I wrote an entirely too long post on Facebook, and then edited it more than once. Which might be a sign it's time to start blogging again. For now, here's that post:

A friend shared this, and I said I felt like I could have written it. https://longreads.com/2017/07/03/home-is-a-cup-of-tea 

 And it would just be a little different... I know where I'd start- with Peru, and tea parties with my mother using a tiny doll-sized tea set, and chocolate chips on the side, with the way a hot cup of manzanilla (chamomile) could cure everything. I'd probably tell you about visits to my grandparents, where both coffee hour and afternoon tea meant heating water in their old coffeepot to pour over teabags, and about trips to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory in Boulder.

 I might tell you about college, the day my car broke down and while it was at the shop I spent the day with the mother of one of my best friends and a constantly whistling kettle. Or how some evenings I'd bring my electric tea kettle and boxes of tea into the main administration building for the group of us who would sit around reading fantasy stories, and that one night it was so cold that I brought milk to go in the tea and I just set the milk jug on the steps outside to stay cool. When I went outside to grab the milk, it was snowing. I might tell you about the girls in the dorms who would put an electric kettle on and talk late into the night- studying, fretting about life, about school and boys and rumors and what would become of us all. I'd probably tell you about the gourd of mate we passed around my Spanish class, about the study abroad trip to India, where chai in tiny paper cups appeared out of nowhere. I'd tell you about my friend Pam, and how we used to have tea parties (sometimes in our dorm rooms and sometimes slipping down to her parents' nearby home, where the cats would purr their way around our legs as we sipped). I'd tell you about the mug Pam gave me when I moved into my first apartment, how I tucked it into my suitcase alongside a box of jasmine green tea when I went to Belize, and the way I'd journal next to that mug as the summer rain fell.

 I'd be tempted to tell you about all my favorite teamaking gear- the infuser mug that was a going away gift from the lab I worked in after college, the mugs and infusers that have been gifts from loved ones, the old McCormick-Hall teapots (made in Maryland, just like me!), the Morrocan-style tea set I picked up in Granada. I'd like to tell you about the time my Dad came to visit my second apartment, and how he laughed about the way that one whole cabinet in my tiny kitchen was reserved just for tea. And how for at least one U of SC newcomer, the answer to "Where can I get a decent cup of tea?" was my office.

 I'd tell you about some of the cups of tea I've made for other people (and that other people have made for me). Students from tropical climates freezing in a TN winter, tea for beginning of the semester syllabus shock, tea for bad days,tea to share good news and baked goods. I'd tell you about the tea buffet at my wedding, about the bags and boxes and tins of tea tucked into tissue paper as gifts for housewarmings, hosts, and weddings. I'd talk about about celebratory visits to fancy tea rooms, and grad school parties in my apartment with at least two different pots of tea (plain black for purists, accompanied by an interesting blend). I might tell you about visiting a college chaplain friend who hosts "Tuesday High Tea" for his campus ministry. I'd say something about magic and moments where life stands still.

 And then, I'd come back to my friend Pam. I'd tell you about our latest cup of tea,the one her daughter insisted on drinking with us. I'd end by saying something about relationships that span distances in time and space, how they're like trying to build a wall at the bottom of a very steep hill. There's constantly rain washing down mud on top of that wall, and if you forget about it it will get buried. If you want that wall to get built, you have to take the time to clean off the mud and lay down more bricks every chance you get. Tea is part of how I build home, but also how I build love, even when people I love are far away.

 Which is almost-but-not-quite exactly the same story.


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