Sunday, April 5, 2009

My First Tea Set

My beautiful Persian friend Katy (pronounced keh- tee), generously gave me a container of tea, her mother's own secret blend.

Ever since I tried the tea at her home, years ago, I've always wanted to enjoy it again.

I was thrilled when I walked into my appointment with her husband, our naturopath, and she handed me my very own precious container of hand selected and blended tea leaves.

I've always been a coffee drinker, espresso to be exact. I've always enjoyed very strong tasting coffee.

Nana teases me, after tasting what is in my coffee cup, by saying, "Why don't you just grind some beans and suck on them!" It's actually quite hilarious because her comments, made in her unique accent, are usually accompanied with a scrunching of her face and rolling of her eyes.

Every since we altered our diet, I have slowly lost all craving for coffee. I've had a cappuccino a few times at Thirsty Thursday (since we meet in a coffee shop) but for the last few weeks I've been drinking tea.

I've even tried making espresso at home, which I love to do, but haven't been able to finish more than two or three sips.

Yesterday, after coming home with my "Keh-Tea" as I call it, I asked Nana if she had a tea set.

She invited me over to look through the treasures she has held onto since we lived in Japan (where I was born). I loved two sets she showed me but only came home with one.

I loved the other set so much I wanted to wait to have it in our home until our children are just a little bit older and more experienced with delicate, hand-wash only items.

This is what I came home with--

She actually has an entire set of dishes waiting for me whenever I want to take them. Plates, bowls, platters, a saki set, the remainder of the tea cups, an even bigger tea pot, etc...

As she showed me each part she told me stories that went with them.

I remembered that I have, in my possession, the old slides of my parents' trip to the factory where these pieces were made.

More than forty years ago Nana and Papa
(long before they ever dreamed of being a Nana and Papa)
took a trip to the pottery factory in Arita, Japan.

They were twenty-two and twenty-three in this picture...

As they toured the facility, they were impressed with the craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail--

They carried their treasures in bags and held them securely on their laps during the more than two hour bus ride from Arita back to Sasebo where we lived.

From Sasebo, Japan they were later transported to San Diego, California where I spent my childhood.

And now, forty years later from the time they came from this factory--

Her treasures sit on my kitchen table in Portland, Oregon.

In all that time and in all that traveling, not one piece was ever broken. Every piece that made the original bus trip forty years ago now sits in her china cabinet right next door.

I don't know what it is about having these pieces in my home, here with my children, that makes me feel more of a woman, a wife and a mother. But it does some how.

I can look at my little Nana and appreciate not only her love for beautiful things but appreciate her dedication to keep and protect those things until she could share them with me.



Sandi said...

I love the tea set! It is really pretty.

Ann said...


Anonymous said...

You made me cry!


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IAMmom said...

Seriously, you ought to warn a girl...I just did my eyes!

Lainie said...

I'm sorry J! Though I'm sure you look even more beautiful now.

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