaughter (Owen will be her 7th great-grandson, but Ellie is only her third great-granddaughter.) Mama had not been doing too well, but she was so excited about Ellie that it just lifted her spirits. She really is a pretty little girl.

      I am having an iced tea tonight. ‘Tis the season to honor our Southern roots by keeping a nice cold glass available all through the day! Lemon ALWAYS included! 😀

  7. Good morning, Julia! And my tin boxes, formerly full of tea treasures are now home to other treasures – beads, jewelry fixings, sparkly things, ribbons and lace. One, in my car console, even holds change for tolls and parking….

    • Susan, that’s a great idea! I have a lot of tins full of things, too. I label the bottom of them until I get used to them enough to remember what’s inside. I have always loved tins of all sorts, even before I was a tea-drinker, so now I have way to many. I probably should host a tin giveaway or swap here sometime.

  8. Julia,
    Amen to 4 O’clock: time for tea! And the treasured coffee break. Each provides the opportunity to take a vital pause during our day.
    Blessings to all who make it possible.

    • Thank you Alan, I agree. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to visit a place where tea is grown (here or abroad) and see for myself a place where this wondrous gift first arrives on our planet.

  9. blseibel

    Ahhh, I have never thought the travels my tea and coffee have taken to get to me.

    • I don’t think of it often enough, but each time I do, I am grateful for those who make it possible. It’s a bit romantic to think of the exotic (to me, anyway) lands where most of our teas and coffee are grown.

  10. bobmielke

    Like you Julia, I prefer tea to coffee. I don’t even keep the means to make coffee at my home but will drink a cup when I eat breakfast at a restaurant. The problem is that Uxbridge, MA doesn’t know how to make good coffee compared to Portland, OR. The coffee here is weak, like old dishwater. Yuk. The best I’ve found so far is McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts. I actually ordered Lipton tea for breakfast at a restaurant that makes great food but lousy coffee. I enjoyed the tea immensely. I’ll be doing that a lot more with certain food establishments. 🙂

    • Bob, Jeff and I noticed that there were Dunkin Donuts shops all over MA — apparently there are lots of people who agree with you that their coffee beats what’s found in restaurants. I guess when it comes to coffee, one gets spoiled living in the Pacific Northwest. I haven’t had enough coffee to tell good from bad, which I guess is a good thing in my case since I’m apparently not very good at brewing it. Perhaps it’s easier to make good tea. In any case, I’m glad you have found it an enjoyable substitute for coffee. This is the time of year when it’s a tremendous advantage to live where you do, where hopefully it won’t get miserably hot. Actually we’ve had very cool weather here this week, but I don’t expect that to last. Hope you are doing well!

      • bobmielke

        I’m feeling better now that I have my new mattress and have a good night’s sleep under my belt. I’ve also been suffering from an intestinal virus for 10 days. I’m coming around now though and the weather couldn’t be better.

        • Bob, I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well. Hope you are feeling like new again in time to enjoy some sublime spring weather!

          • bobmielke

            I’m back to normal Julia, thanks. 🙂

  11. raynard

    Julia in the 90’s ” I found green and black tea. For someone growing up on Lipton teabags and” store brought mixed in a bottle err never mind nuff said I digress. I never made it ” pass the ice coffee/ starbucks 4.00 a cup thing. I do my flavored tea ” Bigalow and Celestal and ” what’s that new stuff pre brewed in a fancy/smancy bottle? Oh Lipton Pure Leaf ( kinda strong and dark.. Peppermint , lemon and Peach works for me……In my humble opinion tea is more relaxing than soda.. Especially after a long cold damp rainy day( like the ones we have been having. Is it just me or” as the groundhog ” rode on the Air Force weather plane with a sickness bag on his head..Hopefully ” after his latest weather reports” he wasn’t hung upside down and ” used as a “pinata” lol Be blessed…

    • Raynard, you have good taste in tea, as you’ve just named some of my favorites. I never could get used to the idea of paying $4.00 for a cup of anything except really good soup. I totally agree that tea is more relaxing than soda. And we have the medical research to back us up on that. My dermatologist stopped me from drinking soda when I was 18 years old, and I’ve never missed it at all.

      Speaking of cold damp rainy days…the ground hog knows better than to show his face around here! But I try to tell myself that soon we will be longing for the cool weather. Hard to believe it’s nearly June. Hope you, Mary, Ms. Ella and your four-legged family members are well and happy.

  12. Only you could make the notion of my morning cup of Java so lyrical. I shall now point baby finger skyward and sup a cup with the air of refinement it deserves, LOL Geez, maybe I should dawn my tiara for good measure? I love the notion of it all being more precious instead of the caffeine addiction that starts my engine and keeps it going. If a server had told my dad in the 60’s that, “next century, this .10 cent cup of coffee will go for $5.00 and ordering one will fill up this notepad”. He would have thought them mad. I laugh at what people order sometimes. “Double shot, extra hot, vente, cinnamon dolce, decaf, no room, please” (I don’t know if that’s the order but something like that, ha) It sounds insane to me too. Maybe, like tea in past times, coffee will be so expensive, only the well healed will enjoy it and it’ll be stored in an elaborate box. I hope we’re in that fine circle xo ❤ BTW cute elephant tin!

    • Oh, yes, I forgot to add about the tiara! By all means! If you could see the photos I have tucked away to send you, you would be laughing hysterically about now. I promise to mail them soon. I think your Dad would have been right about us being mad. I imagine he would think something along the lines of “These people obviously don’t have enough to do with their time or money or both.” I don’t run in coffee shop circles so the lingo is mostly foreign to me; it took me awhile to figure out what a barista is! Well, my dear, it is nigh onto half past six, time for a cuppa to wake me up! Tiara optional, but always appreciated! 😀

      • tee-hee, “nigh onto half past six”…You do have a way of turning a regular day into a fabulous story. “Good dawning to thee, friend” (I looked up some Shakespeare to dazzle you….LOL). x

        • I love it! Hie thee unto yon kitchen; we shall partake of the tea (or coffee, for thou) that didst delay too long in arriving to England for Shakespeare to have had the advantage of such a caffeine boost. Pretty amazing to think about, isn’t it? 😀

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