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Three Lessons from a Tea Cup

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. ~A.A. Milne

 Afternoon Tea

I’m not an expert on what would comprise a Proper Tea.  I’ve enjoyed  High Tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia, and it was marvelous and unforgettable, which I suppose would make it Quite Proper Indeed.  This probably had more to do with the hotel’s magnificent setting on the banks of the beautiful Zambezi River than with the tea itself.  It’s not every day that you can enjoy lovely food and drinks in a beautiful colonial style hotel with zebras, monkeys and even an elephant within view. 

No elephants in sight as I sip my tea while sitting at my breakfast room table, just squirrels and an assortment of entertaining birds, but that doesn’t necessarily limit me to a Very Nearly Tea. 

Through the Window to Afternoon Tea

The words on my fair-haired daughter’s new cup reminded me that every day is an opportunity to make memories. 

Celebrate Everyday

A Cup of Alaskan Tea

 Those memories can be of the once-in-a-lifetime sort, like the Alaskan cruise my parents enjoyed for their 50th anniversary last year.  Or they can be of the beautiful-in-an-ordinary-way variety.  A bit of huckleberry tea, a gift brought back to me from that anniversary adventure.  A slice of lopsided Honeycomb Cake from a cooking experiment I enjoyed earlier in the day.  A slightly worn, but beautiful in my eyes, table cloth from my grandmother’s linen drawer.  A pretty colored pot holder, woven for me by a student I hadn’t thought of in a while.  A little dried flower, a reminder of hot summer days. These pieces make up a happy picture for me when I recall them in my mind.  A snap of the camera helps me focus on the beauty of these simple things.

Honeycomb Cake

Cake Cooling

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things”
-Henry Ward Beecher

 This day I preserved the memory with my camera, and an ordinary moment became Proper Tea for me.   I want to remember to focus the lens of my mind every day in order to see clearly the beauty around me. 

 Life is Good mug

 Note to self:

1.  Celebrate every day. 

2.  Make memories. 

3.  Life is Good!


 Laura Nell


  1. Posted 12 Jan ’12 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    loved and needed this post this morning. so funny how we stumble upon just what we need to reframe our world. I will be back.

  2. Posted 12 Jan ’12 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    the depth of the quote from Henry Ward Beecher is appealing- you would love the book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp….it is about happiness and common things. i love your writing it always makes me want to be more thankful!

  3. Posted 16 Feb ’12 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I loved your story about tea and the simple things in life. When we focus on the simple things is where we find moments of joy that warm our hearts. Thanks such a sweet read this morning!

  4. Posted 21 Jul ’16 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great info dog I owe you biygitg.

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