Some travelers collect pins, others shot glasses or bar coasters, tee-shirts or ball caps; little trinkets to remind them of where they’ve been. I have no patience for things that are just for looking at, so over the past few years, while I was still bound to a sticks & bricks existence, I collected blue willow dishware and artwork. Since hitting the road with Miranda, I have, for the first time in fifteen years, begun to rely solely on photographs and journal entries to remind me of where I’ve been. However, there is one purchase made in Edmonton, at Rutherford House, that I like to pull out on chilly mornings like this one, to remind me of those heady first weeks on the road: tea.
I like visiting museum giftshops because you can occasionally find unique items there. At the Rutherford House giftshop I was greeted by a lady who just had to proudly show off her personal tea blends, packaged by herself into tiny and rather pricey packages. The blend she was most proud of was the Rutherford House, which she based on the Queen’s favourite tea blend of jasmine and Earl Grey, with a personal twist. I took one sniff of that mix of my two favourite types of tea, with a secret ingredient I couldn’t identify, and I just had to have it! I think the lady was surprised to have a sale!
Since that September day, I’ve only had four cups of this tea. I have to ration it out because there is so little in the bag, enough perhaps for two or three more cups. It is a strong and fragrant blend, rather exotic, more reminiscent of warm climes than of Edmonton, and yet each sip transports me back to the parlour of Rutherford house, with its apricot walls and emerald green draperies.
Such a souvenir is more transitory than a painting, but when the tea is gone I will associate Earl Grey and jasmine to Edmonton. That is the kind of memory that lasts a lifetime.Share on Facebook