Ah, yes! A truer word was never spoken when it comes to the way I think of my own stacks filled with any number of tomes detailing the tales of England, Scotland, and Ireland! It is there that I escape to the green landscape of the Irish farmlands, the vast majesty of the Scottish highland, or the quaint country villages tucked here and there in the English Lake District for grand stories and histories of what I have always seen as the jewel of Western civilization. As a matter of fact, I’ve been trying all year to find the time to escape to Scotland as a participant in Faith, Hope, and Cherry Tea’s Scottish novel reading group – and only two months to go, too!
It is the only way I expect I shall ever see these isles – as I cannot imagine ever being in a position to visit there in flesh and blood. However – I have a friend who is preparing to do that – and more! She is moving with her young family to Scotland within the year and will take joy in seeing daily God’s glories manifest in some of the most stirring landscapes in the world!
To that end, she has slowly been downsizing her American household – and that’s where I come into her story. As the recipient of THIS:
I couldn’t have been more surprised when she messaged me that she had a “little something” for me at church one recent Sunday morning. She pulled from her car this Lenox treasure wrapped in a dish towel – and I scarce could believe what I was seeing . . .
“For me?” I breathed in amazement.
“Yes,” she replied. “I have kept my loose leaf tea in it so it is a bit dirty, but I just couldn’t sell it. I wanted to give it to someone who would truly appreciate it. I thought of you.”
She thought of me! My reputation has preceded me, I daresay, to be first in her thoughts to make a good home for such a beautiful work of teatime art.
To be sure, this little Irish Blessing teapot by Lenox, dated 2002, held great meaning for me.
Immediately I noticed the gold “claddagh” on the tiny door.
The “claddagh” has always been a precious symbol to me, as it is in Ireland:
This Legend of the Claddagh has many versions, but it is mostly seen in the form of an Irish goldsmith from a fishing village who fashioned the image into a ring that he made for his betrothed prior to being captured and enslaved in a far away land. She waited by the seaside for him for many years, confident that “My lover will come for me.” And, to be sure, the day came when he found his escape and returned to claim his bride.
The details in the craftsmanship were especially delightful to me . . . from the window boxed flowers to the the wellies and gold shillelagh by the front stoop;
To the bench and sheep around the back;
The stone wall and rose hedges on the side;
And that thatched roof with the chimney where the peat smoke would rise to the sky with the promise of a cozy cottage interior where my hands might wrap themselves about a warming cuppa tea by the fire.
Every detail made this tea lover’s heart flutter . . . and I was overwhelmed at the kindness of the gift. She was delighted to release it to good keeping. It is the perfect repository for a warm brew served up in my cozy reading corner surrounded by my favorite 19th century English, Scottish, and Irish writers – treasures all.
I believe I will be quite content to enjoy its contents with Liz Curtis Higgs travel-log journal, My Heart’s in the Lowlands – ten days in Scotland – a favorite read when I’m pining for a place I have never been but for books and BBC period drama. I’ve been trying to make some “me” time so I could log in with Faith, Hope, and Cherry Tea’s Reading Scotland with just ONE read!
Just more inspiration for what I have been doing with my time of late . . . creating my “vintage feminine frills” for CAMEO IMPRESSIONS – my new Etsy shop which I hope to open by the end of the month. Here’s a sneak peek at one of my embellished headband facinators . . .
Yes – more than just tea and reading happening in my little cottage industry these days . . .
I shall keep you informed as to my grand opening, to be sure! AND – more news is forthcoming: A NEW COMPUTER will usher in my long awaited equipment update with my departure from Blogger to WordPress within the month. Yes – we shall see how that goes. I’m having a professional handle the switch so I don’t lose any of you!!! PLEASE don’t lose me!
Sending you off now with a sip of tea and a blessing . . .
Sharing Irish Blessing in a Pot this week with: