Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tea on Tuesday

Rhondi at Rose Colored Glasses has a tea party every Tuesday so please stop by her place for a cup of friendship and a chat.
I came to Kuwait the end of 1994 and for the first 6 months, we lived with my husband's parents. My mother-in-law only spoke Arabic and I only spoke English so we couldn't converse, but we could share a cup of tea and have breakfast together.

On mornings when the men would go off to work, she would fix a breakfast tray which would consist of many food items that I had either never eaten before or had never had for breakfast. Pita bread and olive oil are staples in the Arab diet. Olives, cucumber, boiled eggs, zaatar, sliced tomatoes, haloumi cheese were all things that we would share. It was all very fascinating to me.

I have fond memories of that special time even if I couldn't talk with my mother-in-law. It was her way of welcoming me and food was served with love. She has been gone nearly 5 years now. She succumbed to cancer in June of 2005. A year and a half later, my father-in-law had a heart attack and was gone. Among their belongings was this old tin that was filled with old black and white photos. I never even knew they had so many pictures as there were never any on display.

Love this picture of my mother-in-law because it shows a woman so different from the one I knew.

Tea is a big part of the culture here. It is served with breakfast; after meals; with a sandwich in the evening; when visiting friends.

Often served in small tea glasses like this one.

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company. ~Author Unknown

Thanks for stopping by my corner of the world for tea today! Have a beautiful day! Tammy


Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

What a beautiful post, and what an amazing life you live! Such a treasure to have that tin of cherished old family photos! =)

Melissa said...

Well, seems your blog is working for me today. For some reason, I am just tickled pink to be the first to write on this one, that is if no one beats me to it. Memories are the golden thread to the past. They may not seem precious or valued at the moment but increase in value and tie us to what really mattered most as the years go by. I just made that up...pretty good huh. Sounds ok if you don't keep reading it over and over. Thanks for sharing a cuppa with us on this Tuesday.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Tammy Sweetie...
Such a beautiful post. Love the picture of your dear MIL and the tin you inherited from your FIL. So beautiful. Those were pics he cherished and that is why they were in that special tin.

I love the little tea glasses. They are very elegant looking, and dainty. Love them.

I so enjoy coming to pop in and say hi and see what you are up to. Have a beautiful blessed day and thank you for having tea with me today.

Country hugs and so much love...Sherry

Melissa said...

Looks like someone beat me to it:)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your post today. It made me all sentimental to hear about the first days you spent with Sam's mom. My first days with Omar's mom were very similar. Not much that we could say to each other due to language barriers, but somehow we managed to communicate, and to this day are wonderful friends. I love her dearly, and am thankful every day for my second mom. Honestly, I can't believe it has been 5 years since your mother-in-law passed away. Seems like yesterday.
The pictures they left you are wonderful. Mom has a number of black and white pictures of herself and Omar's dad. It is funny, because I look at them and amused to know how different she looked and acted then. Very similar to your thoughts on her mother-in-law's picture.
Thank you for such a wonderful post. I think Iam going to call my mother-in-law right now to say hello!

Love ya,

Me....bunny said...

Sweet post Tammy...what a wonderful way to wake up each morning and share a little bit of quiet and tea...glad you had the opportunity to enjoy Sam's parents. I love vanilla chamomile tea on a gloomy day..it hits the spot. Have a great day!


Rhondi said...

Hi Tammy
What a sweet story about your mother in law. I'm sure you must miss her. I like countries where anytime is time for tea.
Hugs, Rhondi

Susan said...

Hi Tammy...How wonderful you have such fond memories of your MIL. That's great. Sincerely, Susan

Anonymous said...

My husband was stationed in Turkey while in the AF and he learned to enjoy the tea there. CHAI is my favorite with all it's spicy warmth. I so enjoyed your blog today with the picture of your mother, the teacups and the story. Have a lovely day.

Sandra said...

I can't wait to see your decorated eggs and shoe boxes...thanks for stopping by my blog...see ya soon.

Happy@Home said...

How interesting to read about tea time in your part of our world. That is a pretty little cup to drink tea from. How nice that you could share this ritual with your mother-in-law. May I ask what zaatar is? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

this was such and endearing post...I love when different cultures meet and learn from one another...very different breakfast items right! wowo...

thanks for sharing such a tender memory with us! very nice!

ciao bella...and thanks for stopping by!


Grace @ Ruby Moon Designs said...

What a special time to be able to spend with your mother in law before you could even converse. Food (and drink) has such a way of bringing people together whether or not you speak the same language. And love is the universal language which, thankfully, can be given through deeds and not words only. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings, Grace

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, tea. Where does one even begin? What lovely memories.

Ana said...

Hi Tammy,
Something about a good cup of tea or coffee that just makes people come together. I know that I look forward to coffee time with my mom or mother-in-law when I go over to visit...It's our special time to bond...So happy that you have such fond memories of your mother-in-law and your tea time together...Have a wonderful day my friend.


My Grama's Soul said...

I ALWAYS like stopping by to hear your stories.



Diane said...

It sure is nice to hear of others with such sweet MIL.
I am having a Easter Candy Cup Giveaway.
Stop on by for a chance to win!
Join the Fun

Hugs, Diane

Jane said...

What wonderful memories of your MIL. Even though there was a communication gap you two were still able to communicate, that says a lot about the relationship you had.

Denise said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for reminding me of my mother in law. I loved her very much also.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Thanks for a glimpse into your heart and your life!!!

koralee said...

What a sweet blog post! What wonderful memories you have...thank you for sharing. xo

A Cottage Muse said...

Tammy...your post is so sweet and thoughtful today! Thanks for sharing tea with me today!

chasity said...

what an interesting life you lead.
i love that quote about tea. i am a big fan of hot tea myself...that little tea cup is adorable!

have a great day~

Claus said...

What a great story! thanks for sharing! Curious how different meals are from country to country. I would have never imagined having cucumbers for breakfast! though I love them, so I wouldn't mind ;-)
I never knew tea was popular around that area of the world! I suppose I was closed to the concept of relating tea with England only. May I ask what kind of tea it is common int that area? Is it expensive in Kuwait?
have a lovely day!!


I am glad you have such found memories of your mother in law... I was talking with Ernie about his Mom the other day... I said she is getting more gracious as she gets older. I think that is a nice thought that we might get more gracious with each passing day.
love to you!

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