Saturday, January 3, 2015

Teatime Tale #1 - New Year's Resolutions

            For several years now I’ve wondered if there might be a way to combine my new interest in writing fiction with my old interest in teatime. So for this year’s Saturday series, I plan to write a tea-themed bit of fiction each week, just a short piece in the range of 600-1,000 words. My hope is that if Saturday isn’t a particularly quiet day for you (it’s usually a busy one for me), you can find time during your week to enjoy a pleasant, light-hearted story while having a cup of tea. Tea in some fashion will be central to each story, so for now I’m calling these simply "Teatime Tales." I hope you enjoy them!

New Year's Resolutions

            Sitting in front of her living room fireplace on New Year’s Day, Marsha opened the pretty red leather journal and uncapped a matching fountain pen. Where to begin?
            Every year she made a list of New Year’s Resolutions.
            Every year she fully intended to accomplish them.
            Every year she failed at most of them. This past year she hadn’t learned French, she hadn’t lost ten pounds, and she hadn’t even managed to keep up with her daily two-mile walk. Something always seemed to come up to thwart her good intentions.
            Closing the journal, Marsha decided to postpone making the new year’s to-do list until after she finished packing up the Christmas decorations. She’d taken the Christmas tree down the day before, but boxes of ornaments were still sitting in a spare bedroom. Now that Katie’s family had gone home, there was no reason to keep all those stuffed Santas and elves out.
            Katie, Marsha and Rick’s only child, had driven up to Tennessee from Florida with her two-year-old daughter, Olivia, in mid-December. Marsha had so enjoyed having them there before the holiday rush set in. Katie’s husband, Josh, had arrived a few days before Christmas after finally taking a break from the tech company where he worked. His job had something to do with website security. Marsha didn’t really understand it, she just knew that Josh was successful enough for Katie to be a full-time homemaker just as Marsha had always been.
            On Christmas Day, Marsha and Rick got a surprise after Olivia woke up from her afternoon nap. Katie walked in with a mischievous grin and said Olivia wanted to model a new outfit for them.          
            “Mom, Dad, what do you think of Olivia’s T-shirt?” Katie had asked.
            Marsha thought it was an odd question until Olivia twirled around in her glittery Christmas tutu and long-sleeved white T-shirt that read, “I’m going to be a Big Sister!”
            There were tears and hugs all around as Katie revealed she and Josh were expecting a little boy in the summer.
            Day One of the new year, and already Marsha knew it would be a good one.
            Right now, though, she had a major case of post-holiday disorganization and was eager to get her house back in order.
            Rick was busy watching bowl games back in his Man Cave, and that was fine by her. Marsha went into the kitchen and removed her Christmas planner from the shelf that housed all her cookbooks. Each year she wrote down where she stored the various decorations. If it was the year for red and green decorations, she’d know that these were stored in the garage. If it was the year for the Shabby Chic tree with the white and pink decorations, which Rick didn’t really care for, she’d know that these were up in the attic. Katie had loved that pink tree when she was a teenager, but Rick insisted it wasn’t really a Christmas tree if it didn’t have red and green on it.
            Marsha smiled as she reflected on how many Christmases she and Rick had enjoyed in this house. It’s where they had raised their daughter, and now it was where they got to enjoy the holidays with their adorable granddaughter. Soon, a grandson would be part of their celebrations too.
            After Marsha jotted down a few more details about Christmas decorations, she decided to make a cup of tea. Katie and Josh had given her an Old Country Roses teapot and four matching cups and saucers for Christmas. It was too extravagant a gift, she told them. They shouldn’t have spent so much. With a small child and another on the way, surely they needed to save their money.
            Yet Marsha loved her new teapot. She had always admired Old Country Roses but had never owned a piece of it. Now, she had the teapot and enough teacups to have three friends over as well.
            “Katie, Josh, you shouldn’t have,” Marsha said when she opened her gift. “It’s too much.”
            “Mom,” Katie had said, “just enjoy it, okay? You worry too much. If we couldn’t afford it we wouldn’t do it, would we?”
            Marsha hadn’t wanted to seem ungrateful so she let it go.
            In fact, she was learning to let a lot of things go.
            Marsha thought about her daughter’s words as she spooned some loose leaf tea into her new teapot. After the kettle on the stovetop whistled, she filled the teapot and gazed out the window as the tea steeped for four minutes.
            Rick walked in to get a snack during halftime of one of his ballgames.
            “What are you studying so hard?” he asked.
            “Hmm? Oh, nothing. Just putting up the last of the decorations and working on my list of New Year’s resolutions.”
            “Who needs the pressure of another to-do list?” Rick said. “I’m making a nice big to-don’t list for the new year,” he joked, heading off with a bag of chips and some salsa.
            A to-don’t list. Rick’s words lingered in her mind.
            When the timer sounded, Marsha poured herself a fragrant cup of Earl Grey and carried the Old Country Roses teacup and saucer to the living room, careful not to spill any tea as she curled up on the sofa.
            Marsha thought about what her daughter had said, that she worried too much. And she thought about what Rick had just asked, who needed the pressure of another to-do list?
            Why did she? Marsha realized she had much to be thankful for: a loving husband, a great daughter and son-in-law, a precious granddaughter, and soon, a new grandson to spoil. Maybe she should simply focus on her blessings this year.
            Placing her teacup and saucer on an ottoman, Marsha opened her new journal and carefully wrote across the top of a page, “To Do Not.”
            #1. Worry.
            #2. Obsess over a list of New Year’s Resolutions.
            Smiling, she closed her journal, capped her pen, and slowly sipped a delicious cup of tea.



  1. Lovely sentiment and short story. I hope 2015 brings happiness and joy to all!

  2. Wonderful! I could "get into" a NOT list! Happy New Year!

  3. AWESOME, Angela! I shall look forward to these Saturday "Teatime Tales."

  4. Enjoyed this. Looking forward to more. Here's to tea. Hugs, Deb

  5. I love it! Look forward to this series.

  6. After writing a 500+ word gardening column for 13 years, I know what it is like to put together an article on a subject you're passionate about. I like that you have an open concept to bring tea into your story and I enjoyed picking up on certain details. I had never seen anyone actually time their brewing tea until a visit with Phyllis but you must as well with the description.
    Good for you to express your writing talent this way and share with fellow bloggers who find tea an important part of their life.
    I look forward to the Saturday Tea Tales Angela, thank you.

  7. I love it! I'm so excited to be able to read your Teatime Tales this year, and this one was a great start. You'll have a book by the end of the year!

  8. Well done, Angela! Your writing talent and discipline are admirable.

  9. BRAVO!!!! Oh how I want more! I like Marsha, Katie and Rich - love his "to-don't" list idea.

    Oh, Ang, this is going to be so awesome to look forward to reading. TY!!!!

    You are so talented.

  10. I can tell what I'm going to be doing first thing each Saturday morning! Really enjoyed your Teatime Tale.

  11. Angela, I can tell already that I will be hooked on these Saturday snippets!! At the end of the year, we will all enjoy this 'novel'! can't wait for the next installment!
    Susan T from Ohio

  12. What a wonderful way to start my Saturday morning. I so enjoyed reading your story while sipping my tea. I too have been spending way too much time thinking about my resolutions.
    I'm so impressed how you have the time to work and produce this amazing blog. Much thanks!

  13. Thank you for the wonderful short story and the gift of a new story every Saturday throughout the new year. Looking forward to the book launch in 2016. Happy New Year Angela.

  14. Fun theme for the New Year! Sipping Darjeeling and enjoying your first short story. Thanks for sharing your clever and creative talents with us!

  15. I enjoyed this first Teatime Tale and look forward to reading them throughout the year. I think I'll start on my own "to-don't" list as I sit here sipping on my afternoon cup of Queen Catherine tea. 1. Don't let my blogging or lack of quality daily blogging stress me this year.

  16. Lovely Teatime Tale! I'm sipping Earl Grey in my Emma Bridgewater rose cup while reading your blog. I look forward to reading more. ♥

  17. Wow and thank you, Angela - this is going to be a great 'Saturday series!' I love your first installment, so well written and so imaginative, I think you will have another book by year's end. Thank you so much for sharing your many gifts and here's wishing you all the happiness in the new year, Joanie

  18. I loved it! I always enjoy getting into the "characters" of the story - will we be seeing more of this family? Hope so! Sipping "Christmas tea" in my Lego mug....I am impressed and thankful to be a part of your storytime Saturdays! Thank you!

  19. Angela, what a nice treat, I enjoyed this! Well done, I hope you feel very good about doing this, you should be proud!

  20. Thank you for a wonderful story, Angela. I like the idea of a "To Do Not" list. I also love the way you photographed the tea cup with your new program. I feel it is perfect for your story. Blessings

  21. Perfect! Will look forward to a teatime with you. DON'T we all need a list like that! :)


  22. Lovely! Thank you for thinking of us and sharing your special gift. I will look forward to more Teatime Tales. I am working on my "to don't" list now. Thank you too for bringing some beauty into our lives.

  23. Enjoyed your short story and will look forward to more. A Don't Do List suits me just fine!

  24. Angela, it was a wonderful Teatime Tale! Your blog is always such a treat and now we will benefit from a huge resolution on your part to write a Teatime Tale every week. You are an inspiration! Thank you.

  25. Thank you! What a lovely way to start the new year. I will have to remember to brew a cup of tea to sip as I'm reading. Happy New Year!

  26. Thanks, Angela, for sharing your creative writing talent; looking forward to the next installment, and wondering whether it will be based on Marsha again. My list-making is confined primarily to groceries, and I seldom ever strictly adhere to it! Wishing you all the best in 2015...

  27. Angela, I really enjoyed this short story -- even made me a little teary! Very nicely done -- I am very much looking forward to your Saturday posts! :)

  28. I enjoyed your first story and am looking forward to this new series. Thank you for this new Saturday series.

  29. Love your desire to write a story with tea/teacups as part of each edition. Love it and look forward to the next post each week.

    Speaking of tea and teacups, etc. one of my daughter's mailed a Christmas present and said it would be late. It arrived at the end of last week. A new scarf which I wore to mass this morning and the latest Victorian Classic which I had not known about...It features all things tea and is one of their best Classics so if you haven't heard about it I truly think you will appreciate it and just maybe 'after you buy it' you will put something about it in your teatime story next week........just a thought but it is a good one, n'est ce pas?
    With a prayerful heart,
    Sylvia Faye

  30. Wow! Angela! You have given yourself quite a challenge for the year, but I LOVE it. Good job!

  31. Looking forward to 51 more of these!

  32. Wonderful! Your short story makes me wish it was the beginning of a long story. ☺ Looking forward to more "Teatime Tales".


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