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If there’s one thing I love, it is tea. Ah, the wonderful aroma of fresh tea wafts through the house when I brew a fresh cup on the stove. I don’t just use a tea bag. No, I make a project of tea drinking and brewing as it’s a jolly good hobby.

Sometimes, I go to the refrigerator and add fruit. This gives the tea a delicious taste that intrigues me. I generally add apples, oranges, cinnamon, and lemons to the boiling water along with a Darjeeling teabag. In this manner, I can make a huge pot of tea and then drink it all throughout the day.

Since it was such nice weather outside, I decided to have a picnic in the yard, right near the flower garden. Since I do so love to garden, having a lunch outside with tea seemed like the perfect thing to do. I called three friends who had the weekend off. They loved the idea and would arrive in a few hours. All three lived in the Philadelphia suburban area so the traffic would not be an issue today.

I started making the tea. In the summer, it’s easy to add additional fruit, so strawberries, blueberries and apples seemed like just the right combination. With the tea brewing on the stove, I busied myself making small sandwiches. This is an art handed down from my grandmother, Millie.

I made three different types of sandwiches. They looked wonderful on the China plates that had pink roses around the edges. The set, given to me by my grandmother, had a special place in the China closet, right next to the collection of silver candle holders.

Then I decided to make a cheese tray for the picnic. I love cheese, as my grandmother used to go to the ninth and Washington Avenue market and hand-pick the items from the store owner himself. Old Louie took his time discussing cheese at his Italian store. He did gourmet catering on the side, dancing at weddings, lecturing at the schools to the kids. Every once in a while, he’d send a cheese wheel home with my grandma so that she could share it with her friends. A special treat from an admirer.

Ah, the fresh mozzarella, the soft brie, the tantalizing Swiss cheese from the Alps. I remember the flavors seemed delicious at the time. I went to that special place in the refrigerator and found the cheeses that I’d purchased earlier in the week. Some of the specialty cheeses included garlic and herb cheddar, cranberry cheddar cheese, Stilton cheese from England as well as a soft creamy cheese from the Netherlands. I cut the different cheeses in cubes, then added crackers and veggies to the tray.

With the sandwiches done, the tea brewing, the cheese prepared, I set the table outside. A fresh bouquet of flowers, picked from the garden, became the centerpiece of the table. Each of the four plates had a pink sea shell napkin holder that beautifully displayed the cream colored cloth napkins.

Soon, the guests would start to arrive. I shut off the gas so that the tea steamed on the stove, then made sure that the music in the background sounded wonderful. Classical music was one of my favorites. I enjoyed the melodic sound of violins. They sounded so romantic. And harps, with the soft sound of angelic music, could be heard in the background playing with the flutes.

I danced across the green grass, enjoying the beat of the drums as the pace of the music became faster. Soon, the pink skirt of my dress floated in the air as I twirled around and around on the patio.

My grandmother called. I picked up the phone immediately. She’d just gotten engaged to Louie. Ah, love is wonderful, no matter what your age. She had a two carat square diamond engagement ring that fit her finger perfectly. She discussed me catering a family party and I agreed to do it as a gift to her and her future husband.

Ah, the calendar seemed full, but I put a circle around the date. Yes, family does matter, so it would be a wonderful party with relatives from New York, Ireland, Florida and possibly Hawaii visiting. Grandma had a lot of siblings and at her age, well, any type of party was a celebration.

The list of people would be sent via email. My grandma was very knowledgeable in email, voice mail and flirting. She’d do well as Louie’s wife. Why, the home-made ravioli, as well as the vegetable noodle soup usually put a smile on Louie’s face.

The doorbell rang. I opened the door, expecting to see my picnic guests. A cute young guy handed me a large bouquet of flowers. I tipped him, then closed the front door. Quietly, I searched for the card among the roses, carnations and huge pink flowers.

I know you love flowers, so I decided to surprise you. Have a wonderful day. Love, a secret admirer.

Could it be John, Ron, Gary, Dave or someone that I’d just met at the country club dances? The thought made me smile.

My three friends arrived as I was unwrapping the flowers. I put the bouquet next to a large purple oval shaped vase with a large whit bow. Lisa, a master gardener, finished arranging the flowers. I contemplated the wonderful events of the day as the girls went out to the patio.

I felt very loved right then. I looked at the bouquet given to me by my secret admirer, then contemplated all the work involved in planning my grandmother’s engagement party being held in a few weeks. Everything would be fine. A smile on my face, I went to talk to my guests.

Love is such a wonderful thing. It’s everywhere. You can love many things, including tea, cheese and people. You only have to be prepared and it happens in an amazing way each time.


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