My Mom’s brothers and sisters have an interesting thing in common. Those who have had children all have one daughter each. This being the case, I often wistfully thought of my girl cousins as ‘sisters.’ Unfortunately, I lived in Idaho and my ‘sister-cousins’ lived in California and Nevada, so growing up we only got to enjoy each others’ company during family reunions which were too few and far between for my liking. Thank heavens for Lisa – my one and only girl cousin on my Dad’s side – who grew up just a mile or two down the road!
Of the out-of-state set, one cousin in particular, Heather, knows my tea obsession much better than most. It was her late mother, my Aunt Jane, who introduced me to tea houses in the first place. Now that we’re all grown up and having families of our own, it’s the rare moment when we actually can get together for tea. The most recent was after Heather’s first son was born and my Mom and I were stopping in for a visit. Heather’s husband was sweet enough to take the baby for the day, shoo us out of the house, and encourage us to go for some ‘tea and scrumpets.’
We ended up in Pleasanton at a little tea room Heather had discovered fairly recently, The English Rose Tea Room and Gifts. We were well cared for and well-fed (having chosen the ‘Queen’s Sumptuous Afternoon Tea’), and while I can’t remember the particulars of the yummy sweets and savories or what tea I chose, it was one of the most fun afternoons I’ve ever spent with my Mom or with Heather. We shared favorite memories of Aunt Jane, the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, motherhood, or the desire for those things. My Mom shared stories I had never heard before that had the three of us laughing so hard we could barely breathe. I think our kindly server actually brought us tissues for the tears of laughter that were rolling down our faces.
Shortly thereafter, Edie came along. The tea themed gifts came from a variety of sources. Lisa provided the requisite play tea pot and tea cups. She knew no daughter of mine could possibly go without! And Heather sent a handcrafted set of ‘tea and scrumpets’ (the name stuck, of course) made by a very talented woman in Australia.
They are some of Edie’s playroom favorites (of her own free will, I assure you!).
Heather’s brother was married last month, and it was fun to bring Edie to the house where I have so many fond memories. Standing with my Mom, Heather, and all my girl cousins who were able to make it, I smiled at the anticipation of many tea-and-scrumpet moments to come.