"Those tiny little tea leaves."

One of my favorite summer time chores was gathering mint for Mother. My brother and I would take a bucket and two sharp knives and walk into the meadow, following the creek, past the weeping willow trees, to the bank where the mint grew in profusion.

When we heard the Tetley Tea commercial on the radio, we sometimes sang along, remembering the leaves closest to the ground when we bent over them with our knives:

You’ll love those tiny little tea leaves in Tetley

Tiny little tea leaves

In Tetley Tea!

When I wrote about summertime in my magical childhood, I remembered “meadow tea” made, not from Tetley, but from our own tiny little leaves along the creek.

I have my own bed of mint now, and when I make a pitcher full of meadow tea, I love the idea that I am really drinking sunshine and rain, the meadow and the creek.

Here’s an excerpt from Blush:

Do you have a favorite summer drink? Tell us about it below.

80 Days until Blush launches. The mustard got a little messy. ๐Ÿ™‚

My New Beginning today? Proofread my manuscript for the last time! I’ll tell you about this process in a future post.

What’s your New Beginning? Log in here. Some of you are forgetting to log in. But the entries keep inspiring me. We’re over 180 entries so far. Soon I will describe the prizes in more detail. The folks who are entering every day have increased odds of winning. I’ll drink to that!


Shirley Showalter


  1. Warm Ginger on June 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I am so impressed by your mustard piping skills! And my mouth was watering at this excerpt from your memoir. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Favourite summer drink just now is San Pellegrino and Moroccan Tea (which is sweet, spicy and minty). I must admit to looking forward to a good old Tetley brew when I’m back in the UK next month.

  2. shirleyhs on June 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Your drink of choice sounds delightful. You might enjoy this parody of Tetley from India. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csx9Ix4a3v4

    You are the person for whom I am making these number photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Marian Beaman on June 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I so relate to your description of gathering and brewing tender mint tea leaves into a bracing summer drink. My Grandma and Mother both had moist, minty beds of tea.

    One twist: Sometimes Mom poured partially cooled tea into those metal ice cube trays to give the drink an extra kick.

  4. shirleyhs on June 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Hmm. Sounds like a good variation. Just watch out for the frozen handle. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. diane on June 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    your vignette makes me THIRSTY. and makes my fingers curl, remembering those old metal trays on my skin! a perfect summer passage.

  6. shirleyhs on June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks, Diane. Hope you get a tall, cold, drink and no metal tray accidents! Love all your New Beginnings.

  7. shirleyhs on June 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Just read these lovely lines from Eileen R. Kinch’s new book of poetry. The poem on p. 14 is named “Perfection”:

    It’s spearmint cut wild from the field,
    brought immediately to the boiling water.
    Mint aroma filling the entire house
    as someone takes the first warm, honeyed sip,
    intoning, O my God.

    And then the silence says the rest.

  8. Sherrey Meyer on June 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    My well-trained taste buds began watering at the mention of summertime tea! And the Tetley commercial — sweet memories. Thanks for sharing this beautiful excerpt from Blush.

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