Did you know that April is National Afternoon Tea Month? Tea drinkers worldwide already celebrate this every day, right? I love tea, but I can’t have caffeinated tea any more, so these days I have to drink non-caffeinated tea. How about you? Do you like tea — or coffee or hot chocolate or all of them?
Afternoon teas remind of me of Grandma Yun McMillan in my Christian beach town and island romance novel, His Longing Heart (Seaside Chapel Book 1), and I thought we’d make a trip to St. Simon’s Island to pay her a visit. Well, to no one’s surprise, Yun invited us to her house for…tea! I’ve prepared some questions for her, and she kindly shared her thoughts with us.
It must’ve been hard for you to raise three grandkids when their mother deserted them. How did you manage?
Yun: You know I was going to tell you that it’s all by the grace of God that we made it this far. When Otto was alive, he was the fatherly figure that the kids needed. He made sure they were fed and clothed. I taught piano and violin at that time, so music lessons were free for the kids. While Willow picked up piano and Ivan picked up violin, Quincy didn’t care about any classical music or church hymns. So he chose not to take any music lessons. Of course, I didn’t make him. The Lord leads whom He leads, you know.
In Ivan’s story, he talked about wanting to provide for you after all you have done for him.
Yun: He’s such a wonderful grandson when he gave up his concert career to come home to St. Simon’s Island to take care of me after Otto died. I didn’t think he needed to do that since my church, Seaside Chapel, was taking care of me when I broke my hip. But Ivan is Ivan, and he did what he felt was the right thing to do. He took over my music studio — or rather, he rebooted it — and he started playing violin for the local symphony orchestra.
The Sea Islands Symphony Orchestra (SISO) must have been a compensation for Ivan now that he’s not touring anymore.
Yun: I suppose it is. Ivan lost his crossover career because of me. I think he said that some day he might go back on tour, but he stopped talking about leaving the island altogether after he got interested in Brinley Brooks. Priorities, you know.
Grandma Yun, what is this “Tea for Two at Two” all about?
Yun: Ah, I’m glad you asked. Every now and then, I invite someone over for tea with me at 2 p.m. on a weekday afternoon. We would talk about life and such, and I would share the Bible with them. They know I would read the Bible with them because they know me from church. Most of the people I invite over are believers, but occasionally they are not. In one case, I invited Brinley over because I knew she was searching for the meaning of life. I wanted to know what she thought about Jesus. Turned out she was very interested in the Lord. I was happy to share with her that God loves her very much and wants the best in life for her. It mattered not how rich or poor we are materially, but it matters if we are rich or poor spiritually. If you want to know what happened to Brinley next, you’d have to read my grandson’s book, of course. Haha!
My interview with Grandma Yun ended because it was time for her to go to church. She kept an active schedule even though she was in her nineties. Find her in His Longing Heart which is in Kindle Unlimited.
About tea, how do you take your tea? Do you brew loose leaf tea and steep it in a teapot or do you use tea bags for convenience? Or both? I do both myself. Sometimes it’s just faster to dip a tea bag. Other times I go all out and spend time making hot tea. What about iced cold tea? Do you add sugar or honey to it?
Giveaway: Tell me how you make your tea or tell me if you have read a novel lately that has tea time in it, and I’ll enter your name into a random giveaway. This giveaway ends on Sunday (April 30, 2023). If you don’t drink tea at all, tell me about your favorite coffee or hot drink. A randomly drawn winner will win an ebook of mine (your choice from my inventory of ebooks on Amazon.com).
Happy Afternoon Tea Month to you!