What I’m Grateful For: Tea
As most of you probably know, in the mornings I drink coffee. Also at noon, and often in the afternoon as well. But in the evenings, coffee just seems like a really terrible idea, unless I have a particularly large project that means I have to pull an all-nighter (which luckily is pretty rare these days.) So I try to drink herbal tea.
Now, I need to be honest with you. I have an embarrassing assortment of teas. It’s kind of like a wine collector’s wine cellar (in my house, wine never lasts long enough to make it to the cupboard, much less the cellar, but more on that another time). My tea cupboard has kind of overflowed into TWO tea cupboards now, and I really haven’t admitted this to anyone else before, the fact that I hoard tea and buy much more than I need and have really far too many tins and boxes and bags of the stuff.
But I love to think, “Oh, maybe a mug of tea would be really nice right now!” And then wander to my TWO tea cupboards, and look back and forth…. hmmmmmm do I feel tense? Should I choose the relaxing “Cocoa Mint Chill”? Or do I feel like cream and sugar and how about that “Caramel Vanilla Cupcake” one in the far back of the cupboard?
Really I could live with a fraction of my ridiculous collection of foo-foo teas. I have ones that are YEARS old and I refuse to throw them away, I just use a few extra bags when they get old and weak. But I laugh at myself a little every time I knock over the 25 tins crowding the cupboard on the left, and I feel a little silly and a little indulgent and a lot like me, my quirky old self, surrounded by a mad excess of tea and book and coffee cups. Yup, there I am. That’s me.
What I’m Reading: Heft, by Liz Moore. I stumbled on this book – a novel – completely by accident, and I was hooked in the first paragraph – which is very unusual for me. I read so much that I’m highly skeptical of a new book, I usually kind of wrinkle my nose as I tentatively read the first few lines, ready to slam the book shut with a shudder if I find a trite phrase or a convoluted sentence twisted up like a contortionist, proud of its ability to arrange itself in such a way that no other sentence has ever done before. Those books I toss on the “Return Tomorrow” pile by the front door. But this one’s a winner. GREAT writing, and a story that is so painfully awkward and authentic and human – and bizarre! – that you can’t put it down. Amazon says,
“Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career.”
If you were looking for a really good book to escape into, this is it. I promise.
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Quote I’m Pondering: “A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton