Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Silver in morning's soft glow.

My ponderings this week have been about taking joy in the simple things of life... such as honey... North Carolina Barberry honey to be exact... which a sweet friend sent me this past week after telling me how good it is in tea.

I've decided Barberry honey is the stuff angel food is made of... yum. Honey has always fascinated me... all this birds and bees stuff... and that something so natural and delicious is made by the bees. I believe there is some Pooh in me (although it is Jewels who says she is the Bear of Little Brain. :)

On a recent evening, a gentle rain fell outside so I lit a McIntosh apple scented candle and sipped the last of my Candy Cane Lane tea from last Christmas. I even pulled out the autumn Tea Time magazine which recently came in the mail (which has many delicious recipes) to get me thinking of cooler weather. I'm always ready for autumn by August, even after a cooler summer. :)

I wrote a post a few years ago about how nice a solitary tea time can be once in awhile, a type of mini vacation in my own living room. I remember when Christopher was a preschooler and I thought I'd never again in my entire life be able to read through a magazine... or finish a book... or slowly sip tea... much less have anything with a flame in it on a coffee table. Times goes by very quickly, doesn't it?

It has become quite hot and humid, more like our typical August weather. So, I have been out early and late to do the gardening and lawn work. While pulling the ever existent weeds, I startled a rather large frog. I must admit to stopping my work to admire his markings as one has to look carefully to distinguish him from his (her?) surroundings. Our Designer is such an amazing Artist.

Taking the time to look a little closer at nature is something I learned to do in all those nature walks we took during the homeschooling years... lessons taught by that hyperactive little boy... the same one who does everything in slow motion as a young adult (or so it seems).

I want to live the life I desire as much as possible, working within the limitations which hinder doing everything I'd like to do. To surround myself with beauty and candlelight on rainy days... the aroma of homemade bread (began in the bread machine then shaped by hand and baked in the oven)... great coffee... not to mention tea... a little chocolate now and then... old books and new British DVDs... music of all kinds... Miss Marple on TV... and family, of course.

I suppose when one thinks of a life of simplicity, their thoughts tend more toward those who live on a homestead and are completely self sufficient. Not necessarily one who enjoys solitary tea times and polishing silver. Yet, it is those very things that make for a pleasant evening at this stage of life.

I also love those early morning hours when the sun begins to filter through the lace curtains during my quiet time... with a cup of coffee, my Bible, and my favorite devotional... perhaps a great book that speaks to my soul at the moment. Simple things which only require my setting up the coffeepot the night before and rising from sleep before anyone else in the house.

I cannot do everything I would like but I can do something each day... to make my world that which I desire. My choices in books read, media watched, music on the itty bitty ipod, magazines perused, artwork on the wall, clothing purchases, meals and snacks made, etc... all come together to form each day of a lifetime. If I am more careful of my choices in these areas, I am far more able to handle that part of life which is out of my control. :)


Linda said...

AS I get older I have to rest more. When I'm getting sick I rest as much as I can and that seems to be the best medicine for me. I love tea and have several different kinds. It is my comfort food because I can't eat sweets or starches. I'm trying to drink more water so I've cut back on my tea, but when it starts to get cooler I will be enjoying a lot of tea again. Are you familiar with Eastern Shores Tea Co. They have some wonderful teas. Linda

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog. It is very thought provoking. Even though you have limitations, you still live the best life you can. And you inspire the rest of us to do the same. You show that a person does not have to have lots of money or be in the best of health in order to enjoy life. Happiness is a choice and you have made that choice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Lisa in Texas = )

matty said...

My goodness Brenda! We are on the same page today. The past six months I have spent a lot of time thinking of how hurried my life is and how I want to slow down. It is the little things that make life. Or, as Thoreau says,"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." Don't you like this!?? Hope you have a glorious, and cooler, day! Matty

scrappy quilter said...

This paragraph
"I suppose when one thinks of a life of simplicity, their thoughts tend more toward those who live on a homestead and are completely self sufficient. Not necessarily one who enjoys solitary tea times and polishing silver. Yet, it is those very things that make for a pleasant evening at this stage of life."

totally blew me away. Finally someone sees simplicity differently than most. I love it! I've said for years simplicity is about living in the moment, enjoying a lit candle and even enjoying a frog startling you. It's about listening to the quiet, sitting and yes pondering.

We try to be self-sufficient, however I have always said
that the simplicity part of my life is totally different than the self-sufficient part.

Great post!!

Ms.Jeanie said...

Love your blog! I read it daily and feel like we are soul sisters. I think I have told you this before. I had the same sort of experience today...on sundays we like to go to the pool and next to the chair I was laying on, there were pink shrubs(dont know the name) and bees were right to my nose and instead of swatting it away...I came in for a closer look. I enjoy the days of summer, but LONG for autumn to get here...fall is my favorite time of year. The crispness in the air and the scent of apple pies and apple candles give me such inside happiness. I am glad as well to see you view simplicity in a different light than others. I have a chronic illness as well and God is showing me the beauty in slowing down and how to enjoy my life now...verses where I thought I needed to be to be living the "typical" simple life. Thanks for such great posts. SO when will we see more of the I heart hobbit houses segment? The second part? I can't wait to be "introduced" to new authors.

Jeanie in KY

Anonymous said...

Yes I have gained a better idea of how to gadge what in life is most inportant to us and go for it. That important stuff has little to do with money does it. Real lemonaid, good books, good friends and family, a garden to enjoy and work in, the beautiful sky to peer at every day with its ever changing Beautiful clouds, a soft furry friend in my lap, did I mention books? :),stopping through out the day to realize another miracle God has given us...etc.. Oh Yes,.. these are just some of the Many blessings of a life well lived. Our own life. Not someone elses but ours to share with those we love. Jody

Linda Hibner said...


Thank you for the Sunday thoughts. Your words are refreshing as always. I especially enjoyed reading with Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring in the background. A dear friend of mine plays the organ and piano beautifully and contracts with a local funeral home to play either instrument when requested. At more than one Jewish funeral, Marcie played this lovely classical piece. She said that the family and friends only appreciated it as beautiful music, while she knew its true meaning. She reports that her heartbreak and sadness over the lost condition of the deceased person is eased by praising the Lord with great music that identifies Him as the world's only hope. Aren't we blessed to know Jesus?! I appreciate your sweet encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post and lovely comments today.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Brenda, I was just thinking today as I left the grocery that you have really helped me to slow down and enjoy more. I went ahead and let the doctor give me a handicap parking card so I don't have to walk so far. I also use the electrical carts to get around in the stores now. It has helped so much. You have taught me about slowing down to appreciate things. This was a great post.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Thanks for reminding us the pleasure of simplicity and of working toward just the life we want. I must admit that with my profession, life seems to become a runaway freight train so often--just the nature of the beast. But I loved the relaxation of this post and resolve to build in time for that in my own life! C

Raquel said...

Brenda: A simply lovely post! I have lurked on your blog for some time, having found my way here via Jewels at Eyes of Wonder. As with her, I feel such a kindred spirit with you. I am SO ready for Autumn, as well. Your words really spoke to my heart. Thank you for sharing. Much love, Raquel XO

Sue said...

I am a frequent visitor to your lovely blog and just wanted to say thank you for posts on living simply, beautifully, and most importantly, thankfully. I, too, love books, and grandchildren, and books, and did I say grandchildren?
We have the tea party game you mentioned and my granddaughter and I love playing it - especially on our tea party days.
Keep on with your inspiring posts. (and thanks for sending me to your daughter's blog. So fun to see their trip to one of my favorite places)

Connie said...

I'm so enjoying your blog. I try to read it everyday.