Monday, January 18, 2010

Personal Hugs

It is an honor to receive and share the intimate stories of family and friendship that the journal has been receiving lately. I would like to personally hug each of you. So consider it done. I am not a person who hugs easily, although it is getting easier. I do "tear up" more than I used to.

I always remember my grandmother wiping her pretty blue eyes behind her thick square glasses (childhood measles had weakened her eyes) and being puzzled by it. I think it's one of the things that years gives us the privilege of doing. And so here with Kitty Foyle so perfectly resting next to me, I can have my own "hanky" moment. She doesn't mind a bit.

Let me share a "hug" time with you. The woman was beautiful--well-dressed and composed. I met her at Victoria event. I think we were in a shopping center. I was a bit startled when she took me in her arms. When she drew back, she said: "Victoria helped me get through....." I will not tell you the intimate story she revealed, but it made my world go black that moment. And so we hugged again and I told her that if any small way we had been there for her it was almost beyond my ability to comprehend. What I have loved about the comments here, have been the sharing of happy times, friendships old and new, and reunions. My hug has stayed in mind forever as a reminder that we can do things, acts of kindness, and not realize the impact they have. It's such a good reason for keeping our compasses due north.

My year of taking tea is about to begin. I will be sharing with you a monthly experience that has something to do with tea. I hope to enlighten and surprise you--and have a jolly good time along the way. Putting tea on the dinner table was my job as a little girl. We had a steaming pot every night--with whole cloves, I might add. And I've been a devotee ever since. Will look forward to us taking tea together.


  1. Hello Nancy: I look forward to your tea posts. Lately, I've been drinking green tea mixed with raspberry, on ice. Pretty good! Have a great day. Sincerely, Susan from

  2. Good morning, Nancy! Taking tea, such a civilized notion, isn't it? When I was in London, luxuriating in the generous care of a dear friend, tea was always at the ready. I learned there just how wonderful an electric teapot could be. There was one in every household and even in the bedroom of my small, farmhouse B&B in Hampshire! The British world revolves around this fragrant beverage, just as you see in the movies and read in books. One of the things I did, very deliberately, was to choose a tea and drinnk it in every location, so that when I should go home, I'd be reminded of England every time I drank that tea. I chose chamomile...that delicately blossom-scented tea that soothes tired bunnies and invokes thoughts of flower-strewn German hillsides and twilght-sleepy dales in England. I drank a pot of it in the pub after seeing a "haunted" house in Spitelfield, a huge cup curled up on a London townhouse couch (fighting an after-flight cold), another cup in the British Library cafe, and another in the bedroom of that farmhouse, looking out over fields that Jane Austen would have known. Now, when I sip that pale straw-green liquid, I only have to close my eyes to see again the rolling hills, tree-arched lanes, and busy gray streets of a country I've grown to love as a second home.
    I cannot wait to hear what you've got to say about tea!
    Love, Karen Marline, lifting a china teacup towards New York and Iowa

  3. You can count me in amongst the many women whose lives you touched during your "reign." The first time I saw Victoria was when my daughter was suffering severe asthma attacks. I had gone to get her medication and while I waited I browsed through the magazine aisle. The cover caught my eye, the contents stole my heart. Years have gone by and I can honestly tell you no other magazine has taken me to the magical places yours did. Of course, you did not know, but I hugged you everytime I held Victoria in my hands. Thank you for the memories xx

  4. Hugs and Tea With Nancy? I can hardly think of anything lovelier! It was your magazine that truly introduced me to the pleasures of tea: the drink, the ritual, the event. In fact, I often return to those wonderful old issues you edited for tea recipes and inspiring teatime decorating ideas. I've become so enamored of tea I have been called on to speak to civic groups and churches in the area about my passion for all things tea-related, and I always, always begin my remarks by noting it was Victoria that introduced me to tea. I shall sooooo look forward to these posts!

  5. How very exciting! Taking tea is one of my favorite things to do, in fact I am doing that today with a new friend. But every day is a tea day, as I sit here with my pretty china cup sharing tea with you. I send you hugs, something I also have learned to enjoy as I have gotten older.

  6. Oh Nancy-- I love the idea of "Taking Tea" here, with you & all of the wonderful people here too! I have had my best conversations over Tea or coffee.

    I have been absolutely enchanted by the Movie that finally came to the Theatre here,"The Young Victoria"!--It is such a beautiful film,everything about it!--I have a renewed interest in Queen Victoria & her life.Did you go and see the movie yet?-I would love to know your thoughts about it.?-To me,It is so beautiful,everything about it-I only wish that it would have been longer,as now am so curious about her life as it went on, after Albert passed away.It is now my new favorite movie! -I never imagined I would loose interest in "Gone with the Wind" Movie & collectable plates , music boxes etc.-- but I have!--

    A coincidence that just lastnight I was reading in a 1992 January issue of a Victoria magazine, & read all about one of your "Stars in a Crown",Julia Harris.{The one you told us about that played "The Young victoria"}--and also on- "Leaves P.91,"A Queens Legacy", was some gorgeous Artwork featured and talk of a book by Sarah Ferguson called,"Victoria & Albert,a Family Life at the Osborn House"! I can't wait to read it!----

    Each of your Victoria magazines always has something in them that is beautiful & Timeless-to me. Thanks so very much, Nancy for your wonderful magazine & blog,-xo-Valery

  7. How wonderful and "comforting" to read each interchange between everyone. I equate tea with comfort and many special times in my life.

    I am blessed to have several lovely cups and tea items. Each of them have a special memory for me. A very danity little china cup and saucer with pink roses is displayed in my kitchen. This family heirloon was given to me by my husband's aunt. She told me this story. Since the cup was so pretty and fragile, their mother (my husband's grandmother) only used it when one of the children became ill. Her mother always made a warm cup of tea with honey and sat on their bed with them to comfort them. The cup became the "sick cup" and Aunt Minnie wanted the cup to "have a good home" and be cherished. How honored I felt that she entrusted the "sick cup" to me.

    I have a cherished teapot given to me by a friend we later lost to cancer. We spent many hours sharing tea and "mommy stories." Sharon and I shared not only our friendship, but we felt we were sisters-in-spirit. Seeing my teapot makes me smile and run for a steaming cup of tea. Thank you Shernee!

    Nancy, thanks for the hugs and giving each of us this lovely avenue to share our thoughts. Jean

  8. I can't tell you how many times I found a personal retreat in the pages of Victoria.

    I was under so much stress in the 1990s that I actually developed Juvenile Diabetes (which many specialists now believe can be brought on when one is under severe stress combined with an infection or virus).

    I treasured my Bible and my Victorias. During a move, I had to take all my beloved Victoria magazines to the library free magazine rack. However, I have a vintage suitcase full of issues I've been able to collect again in the past few years.

    We truly do read to know we are not alone. :)

  9. Nancy,
    I am so excited to have found your blog. I have every issue of Victoria and cherish each one. It will be wonderful to read all you have to say about tea. I will ready the teapot and china cups!

  10. It was Victoria that inspired my mother and her friends to begin having their own tea parties, each trying to outdo the other with exotic teas and dainty desserts. One of my New Year's resolutions was to drink more tea, and I plan to bring my jade-green Yixing tea set to my office to make the ritual still more pleasurable.

    And yes, Victoria provided both the beauty and layers to pull me through many a bad day.

  11. Nancy- On my post above- Did you see "The Young Victoria", movie yet? Am so curious as to what you thought of it....-Valery