has become a hobby with me. Each afternoon my mother and I share a cup of
tea. Some days we have scones with our tea; some days we have shortbread
or an oatcake. Some days we might have a Lemon Lady, delicately flavored
lemon cookies in the shape of a lady. Teatime is relaxing and has become
far from routine. It is something we look forward to each day.
My maternal grandmother taught me to drink tea. She
drank tea from the time she was a little girl. She had beautiful china
cups and teapot, was very well read and very interested in all things
British. Sadly, I don’t have any of these items that belonged to her. Her
name was Elizabeth Draper True.
For several years in the 1970s, I had the
opportunity to live in Canada. I savored the British culture there and
tried to read and learn all I could about Britain at that time. I also had
a group of friends to have tea with each afternoon. There was a wonderful
old department store in London, Ontario, where I lived. Kingsmill’s sold
imported china from Britain. Each time my mother visited me, she and I
went to Kingsmill’s to buy a cup and saucer for her collection, something
with violets on it. We now have ten cups and saucers with violets on them.
Three years ago on Mother’s Day, my daughter sent me a teapot with violets
on it. She paid to have it specially packed so it would arrive safely, and
the packaging cost her $50! A year later I bought a cream and sugar with
violets on them while on a trip to southern California. I wrapped them in
bubble wrap and carried them in a cloth bag on the airplane so I wouldn’t
break them on the way home. I have added a violet serving plate and
server, salt and pepper shakers, and candle to this collection. These
items are on the shelves of a secretary which sits in my bedroom.
I was in the first grade at school, age 6, there was a girl in another
class named Darla. Her mother dressed her in beautiful dresses and put her
hair in long curls each day. I thought she was so beautiful. When we got
to second grade, Darla and I were in the same class. We became friends and
have been friends now for 48 years! She lives in Texas but we write long
letters, sometimes phone, and see each other whenever we can. One year for
my birthday she sent me the teapot with the scenes of the English Civil
War on it. She knows the things I love.
The next picture is of the first teapot I bought for
myself, the one with the tiny roses on it. It was bought in Canada. Next
to it is the teapot which belonged to my great-grandmother, Etha Jane
my cousin Kathy and I went to London for a week in 1997, we shopped at
Harrods for blue and white china which both of us love. I bought my
Johnson Brothers Blue Willow teapot there. In June 2001, Kathy and I did a
tea for Clan Carmichael at the Highland Games in Glasgow, Kentucky. On the
way home, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant where I bought the
other blue and white teapot. At the games in Glasgow, I bought the thistle
teapot, cream and sugar, which were made by a lady in Ohio.
The old teapot with the pink flowers on it was given
to me by my cousin Kathy in 1998. We had a family reunion at Christmas
1998. We told everyone a couple of years in advance that we planned to
have the reunion then. Kathy and I wanted it to be a very special and
memorable occasion for everyone. We had a lot of special details including
Christmas dinner with many souvenirs of family history – Grandma’s sugar
cookies, calendars with family birthdays, anniversaries and pictures, a
family history album, souvenir napkin rings and napkins, etc. The
following day we had family bowling in the evening, but the afternoon was
teatime for the ladies. Each of the little girls got a tea party book and
small teapot and gold teaspoon. The ladies each got a teapot and gold
teaspoon. Kathy shopped on ebay to buy the teapots. This is the one I
chose from the selection she had setting on a side table.
red and white teacup came from my great-grandmother Mary Catherine
Carmichael Meredith. I have been told that it belonged to her mother. I
love the connections with the past.
When cousin Kathy and I were in England in 1997, we
made a trip to Windsor Castle. Queen Mary’s Dollhouse was on display
there, a replica of Buckingham Palace with every tiny perfect detail in
the rooms. The tea cozy I bought there is of the dollhouse. In the next
picture, the white lace Victorian tea cozy at the front, came from
England, a tiny shop on the Pulteney Bridge. It is an antique. The floral
tea cozies were purchased from
The ecru cozy has old lace on the bottom edge and came from an antique
mall, The Company Store, in Norman, Oklahoma, where I used to live. The
William Morris Willow tea cozy in the back was purchased by me in January
2002 at the William Morris Gallery in London.
I also have a collection of tea party cookbooks
which is pictured in the final three pictures. Yes, teatime has become a