I was his only grand daughter, a fact which he never let me forget. Sometimes, that was a good thing. Like getting first pick at the candy store. Other times, it wasn’t – guess who was the first to be drafted to shell peas or make dumplings? Me. But the one thing I will always associate with my grandfather, is tea time. At half-past two (for it was always half past, and never two thirty) he would brew us some lipton tea, and cut a jelly doughnut in half to share. I would eat it sitting on his lap, and he would laugh at the powdered sugar on my face. “There’s more on your cheeks than in your mouth”, he would say.
Though he’s been gone for many years now, his influence still remains. I’m told I get my stubbornness from him, and inherited his mind for language. I also got his love for tea. I couldn’t ask for a richer inheritance.
Earlier this year I started collecting antique tea cups and tea ware. My collection is small, but I prefer to think of it as highly curated. Almost all my tea cups have seen some history: the gold one from Bavaria, the floral one from Occupied Japan, and the cobalt one made in the USSR.
They make me smile as I pass the mantel, and remind me to be grateful for the little things (even during exams). They add a little civility to days that seem particularly hectic. But most of all, it reminds me of my loving grandfather, and our favorite shared tradition. What I wouldn’t give to pour him a cup of Earl Grey, at half-past two.