In Search Of The Perfect Cup…

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My husband and I recently traveled to overseas in search of information and guidance as we embark on our next grand adventure, opening a European style tea room behind our existing retail store, Revival. Some of the tea rooms and salons were planned visits, carefully selected from research done prior to leaving, others were spontaneous visits. Planned or not, what we found was that “taking tea” is an experience that will take every bit of wisdom and knowledge we gained in order to translate it successfully in to our brisk-paced, fast food environment.

The whole idea of taking time to refresh, relax, and recharge is something we read about, even idealize, but in our “we can have it all” culture, rarely carry off with aplomb.Worldwide, tea is the most popular beverage except for water. But in the U.S.? Tea is 6th, behind water, soft drinks, coffee, beer, and milk (yes, beer is 4th, ahead of milk). There are many things I do not envy about European culture: antiquated plumbing, confusing street names, and yes their currency. (My husband accidentally handed an English clerk a euro and it was promptly returned to him with the remark, “we only accept real money here, sir.”) The beautiful demonstrations of genuine love and affection between family and friends, the efficient and punctual public transport, and the priority given to quality meals and times of relaxation with loved ones are truly ideals to emulate.

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After visiting so many different shops in several different countries, it has been a bit overwhelming and even with copious photographs and notes, processing this material is going to take time. Our customers have been a great help: from suggestions of shops to visit, recommendations of varieties of tea, favorite tea time rituals and delicacies, and of course lots of ideas on presentation. We are so fortunate and excited to actually have customers telling us what they want, it makes our job a lot easier. Many decisions still remain and we hope that our customers will continue to share their thoughts and memories with us to help shape and create our unique tea room. Adventures are always much more fun when you have someone to share them with! Have you “taken tea” somewhere memorable? What made it so special? The food? The company? The occasion? We welcome your comments!

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” Anatole France

I left the house unaccompanied today. My husband went to work early to tackle a project and so I thought my walk would be of a solitary nature, but companions were plentiful along the way.

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I could only marvel at the beauty and expansive creation that surrounded me. How could I even imagined that I would want for conversation or company
 
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while a majestic symphony enveloped me? I was so very thankful to live 
in such a beautiful place and that I remembered, for once, to bring my camera.
 
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I had to open the store in the morning, so I recognized that my time to journey this day was limited and it struck me that my walk that day was an excellent analogy for life itself.
 
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Our lives are limited as well. No matter how we try to avoid it, slow it, or deny it, our time on earth is finite. We are wise to choose our path carefully. Of course it is prudent to not squander any resource at our disposal. More importantly, whether our time here is short or long, is not to miss the symphony, the breathtaking beauty of creation, the sweet fragile brush of time moving ahead.

Before and After

 

Before

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Hello blog universe! Or whatever the technical name is for the blog reading audience. I am new to blogging and there are so many acronyms associated with the various forms of social media, I find myself struggling to keep up. First Facebook, then Twitter, and now WordPress. At nearly 50 years old, it simply seems amazing most days to be doing what I am doing. How on earth did I get to this place in not only in business, but now also marketing immersed in technology and social media that did not even exist even a few years ago? I guess it is a fair assessment to say I am on a journey. We all are on a journey. Before I became a nurse 30 years ago, I was most comfortable and happy being quiet. Notice I did not say still. As a “type A”, I have a difficult time remaining still or unproductive but I was happily immersed in my own thought world with little desire for communication or conversation. Suffice to say that ended in nursing school. I am no longer shy or quiet. That was before. Talking to people who are naked leaves you with a conversational skill set that allows you to converse with just about anyone, anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstance. I often hear the phrase, “he will never change” or “she has always been that way” and it puzzles me tremendously. Life is fluid, and our circumstances and experiences shape us a surely as the sun rises daily. How is it that some folks don’t ever change? What are the catalysts that promote the best outcomes in regards to change if change is inevitable? In the photo above are little girls at a new orphanage on the east coast of India, many rescued off the street. Their faces tell a story I have seen and heard in my travels to that country. Recently a team from our church went to visit them for the first time. They talked, played, danced, sang, and prayed with them. In the second photo below you can detect a definite change.

After

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I don’t have all the answers. But I think after years of observation and assessment, I may have a few. My prescription for the best possible outcomes in regard to change is to love freely and generously with no expectation of anything in return. I think you will be amazed at the results. I invite you to try my change experiment and I look forward to hearing about your results.