8.02.2002

I was raised drinking tea like fish swim in water. It was part of our daily lives. I came to adore it, the whole process, from preparing it to slurping it noisely by teaspoon from my teacup full of tea, milk, and 2-3 teaspoons of sugar! As time went by, my inquisitiveness discovered that the tea was Red Rose, a brand from Canada. It's a strong black/orange pekoe tea with a touch of bergamot oil in it.

We lived on the border, and I didn't think of the small town by us - Emerson, Manitoba - as anything other than, well...Emerson - another small town like my own. I was born there, we shopped there, I attended piano lessons there, etc., etc. Border guards waved us through both the US and Canadian ports of entry. People knew each other. We were rarely asked to declare anything or how much we had purchased. Those days are definitely gone...

My grandmother and mother owned ordinary everyday teapots, but they also had highly decorated china pots made in England, brought out for company. With these were beautiful porcelain china teacups and saucers, so beautiful they were works of art as well as items of service. It was a ritual that made the act of drinking the tea that much more special.

Later on I tried other teas, and have enjoyed many. But I still adore Red Rose the best - strong, sweet...the taste and smell brings back a flood of memories of a time, people, and something very, very comforting...