On the second Wednesday of every month Treehouse has a tea party. It’s a tradition that started in the summer of 2006 when the first families and elders moved onto Treehouse Circle. This week we’re celebrating our 60th Treehouse Tea.
I love Tea at Treehouse. As the hostess I enjoy shopping at my favorite stores to make sure we have a wide array of tasty sweets and savories for everyone to enjoy. The idea is to treat people to great food and a wonderful experience. To thank folks for choosing to be a part of Treehouse. Community members, board members, partners, friends, neighbors and Treehouse supporters from all over the country come to Treehouse Teas. Depending on the season, one is encouraged to brew a pot of their favorite tea or help themselves to one of the festive iced drinks in our punch bowls. Today’s tea will feature cold drinks unless it rains!
We have an eclectic collection of tea pots in the Treehouse kitchen. Over the past five years the options have grown. We now have several kinds of flowered tea pots, Santa tea pots and red snowman tea pots in our cupboards. Santa only comes out in December. The snowmen appear on tables in the throes of winter. Our tea cups come from Ikea because they are affordable and just the right size. The first set was a pretty deep pumpkin color. We chose spring green for our second set. They look great arranged in a circle on a black tray.
Email invitations are sent out to folks a few days before the actual event. Then the calls start coming in with requests and gentle reminders: that Alden Merrill chocolate cake, the apple bread from Ward’s Berry Farm, that special cheese with the cranberries in it, the cherry tomatoes from Atkins Farm or the Iggy’s bread to go with the spinach salad. We all have our seasonal favorites, especially the kids.
During the school year when the children come home from school on Tea Day, they stop by the kitchen to see what I’m preparing. They assure me they’ll head home to check in and be right back. By the time they return there’s a group of community members already seated at the tables in the Community Room engaged in conversation with their friends and neighbors. Tea has officially begun.
After everyone has a plate full of food and their drink of choice, I grab a plate and sit down wherever there’s an empty chair. It’s time to lean back and savor the moment. People of all ages are chatting in English and sign language. Laughter floats through the air.
Someone sits down at the piano and plays a few songs. Our beautiful young resident singer/songwriter picks up her guitar and serenades us. I look around and think, “It doesn’t get any better than this… People are breaking bread, sharing lives and supporting each other’s health and well-being.”
There is so much that I am grateful for at Treehouse. Sitting in my chair I give thanks for the past five years and all of the people who have made it possible. I also offer up a prayer of appreciation for all sixty Teas we have shared together. They have provided me with many opportunities to weave joy into the fabric of our daily lives, reflect on what we have all accomplished and focus on where we want to go.