high tea

her experience with high tea was limited to british tv programs. she’d spent countless hours howling in laughter watching ‘fawlty towers‘, ‘keeping up appearances‘ and ‘to the manor born.‘ she’d owned every episode on vhs, even had them memorized, a fact that was a well kept secret until now. she’d always had a fascination with all things british, the humor, the mannerisms, jane eyre, the yorkshire moors and old english estates. fancy that.

 

her momma told her of her heritage as a child: english, irish and german. the german slice was of little interest, further proven out by her near failure of german class in high school. the english and irish pieces of her heritage, though, they were fascinating and very alive. she was convinced narnia was a real place somewhere over there. and by george, she was going to have a chocolate box cottage one day, yes, she was.

Chocoloate Box Cottage
photo credit: google

papa god, good papa that he is, why, he even brought her a friend whose roots were all united kingdom. she grew up having tea several times a day. fascinating. black tea, cucumber sandwiches, sausage rolls, little cakes and tarts, biscuits and digestive crackers. licorice all sorts and peppermints. she knew about all of it, lived it. brilliant.

weeks prior, her friend had told her of this place, a real destination, a very british place with all manner of british fair. oh my. they plotted and planned to visit and eat english pastry. filled with gluten. and sugar. it was time to break all the eating rules if only for a bit.

finally, the day came. they were going to go the ‘place’ for high tea. she speculated to said friend, “certainly, there will be a portal in the place and we’ll just translate to the united kingdom. why not?” indeed, why not?

in keeping with the english theme, rain fell steadily as they drove along to their destination. the pair of them were rather a sanitized version of thelma and louise with a jesus bent, slightly more than eccentric and completely over people pleasing. this was their time. yes, it was.

her friend encountered a problem during the drive. the passenger headrest did not fit her head and neck properly, so for nearly the entire trip, she was not only uncomfortable, but also in a bit of pain. clearly, this was not acceptable. alas, there was no way to remedy the issue while they were driving, so on they went.

each lady had dressed for the occasion, looking very lovely, all made up and gushing with childlike anticipation. when they pulled up to the front of the restaurant and gift shop, she put the car in park and took in the sight before them. her mouth opened to a perfect ‘o’ like shirley temple might have done.

Shirley Temple

she drew in a long breath like a little girl seeing her first lollipop. the women turned and looked at each other. oh. my. goodness. they had arrived. they were going in. this was going to be good, jolly good, right?

they walked to the entrance and paused, trying to decide who would go in first. it was too much excitement. walking through the foyer, they approached the doorway into the restaurant. a voice without a body asked how many were in their party. she responded, “two, please,” to the invisible woman who then appeared to take them into the dining room.

they slowly entered the charming, quaint space and looked about. the hostess encouraged them to sit wherever they would like. they agreed on a table near the window with a wall opposite them on one side and more tables on the other. the wall featured various photos of british royalty. they gazed upon the royal family, prince philip and the queen mum. she was resting on the wall right above them, gazing down upon their table. surely all would be well if the queen was keeping watch.

 

their waitress left them to peruse the menus. more big eyes formed as oohs and aahs sounded over the potential selections available to their palates. this was akin to the wallace and gromit episode, ‘a grand day out.‘ could it get better? they decided on the high tea plate. it looked like a feast. after placing their orders, they looked at each other across the table, still hardly believing they were there. it was surreal. america was a world away as they took in the atmosphere.

her friend was moving her neck about, still trying to ease the ache she felt from the headrest issue. always the fixer, always the healer, she looked across the table and spoke. “if you ever get a pair of those balls….” her words trailed off as her ears heard what her mouth had just uttered in public. at the very proper british restaurant.

it hit her at the same time she observed her friend’s expression, the mirth showing in her eyes and already escaping her mouth. and then it was over. it went from zero to sixty in three seconds flat as both women erupted in laughter, doubled over with hands over their mouths. did that really just happen? yes, love, it most certainly did. brilliant.

kind reader, do stop for a moment. it’s not what you think. really. those balls are not the balls you’re imagining right now. these balls were invented by a ballerina in new york city. these are different, for different purposes. oh my. google miracle balls. you will see.

Miracle balls-e1361223039822
photo credit: google

back to the problem at hand. there was no way to reel those words back in. she didn’t dare look at the family to her right. she didn’t know if the father or his children had heard her words, but they were certainly hearing them try to contain the snorts and chortles. crikey, mate.

after several minutes of hysterics, they contained themselves. the queen mum hanging on the wall was no longer looking on with approval, however. her countenance had gone from a controlled, stately expression to one of stern disapproval. who were these two brash american women sorely lacking in manners and decorum, and what was a queen to do?

High Tea
photo credit: jane doe

enjoy high tea, that’s what.

and they did. what a meal. it was more gluten and sugar than either of them had consumed in six months.

cheers.

copyright © jane doe 2017

 

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david and jonathan

neither one of them remembered exactly when they became facebook friends. was it four months, six months? it was only in recent weeks that regular communication began. they both caught it. something was happening.

initially, she wasn’t planning on attending the event. there were obstacles, some natural, some spiritual. the natural ones were easy to see, the spiritual not so much. she sensed dark spirits trying to keep her from going, from connecting. one friend lovingly prodded her until she agreed to go. she let go of the obstacles she could see and pressed through the ones she could not. father god would take care of it all.

it was time to go, to meet the tribe in person. and that new friend. there was something there, something important. when the day arrived, she drove north and met with customers she’d grown to love over the years. those appointments went well. now, it was time to meet the new friend and get with ‘family.’

they’d exchanged telephone numbers days earlier, anticipating meeting. the texting began, then the calls to figure out where to meet for coffee. after muddling through disconnects and bad reception, they agreed on a nearby starbucks location.

she got there first and ordered, nearly inhaling the frosty frappachino to counter the heat outside. as she waited at the large table, she observed a man to her left.

he was mumbling and reading stuff that was well, not right and not truth. the book cover said something about the legion of mary, whatever that was. it was legion, all right, that was for certain. interesting. an enemy plant here? what was he thinking? they would pray for him. of course they would.

the liar was shaking in his boots about this relationship. that was obvious. no matter. she prayed in tongues and watched the guy, smiling at him when he would happen to steal a glance her way.

then, the moment arrived. the new friend walked in the door and crossed the room. they embraced like old friends only needing to get reacquainted. after having the baristas craft a cool beverage for her, they both sat down on high stools at the table. the conversation began flowing like water. holy spirit joined them and joy erupted all over the place.

three hours and thousands of words later, they parted company, albeit unwillingly. she had to get to the meeting. what a thrill it was to drive the last few miles and anticipate the joy to come.

after parking, she first met and hugged the precious friend who’d never let up getting her there. then there was everyone else. she was overcome with emotion. it was surreal to see, touch, hug and love so many people she’d only known long distance.

all these relationships spanned from a few months to several years. she had yet to comprehend why she screamed not once, but twice when she saw her friend from the u.k. she’d never done that before for anyone. maybe love just does that.

even with the physical distance, so much of life had been shared heart to heart in telephone conversations and over chat. that epic friday evening was a wash of glory, tears, laughter and worship on a level she had sorely missed for years. she was finally with family, her tribe. and it was good. but someone was missing.

saturday morning came. more teaching, more fellowship, then late lunch at a local restaurant mulling over all the wonderful things happening. she acted on the nudge to call her new friend to come and join them that evening. they agreed on a time, and in a matter of hours, they were sitting together again, side by side this time.  she was on the right, her friend on the left.

the teaching was good, rich, full of life and impartation. then came time for the offering.  she had four one dollar bills in her wallet. the remaining large bills were a gift from the new friend for a trip home to see momma. that was important. she looked at the ones and put them back in her wallet. she had no peace giving the cash. dad spoke. “you don’t need to sow into this conference. it’s my gift to you.” she thanked him silently.

the holy moment

five minutes later, he spoke again. “i want you to give ****** your ring.” she felt the prick in her heart immediately as she slid the two-toned ring off of her left ring finger. it was her favorite, most loved, cherished and enjoyed piece of jewelry.

turning to her new friend, she spoke. “father wants you to have my ring.” it was a holy moment as both women’s eyes filled with tears. they knew what it meant, even while seeing only a small fraction of what he wanted for them, with them.

it was a david and jonathan moment with strong women in the lead roles.

it was covenant, and it was eternal.

Ring 3
photo credit: anonymous

 

Ring 1
photo credit: h.s.m.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe productions)