A Sweet Tea Story

When I opened my mailbox and found a check from Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul, I squealed, “Wheee, wheee, wheee,” all the way home. Not that I look anything at all like a little piggy, but I may have sounded a lot like Petunia today.

It’s just that the Fortune-O-Meter hasn’t budged in awhile. So a little celebratory “wheeeeing” seemed in order.

But maybe you’d like to hear more about Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul? I’m probably the teensiest bit partial, but I think it’s Tea-rrific…(Yeah, that was bad. Really bad. It’ll probably get worse.)

My story is a long-ago memory of my mother-in-law, a seriously fine Southern cook who never served a meal without her big pitcher of sweet tea on the table. I, on the other hand, was just the opposite: an open-the-can cook who loved her unsweetened tea. We had little in common back then, mom-in-law and me, but the beneficent Mr. Hall, who one day let it slip that his new wife did not like sweet tea. Oh, the ignominy of it all!

Until wonders of wonders, a big pitcher of unsweetened tea appeared one Saturday noon on the dinner table. That’s the moment I knew I was truly one of the family.

These days, my mother-in-law lives a few blocks down the road in an assisted living facility. By now, she’s given away most of her belongings. But not the pitcher. That’s full of unsweetened tea, sitting on my kitchen table, reminding me of family.

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