Tag Archives: Afternoon Tea

Sweet memories for Mother’s Day

11 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

  May 11, 2019 Sometimes, we need a story to make us sigh with gladness. Here’s one for you.

The invitation read: “You’re Invited to an afternoon tea to celebrate Janet’s Birthday.”

My mom had artistically prepared that invitation for my tenth birthday celebration. Bursting with excitement, I raced down the narrow dirt streets of my hometown of La Paz, Bolivia to deliver them to each of my neighborhood friends. The common tradition of enjoying an afternoon cup of tea became special when it included a birthday celebration. As in most Latin American countries, drinking tea begins at the dawn of life. My grandmother prepared anise tea and poured it into a baby bottle to ease nagging colic in little family members. She grew a myriad of plants, whose leaves she used to prepare tea. According to her, each leaf or herb held special properties to cure any ailment imaginable. Perhaps it was the love she exuded when she handed us the aromatic blend that eased our afflictions.

Tea Was Served Daily

As part of her daily routine, wearing her apron over her black wool skirt, Grandmother stood in the doorway looking outside as her echoing voice called us in for mid-afternoon tea. Missing this important treat would leave us famished until dinner, which wasn’t served until 8:30 in the evening. Engraved in my heart are memories of so many afternoon teas. I can still smell the warm golden bread at the center of the table. Beside it sat a plate of white homemade cheese and a glass bowl of Grandmother’s orange marmalade. And while we sipped our tea, the conversations with her added a special delight for me. During the school year, once the dismissal bell rang, I dashed out and headed to the corner bus stop. I would wiggle my way through the crowded old bus and sit clutching my book bag, gazing out the window at the activity on the streets. Vendors in their colorful garb sat behind their stands calling out their wares to the crowds who jammed the sidewalks. Then I would elbow my way out of the bus and hop off with anticipation thumping in my heart. My gaze would travel past the green lawn to the tall building, the only university in La Paz, where Mom worked in the basement cataloguing books. I then darted as quickly as my young legs would take me through the large entrance, pushed the glass door that opened into the library, and headed down the stairs to the basement. As I slipped between tall bookshelves, the smell of buttery pastries wafted straight to my growling stomach. Swinging the door open, and with a huge grin, my gaze swept through the familiar scenery—my mom and her colleagues’ chatter blending with the pleasant aroma of coffee, tea and cream. After breaking loose from Mom’s tight hug, my glance darted to the mound of flaky pastries on the table along the wall.

All was not well.

But, as afternoon tea breaks offered moments of relaxation for all, Bolivia’s unstable government and stagnant economy offered scarce opportunities for my brother and me. Two years later in 1964, while seated in our tiny dark kitchen, it was time for our daily teatime again. With Mom stirring sugar in her cup, I watched as she gazed toward my grandmother and announced her decision to move to America. Grandma set her cup on the saucer with a loud clank, and tears flowed down her wrinkled cheeks. My grandfather, who had lost his lucidness along with most of his teeth, sat in silence, and with shaky hands, dunked his crusty bread into his tea.

Special Moments

After we began our life in America, whether by design or coincidence, I found special moments over cups of tea. When I lost my sight to an incurable retinal disease, my mom and I would sit sipping tea in the cozy kitchen of her condo. She reassured me that I wasn’t alone in my darkness. The aroma of the citrus blend still lingers, as do her words echoing in my heart: God would provide and she would be my eyes. God did provide. At times, while the family slept, I sat in silence with a cup of herbal tea pondering just how much He had granted me. His provision included Mom’s perennial assistance, and a renewed attitude, confidence and determination on my part. With the aid of a computer program that reads the screen, I’m able to string together words of inspiration for those who might need a little light in the midst of dark moments. As herbal tea comes in a variety of flavors, different types of events also came into my life. When my heart was sliced with pain after losing my 19-year-old son, in the midst of cold anguish, I remember moments of warm comfort. My mom handed me a cup of chamomile tea with honey. “Here sweetheart,” she said. It’s okay to cry. God knows your pain, and He will heal your heart.” Now, as I take the last sip of my Lady Grey tea, I set the cup on the corner of my desk and the eyes of my heart review the scenery of my life. Fueled by gratitude, my fingers begin to dance on the keyboard, relating the blend of emotions that swirl in my heart like tea leaves in the cup.

A note from Janet

I pray God hands you a cup of His love to warm the cold moments of your adversity. And may you taste the sweetness of His Word to soothe the pan and bring delight instead. Janet ______________________________________ Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE. CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video. Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE. Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.   Source:https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/sweet-memories-for-mothers-day.html  
Janet Eckles Perez
Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life. www.janetperezeckles.com

Loving the Small Town Life

14 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Is there any place better to live than in a small town? I know the shopping and entertainment leave a lot to be desired but what are they compared to kindness, friendship and a sense of community

Wednesday I started my day in a dental office waiting on Rebekah to have her stitches removed. Also waiting was a gentleman and within ten minutes we had covered growing up in Orlando and Sanford, how we came to live in this town, how Disney ruined Orlando, riding bikes all day as kids and no one worried, how hot Florida can be in July and finally, bonfires on the beach and how sad we are it is no longer allowed. I am sure we could have covered much more, but Rebekah was finished and we moved on.

Next we visited my former work place. I lost track of the conversation streams that were addressed in fifteen minutes but Mac iOS6 was an animated discussion as well as western vs. eastern Caribbean cruise preferences and why, Twinning’s new cold brew peach tea, Blackberry tea and porcelain tile vs. laminate flooring if you have a cat that chooses not to use the litter box.

Our final stop was at Teapots n Treasures, a brand new teahouse in our “downtown”. If you live in a small town, you understand the quotation marks. I was very excited to visit Teapots n Treasures because “taking tea” has become my new obsession and to my knowledge, in recent memory we have never had anything like it. No sooner had we settled into our cozy tea nook than I see my dear friend, Wanda and her friend being seated for lunch. With a smile and a wave, she comes into our nook bringing her friend.  In the course of introductions, it was discovered Wanda’s friend had read Rebekah’s book, Summer Storms. Rebekah was so pleased to meet a new reader face to face. They invited us to join them after our tea was done and we did. We picked up our teapot and cups, told the owner we were socializing, ignored the people giving us strange looks and made our way to their tea nook. What fun we had. Rebekah talked book stuff, I caught up on friend news. Along with the chitchat we also discussed a young family’s loss of their precious newborn girl. We are all praying for them as they grieve.  We were so blessed by our unexpected opportunity to visit with Wanda, Jamie and Joan. Wanda would call it a Divine Appointment.

I have never lived in a truly large city. What is it like?

Galatians 5:22-23

%d bloggers like this: