As I explore all the incredible experiences one can have over a cup of tea, I want to begin with an intimate experience I had yesterday. My niece visits, sometimes on command performances. In order to gain a bit of attention in her busy life, I find things she "needs" to do for me. I have found that asking, judiciously of course, for some attention is very satisfying to both parties.
Before we hit our market to shop, we stopped at my favorite diner in Westchester. I wrote about it briefly once in the Bliss section we created in Victoria. (Golly, I loved the freedom of those pages. I even thought that perhaps Victoria would spin off in that direction one day.) Back to the Dobbs Diner: My family has been going there for years. My husband and son are in our Iowa digs at the moment--so keeping up a ritual, my niece and I went and had lunch graciously served to us by Gus.
She said she had a story to tell me, so we settled back over our tea. (The brew is often a blessing for conversation, isn't it?) Recently, my niece drove to Baltimore on business. On the way back, she stopped for gas and tea at a rest stop along the way. Traveling on to the toll booth, some miles ahead, she realized that she had lost her wallet--leaving her with no cash to pay the toll.
Turning around, she hastened back to where she had recently stopped.
My eyes started to glaze over, as I have looked for a lost wallet with this lass several times over the years, including a recent excursion at Iowa State University in Ames, just before Thanksgiving. The campus was practically empty and the dropped wallet was sitting politely by the curb, just as it had fallen. Was there money in this lost wallet, I asked. Six hundred dollars was the reply.
Getting out of her car at the most recent stop, she looked around where she had parked, thinking she might have dropped the wallet getting into the car. While she was searching, a young man approached her and asked if she were looking for a wallet. Astonished, she replied that she was. He had noticed it, and suspected that when the person who lost it got to the toll booth, a return trip would be made to the rest stop. So he was waiting for her. Our tea was steaming, but it was the tears in her eyes that accounted for the mist in the air.
She talked to the young man and found that he had just lost his job and was returning home to live with his parents. Parents who should be justly proud of an intelligent and honest son. Perhaps that wallet has some kind of magic--always returning to its owner.
A story over tea--amazing and sweet. One that affirms that most people are good. One never knows what amazing things one will hear over tea. Do you have a teatime story to share?