Good morning, sweet friends! I come to you this morning as I think, "Do you remember those Chicken Soup for the Soul books? They are books that contain compilations of short stories for a whole plethora of different types of people or situations. There is one for each and every kind of person, I swear. Whether you are a preteen going through the normal trials and tribulations of middle school, a woman looking to break her way into the traditionally male dominated sport of golf, a recent cancer survivor, or anything in between, there is a Chicken Soup for the... for you! Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself here!
As I sat and pondered on the sheer volume of these books and the stories that they contain, I found myself wondering, "Do you think there is a Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover?". I was not even remotely surprised to find out that there, of course, is. I, then, began to look for a copy online and was pleasantly surprised to find a website that offered a PDF version with a free preview of a few of the stories it contained (Don't worry, I ordered the full copy, as well). Below I am going to share one of the stories that I loved particularly with you called, Sweet Dreams, and encourage you to think of your own stories that involve or encompass tea that you could share with us. Ultimately, I am looking to make our own little version of Chicken Soup for the Good Life Tea Lover. I hope you'll send us your story to be included!
"Tea is a meal for all seasons; it's also suitable for all occasions." - Angela Hynes
"Why does he always have big projects on a Friday afternoon?" I wailed when I walked in the door after work.
"What's the matter, dear?" my mother-in-law said from the kitchen.
I threw my purse on to the counter. "Oh, my boss. He had me work late again. I didn't get out of the office until six o'clock. Now here it is almost seven. Why does he do that before the weekend?" I walked over to the refrigerator and opened it.
"Don't worry about dinner. I made lasagna," she said.
"Oh, that was nice of you. Let's chop up a salad to go with it." I pulled out the lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes. We shared a cutting board, and chopped and sliced together, filling our bowls.
The lasagna came out of the oven hot and bubbly. It was delicious, but my mind swirled with thoughts of all the work waiting for me on my desk Monday morning. I was still miffed at my boss. We rinsed off the dinner dishes and put them into the dishwasher. My husband was on a three-day business trip, and this was the first night of my mother-in-law's visit. She'd be spending a few weeks with us before returning home.
"I'm sorry I came home in such a crabby mood. I didn't mean to take it out on you," I said.
"Don't worry about me. I can handle it. It's you I worry about. You shouldn't get so upset over work."
"I can't help it. My boss drives me crazy!"
There were bosses like that in my day, too. There's only one way to deal with them," she said.
I was all ears, ready to hear the words of wisdom on how to put my boss in his place, how to tell him not to give me an overabundance of work, how to make him appreciate all that I do for him. "What's the secret?" I asked.
"A cup of tea."
"Tea? How can that help?"
"Let me show you. Sit down here on the sofa," she said as she patted the end.
I did as she directed. I sank into the soft pillow back and kicked off my shoes.
"Now close your eyes and relax. I'll be back in a few minutes."
I could hear her footsteps on the tile and knew she in the kitchen. I listened as the cupboard door creaked when she took out some cups. That water ran in the sink. Then I heard the ping-ping-ping of the burner lighting on the gas stove. Minutes later, the kettle whistled.
"Okay, open your eyes," she said.
She stood in front of me with two steaming mugs. Dangling from the side of each was a string with a square piece of paper at the end.
"Here," she said as she handed me one of the mugs.
I took it with both hands. It wasn't too hot, just nice and warm. "Thanks," I said.
"Don't thank me yet. Sit and enjoy."
She joined me on the sofa, and we sat with our cups in our hands. I took a sip. It was good. "What kind is this?" I asked.
"It's a favorite of mine. I bring it with me wherever I go."
I felt myself relax as I sipped the tea, warmth flooding through not just my fingers and hands, but through my whole being. I felt calmer.
"So this tea - it makes bosses go away?" I asked, smiling.
She laughed. "No, nothing will do that. But it will make you forget about it for a little while."
We sat, drank, and enjoyed each other's company. We talked about some of the things we wanted to do while she was visiting. Time flew by. Soon, we were both down to the last drops in our cups. I got up and took the mugs to the kitchen sink.
"That was really good," I said, then covered my mouth as I yawned. "I'm ready to put on my pajamas and go to bed."
"Me, too," she replied.
"How about tomorrow night we watch a movie after dinner?" I said.
"Sounds great. I'll even make you another cup of tea." She began climbing the stairs to the guest room. "Good night. See you in the morning."
"By the way, what was the name of that tea?" I asked.
She stopped halfway up the steps, turned her head toward me, and smiled. "Sweet Dreams," she said.