Here is a photo of the inside of my friend Marsha's tea shop that closed last Fall, right around this same.
Marsha is a wonderful lady with a very sweet spirit. She had a hard time of it last year. Her husband passed away last Spring, then she gave up her Tea Shop that she had ran for about 10 years.
I've greatly missed that place this year. I really loved the solitude of going in there and hearing her classical music upon entering the shop, smelling the scents of the candles she always had burning, then sitting down to have a cup of tea and taking a moment to chat with her or just sitting for a moment by myself even to just relax.
The place was like a "haven" away from the bustle of life. I mean you could just go in and forget about the world that was only a few busy steps away once you shut the door. It was unusual in that manner and many of us realized that fact.
When Marsha's husband died she needed to go with her children to take him home to the Midwest for his final resting spot on earth.
During that time, I had the honor of keeping the shop open for her while she was away. She had a list of ladies that I had never even met before this but they loved her and wanted to support her as well during this time.
So they came and helped me along with a couple friends of mine for a little over a week. We had a blast doing all sorts of things, booking teas, cleaning and re-arranging displays and basically acting like we knew what we were doing.
Marsha had a huge ministry there at the Hope Chest.
I would watch the sad, the happy, old, young, the sick and the healthy, come into her shop and talk to her about all their life issues and problems and she would listen to them. She cared. It wore her out and she didn't make any money really but she did genuinely care about people.
People would pour their hearts out to her as she poured out the tea into their teacups. They came to be served and they received more than just tea and sandwiches.....in many cases they received comfort and concern.
That's what people miss the most by the Hope Chest closing the love and comfort they felt inside those four walls even if it was only for an hour or so......
Oh and yes..another thing.....those wonderful "Cucumber sandwhiches" that Lord Wedgewood from England, and from the famous told Marsha were the "BEST cucumber sandwhiches he had ever tasted in his life." Yum. He was right about that.
Thus the bills had to be paid......so she had to close the doors and find a job that could meet her needs and she has done that.
I just came across this photo of the inside of part of her tea room on a website that listed tea shops. They don't realize I presume that she is no longer in business.
I hope one day that Marsha can do another tea shop because it is her forte. She truly has the gift of "hospitality." I want to run a bookstore within her doors.
We can have the BEST of both worlds I've told her. Tea and books. What else could a person ask for???
We will see what happens in the future. None of us are ready right now for such a grand undertaking. But we can dream.
I've really missed the Hope Chest quiet a bit...I have some good memories from there but best of all...I've gained a good friend out of the experience.
Be blessed Marsha!