Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chronicles of Life… tea time memories

Complaining is a semi-professional hobby of mine because I do it quite a bit. Sometimes it’s necessary, like when I visit my parents and complain about them never having any food. Maybe they’ll actually listen one day and stock the fridge and pantry with stuff I can pilfer.

Knowing when to complain is an important skill, but so is knowing when to give a compliment. Therefore let the records show I think Celestial Seasoning’s tea is wonderful. Recently, I bought a package of peppermint tea to aid me during one of my many sick days. I’ve realized there’s nothing better than an herbal tea during the “ick.” Also tea holds a special sentimental value for me.

My granny and I used to always have a weekly tea time when I was growing up. Tea time involved several elements. The tea had to be sweetened in a particular manner. Granny didn’t use regular sugar but sugar cubes. I thought those were the coolest things in the world, especially when she asked, “one lump or two?” Next came the snacks, Pepperidge Farm cookies: Chessmen for her, Pirouette for me and Milano for the both of us. Then we would sip tea, eat cookies and watch TV shows such as “Murder She Wrote,” “Matlock” or “Perry Mason.”

Tea time varied. Sometimes it was early evening on a school day before my mom picked me up. Or it was at night during one of the many sleepovers at my grandparents’ house. No matter the time it was always fun. I enjoyed the tea, but spending time with my granny was even better.

Granny had a strong affinity for any of Celestial Seasonings herbal teas. We drank everything from lemon zinger to Mandarin orange spice and raspberry zinger. None can quite compare to peppermint. Granny enjoyed the teas so much she once wrote the company a letter of praise. They responded with a thank you letter and coupons for more tea. Score one for Granny.

Those memories all came back during my latest tea time, and I began to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So I followed Granny’s example and sent Celestial Seasonings a message via their Web site (thank you modern technology). They received a gushing compliment on how great their tea was umpteen years ago, how it still tastes just as good today and how drinking it brought back fond memories of tea time with my granny. Celestial Seasonings sent me an automated e-mail response with a “thank you for your comment” message the next day, but I didn’t think too much about it. Then a few days later I got a package in the mail from the company. Along with a response letter were packets of peppermint tea and coupons. Score one for me.

These days, I’m making tea for one. Granny is gone, and as much as I would like to complain about it, I won’t. Instead I’ll just sit back, have a spot of tea and remember those fun times. I have our memories, some free tea and coupons. That’s worth a compliment or two. Celestial Seasonings is the tea of my memories.