Gift from the Tea

The school year ends and summer looms before me with promises of slower days and restful ways.  Once the buses pull away at mid-day on the 30th, our staff has a luncheon planned – and a surprise for our principal!

Dear Yvonne has been at the helm of our charter school since its inception and opening day two years ago.  I have been honored to work with her and learn of her during that time.   But, with the opening of a sister school in the next town, she will leave us and forge fresh foundations in our new school.  Being a specialty teacher of the drama program, I will continue to work with her on the new campus, but will miss her on our original campus.

To express appreciation for her commitment and service to staff and student body, we’re preparing a beach themed display of gifts.  Yvonne commutes an hour each way from the shore area where she lives, so a summer filled with beach adventures is decidedly in her plans.  What to do?  Gift her with a beach tea, of course!

I hit upon the idea when passing this seashell shaped teapot in a store window.  I loved the blue color and the shape was so unusual.  I thought I could build a sweet display around the pot.  But, I’d have to pull together a handful of little things to complete the scene – not to mention a sweet treat.

The local bakery had just the thing – in the shape of a seashell, “sfogiatelle” – native to Italian pastry cuisine – resembling a clamshell and filled with a ricotta cream center, then dusted with confectioner’s sugar.  Served with dried blueberries and chocolate candies, the pot can hold anything from delicious green or herbal teas to lemonade.

I spent a delightful afternoon treasure hunting from store to store to connect the dots of  the picture I had in my mind for this “beach tea.”  Pulling some display props from my luau party bin in my basement (doesn’t everybody have a luau party bin in their basement?) I set the scene on a small blue fold out table I’d found that matched the pot and mug to perfection.

Everything seemed to just fall into place.  The sentiment on the mug – which is in the perfect shade of blue to match the pot – was especially appropriate:

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
Yvonne’s time is very precious.  I have always counted it an honor when she has generously shared so many “moments” with me, discussing creative ideas, and guiding me through the rigors of establishing a new work.  Her leadership has been a grand example of the servant leader type who is there in the trenches with her team, equipping them to accomplish high goals with inspired ideas and outside-the-box thinking.
So, in addition to this “gift from the tea” I’ve completed the ensemble with Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea – a favorite choice of my own in reflective reading:

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient.  To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith.  Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches.  Patience and faith.  One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”
Chapter 1 – The Beach
Gift from the Sea
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Education is a process.  Patience and faith are what’s needed in a master teacher.  Yvonne has been a consistent role model of these virtues, working tirelessly grooming her teaching staff and celebrating the potential she discerns in each and every student.  Her enthusiasm and bubbly personality are like the waves rushing to embrace the shoreline – constant and sure – dependable in the moments – always more where the first came from – enough to fill the days.

Thanks, Yvonne!  Your example has been a guiding compass to me – I have learned so much from you.  May God richly bless you with rest and renewal over the summer, returning refreshed and ready for more teaching and learning adventures come September!

Sharing this Gift from the Tea – Beach Tea with:
Sandi’s Summer Dreams on Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Wanda Lee’s Tea for Two at The Plumed Pen
Wanda Lee’s Tea Pots & Tea Things Tuesday at The Silken Purse
Terri’s Tea Cup Tuesday at Artful Affirmations
Kathy’s A Return to Loveliness Tuesday at Delightsome Life
Trish’s L.A.C.E. Wednesday at Lily Rose Cottage

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Lovely sentiments and quotes, lovely gifts! I am certain Yvonne felt appreciated and honored by your thoughtfulness. Mmm, the pastry looks delicious…pass a hot cuppa, if you will! I enjoyed my visit to your blog~

  2. Isn’t this just wonderful! It would definitely be my cup of tea, anyway. I grinned about the luau party bin because I’m nearly sure that you’re right that most folks have one.

    Love that teapot and the fact that even the pastry matched the theme. I have never read that book, and I need to remedy that since some of my favorite bloggers have mentioned it passionately.

  3. Very nice, Kathy!

    That teapot is so unique and pretty! What a sweet opportunity to bless a friend!


  4. Hi there visiting from Sandi’s Tea Time Tuesday … I’m so glad I stopped by… your blog is amazing!!! and I loved your question “doesn’t everybody have a luau party bin in their basement?” …lol.. I had to smile, I have started acquiring bits and pieces for a pig roast we are planning next summer ..and we decided on luau theme… Your Beach Tea setting is perfect!! and your friend will be thrilled!! following your wonderful blog…xo HHL

  5. What a beautiful tea set! I’m sure she loved it. This is such a great idea to thank a friend in a way they can always remember!


  6. Oh how very lovely. I love the iridescent color of the teapot and its shape! you have found some wonderful treats and treasures to go along with this marvelous gift. It is wonderful to work with inspiring people! Thank you for sharing this with A Return to Loveliness,
    God Bless,

  7. What a wonderful way to celebrate and honor your principal. I’m sure she was delighted. The beach tea theme tea seems perfect. Love the tea pot. All the beachy things are very clever and the book is one of my favorites also. Well done and Happy Tea Day!

  8. Hello Miss Kathy,
    What a wonderful Beach Tea! I love your teapot; how unique it is! The shade of blue and the dessert are simply yummy. I’m sure your friend Yvonne was delighted by your tea in her honour. Thank you for sharing it with Tea Time and I wish you a beautiful Summer day.


  9. You did a fabulous job working out this beach tea. The blue shell tea pot is amazing and I am sure a great inspiration. The dessert looks so yummy and just right for a beach tea!

  10. That is very well done. It all works together beautifully.

  11. Beautiful and creative, a wonderful tribute to your friend and colleague. Gift From the Sea is the perfect book for the collection and will give her lots to think about this summer. Maybe she’ll be able to read it with the ocean in view – the best way to absorb those words (if you can focus on the page rather than the view).

  12. Hi Kathy,
    what a lovely and creative setting – I love the shell teapot!
    Your tribute to your friend is very sweet.
    I’m sure she feels blessed to know and and work with you!
    I hope you have a great break and enjoy your rest from school.
    Thanks for joining LACE today.

  13. Hi Kathy: What a beautiful tea pot and table. I love the shell shapes. Have a wonderful rest this summer. Hugs, Martha

  14. That was a lovely tribute to your principal. I was in education for twenty years and respect what you both do.

    I agree that your tea “fell into place.” Your principal’s cup seemed to fitting and I could not believe the shell pastries!! I love that you read from “Gifts from the Sea,” one of my favorites.

    I am new to this having a wonderful time. Stop by and see my first little tea cup, if you wish!


  15. Yvonne is a lucky lady to receive this thoughtful and generous package. Everything has meaning and she will remember her days at your school fondly.

  16. What a beautiful teapot! The color is lovely.

    And yes, you don’t remember days…but the moments are what stays constant in your heart.


  17. Miss Kathy,

    I cannot tell you how excited I am to have discovered your blog (thanks for finding me first and leading the way!!). It’s just so beautiful and fun. I’ve had a great time wandering and reading, listening and looking and pondering. This post about the tea is lovely – both the goodies that you chose, and the words you had to say. Yvonne sounds like a real treasure. I’m sure she’ll be missed – but it sounds like her legacy will continue.

    I look forward to getting to know you better – and I’m so interested in what you do – mixing writing and performance has a big appeal to me. Anyway, I’ll probably be emailing you soon about it!


  18. Hi Miss Kathy,
    Your sea side theme for the luncheon is just lovely and I’m sure Yvonne appreciated all the trouble you went to.
    It’s wonderful when you find the right thing to give/do for a friend.
    How nice that you’ll still be working with her at the new school.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  19. Hi Kathryn, I’ve come over from LACE to say hello. Your principal is one lucky lady! That’s a lovely idea to have a beach tea. I hope you enjoyed yourself too. May God Richly Bless You!

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