When the colonies succeeded from Great Britain, we gained a good many things as a new country. A democratic system of government, tempered by checks and balances. Fair taxation levied with adequate representation. A lot more geographical space and an accent all our own.
Did we fully count the cost of what we would also in turn give up?
I gather that teatime did not leave the continent with the redcoats, and that this tradition persisted until it became out-moded and impractical during the height of the industrial revolution. (Just kidding, I actually know nothing about the history of teatime in the United States. I liberally assume this eradication.) And while it is still common in the USA to meet a colleague for coffee, or talk over dessert and hot beverages at one's home, teatime as we once knew it has ceased to exist.
What I propose, then, is that we bring it back.
Sitting down with a comforting hot beverage. Supplementing your drink with bread & jam, or a slice of cake, or a few cookies, or a little sandwich. Taking the time to sit and be recharged. Engage in diverting conversation. Maybe I've been too engrossed in James' The Portrait of a Lady, but what part of that does not sound like a good idea?!
I cherish the teatimes we've been enjoying in Karaganda. Of course, we're not limited strictly to tea. Hot chocolate and coffee frequently make appearances. And we're not so rigid about the time either: sometimes we take a cup at the school, sometimes in the afternoon if we've had an early lunch, or sometimes in the evening if we've had an early supper. On occasion we have teatime while we play Settlers of Catan, or we pass our teatime with conversation and reflection. Even solitary teatimes are a comfort to me; I pause what I'm doing and take solace in a hot beverage and daydreaming. It's lovely, and sanity-inducing.
I can't wait to begin befriending our neighbors and students so that we can invite them to take tea with us. I think teatime may have a place in the fabric of habit in my future, and gladly.