By Sandy Nicholson
The past few months have been challenging for most people. Pandemics are not something that we had spent much time thinking about in Prince Edward Island until earlier this year and nothing prepared us for 2020. I am part of a busy family of 4. My husband teaches music at university, my daughter studies music at the same university, my son is a high school student who loves football & basketball and I work at Lady Baker's Tea. Everyone is always on the go and running off in different directions.
Until mid-March, that is. Then everything stopped. Our small house, which was lovely while everyone was busy outside of the house, suddenly started to feel very small. We were all home and trying to get work done and it was not easy. Everyone did their best and we worked through it all, but it was hard. My passion and escape during the pandemic, other than tea drinking, became daily searches on Realtor.ca. At first, it was mostly a distraction, but the more I involved the family and the more we looked, we were all engaged and craving more space. Finally, we made the leap and decided to start going out to look at some houses. Eventually, we walked into The One. My kids were deciding on what would go where and assigning bedrooms within the first 5 minutes. The house fulfilled our checklist of non-negotiables. The first was location. We wanted to be on a quiet street, but still within walking distance of downtown, school, my work and the university. The second, and maybe more important, was at least 2 bathrooms. After living with only 1 bathroom, we were all tired of the morning rush and struggles of sharing that 1 small bathroom. And finally, a rec room, an extra space for the kids to have friends over without being in the middle of our living space. This house had all of this, as well as office space for both parents and a beautiful cherry tree.
We took the leap and made an offer on the house. Everything seemed fast and furious for several days. The whole family was very excited. And then the long wait for closing day. We had 2 more visits to the house and I found myself imagining where everything would go in our new, beautiful kitchen. The first priority for me was where I would set up our tea station. With a small galley kitchen, I found the perfect spot at the end of the counter, where people could access it without interrupting anyone who might be cooking or baking in the kitchen. I could not wait to brew my first cup.
Our new galley kitchen
Next, we came up with a moving plan. On closing day we would set up our kitchen. I figured once the kitchen is set up, and the tea area most importantly, everything else will fall into place. The official moving day would follow the next day. Having the kitchen in order, we were better able to relax occasionally with a cup of tea (and food) as needed. Iced tea was the drink of choice as we are going through a heat wave and the humidex was 38C (100F).
We are slowly settling into our new home and we could not be happier. It may take some time to get everything organized and put away, but setting up the kitchen right away has made everything easier. I am loving our new tea corner and look forward to brewing many cups with friends and family for many years to come.
Our tea cupboard with vintage Lady Baker's Tea tins
I am very grateful that everything came together to bring us to this home. And if the fall comes with a second wave of Covid-19, as predicted, our family will be better able to cope with the challenges of being at home. I plan to stock up on all of our favourite Lady Baker’s teas and get ready for whatever the fall brings our way. You might want to consider stocking up, too. Here is our list: Alex - Pink Lady, Cream Earl Grey and Lady's Slipper; Bailey - Sencha and Island Strawberry; Dale - Scottish Breakfast; Sandy - Assam, Jasmine & Flowers and Russian Caravan.
First morning cup of tea in our new house
Tea certainly makes it easier to cope with the challenging year that is 2020. What's on your tea list?