My grandmother, Helen, got me started on drinking tea when I was very young. Her next door neighbor, Bride (an Irish nickname for Bridget) Tierney, would always have a cup of tea for us and some cookies, while Pinkie the cat delicately washed her face with her paw under the table.
The light would stream in from the two windows that the table was pushed up against. Helen and Bride would chatter away as I kicked red Keds against the chair legs. Bride's kitchen clock was loud and that tick tocking punctuates my memories of that time and place. Her husband, Phil, was a very kind man. He cut my grandparent's lawn. Bride always called him "Philtierney," as if that was his first name.
Bride was from Ireland and what with my grandmother's Irish heritage, they were fast friends. Helen was a junk store shopper before it was cool. She bought me a vintage china tea pot with roses on it and two matching cups when I was ten. Somewhere along the line, maybe in move from CT to NY, that little set was lost. But my affinity for rose teapots remains, as you can see above.