Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Australia, Tea & Friendship

Relationships and connections are important to me. I think that's one reason that I enjoy the practice of taking tea. Afternoon tea with a friend provides opportunity to connect, communicate, and share. Research shows that relationships are extremely important in health and longevity. I'm glad for teatime moments with friends. These times are a special blessing.

And how fun is it to help connect your friends from different parts of your life! The story goes like this. My friend, Hazel, has been my buddy since we met in a religion class when we were freshmen in college. The class met at 7:30 am and our professor was a New Testament theologian. Somehow Hazel and I became friends in those early-daytime hours of deep thought. That friendship has remained over many years. She is one of those forever friends. The kind that you know will love you until the day you die. Recently she told me that she was going on a humanitarian mission to the Solomon Islands. On the way home, she was going to visit Australia and New Zealand. 

This reminded me of my friend, Susanna.

Susanna is a more recent friend. We met online through a group interested in educating kids. She is super friendly and most interesting to visit with. And, Susanna lives in Australia! So, I thought it would be fun to hook Hazel and Susanna up. Hazel contacted Susanna, saying she was a friend of mine. And things took off from there. In the end, Susanna and her family hosted Hazel and her travel companions for four adventurous days! Susanna is a tour hostess of excellence! From her heart, and because of friendship, she provided beds, breakfasts (and lunches and dinners), and tours of Sydney and surrounding areas. Train travel, ferry rides, foot travel, museums, aquariums, China town, gardens, and so much more were crammed into a few short days. Amazing energy, instant friendship (Hazel and Susanna), and fun times were had. Too soon (for them), the journey ended and Hazel's group returned home.

Yesterday Hazel and I met for a four-hour lunch and tea, because we had a lot to talk about and catch up on!

Hazel is my friend who does not like tea. Susanna made it her mission to get Hazel to try some while in Sydney. So, over lunch in China town, she made sure to provide Hazel with a cup of Jasmine Green Tea. She documented it with photo and sent it out by Facebook immediately! Hazel is such a good sport!

We met for lunch at a restaurant whose theme centers around farm and western decor and food. I was quite sure they wouldn't offer Jasmine Green tea, so I brought my own! Stash Jasmine Blossom Green Tea in convenient tea bags were produced from my purse; the waitress kindly brought us mugs and hot water. Instructions were given to Hazel to steep it "only one minute" because I thought she might actually enjoy it if it was gentle and weak. And she did! We visited. I listened to stories of Hazel's travel adventures. We talked about Susanna (who is coming to American next year, so we have some planning to do!). The hours flew by quickly!

And Hazel brought gifts from Australia. Beautifully wrapped, she presented me with a lovely tea kit from Susanna. It's paired with an Australian tea towel from Hazel. The tea is by Tea Tonic and is named Australiana Tea. The tin says that it is cool, dry, vast and a whole lot of soul. It contains lemon myrtle, sage, and eucalyptus leaf.

This morning, tea was taken on the porch. I paired my Australiana Tea from Susanna with the tea towel from Hazel. In my cupboard was a mug of Australian Roadsigns (featuring Australian animals like wombats, crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, emus and camels) that was brought home to me by Dad and Alma on a trip they took to Australia in the past. The tea was delicious! The sage, very evident, giving it a surprisingly nutty taste. With notes of eucalyptus in the background, the cup is accented by lemon myrtle. This was a wonderful way to wake up and take on the day!

Thank you for the lovely gifts, Hazel and Susanna!


  1. Lovely story of friendship and good times :)

  2. What a lovely tale of friendships and tea. You are lucky indeed to have such wonderful friends.

  3. Oh I so enjoyed reading your blog and I am missing Hazel all over again....sniff sob sniff :-( I am thrilled she liked your jasmine tea...I certainly left the tea bag in... accidentally...way too long and it was way too strong when I shared some with her. I am so glad you got the present at last..it's been on quite a journey to get to you. :-) I am thrilled you are enjoying it and just savouring an entire unique Aussie moment with your cuppa, your tea towel and your mug ...Mike and I certainly look forward to heading your way next year :-)

  4. What a generous spirit you are! This made me smile. How fun it will be when you all get together! That tea sounds most interesting.

  5. Love good ole friends and new ones, too!

  6. What a blessing our friends are! Very sweet post and fun to read about your friends.

  7. Aren't friendship connection just the very best? How special that two of your friends were able to connect in Australia. Then the tea treat were so special too and so very thoughtful. Just a lovely morning tea.

  8. Lovely visit and tea shared! What a wonderful post about your wonderful time together.

  9. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Your friend Susanna in Australia sounds like the definition of gracious hospitality.
    Rochelle, ATAA

  10. How wonderful that you were able to connect these two for such a lovely visit. And what a sweetheart Susanna was to host a group she had never met before. :)


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