Broken Locks

The house we have moved into is old and on closer inspection has many more rooms than we had initially understood.  It is a pleasant surprise and I am wondering what we will do with all this extra space, when I notice that the back door is broken:  there is a problem with the lock. 

I awaken, my heart racing.

“The back door is unlocked again,”  I jokingly tell my husband.  It has become an ongoing theme in my dreams, and one I fail to grasp.

So what is the back door?  Interestingly, we have purchased an older home, and while it doesn’t have extra rooms such as the ones in my dream, it does come with an additional building we had not anticipated:  a bomb shelter. It is difficult not to notice the parallel to my dreams.  Our new home is one of hope for a better life, security, and maybe one day, retirement.

So, why the difficulty with the back door?

The back door isn’t the entrance that is used by guests or even ourselves, for the most part.  It is purely the entrance to the back yard.   Our back yard is private.  A place where family and friends will gather; a place of solitude and escape.

In terms of the psyche, I always think of the backyard as being what the public doesn’t see – private lives, or maybe even the past.

Aha, I think.  No matter how much I move on in life, or tell myself I’ve moved on, it isn’t escape if the back door isn’t secured.

Could it be that my dreams are telling me that the only way to enjoy my present is to find a way to lock out the past?



Dragon Energy

Referred by her priest, a young woman made an appointment to see me.

“It’s urgent!”

She arrived the next day, and I could see by her movements that she was in distress.   No more than thirty, the woman looked tired, and something else – afraid?

In keeping with my preferred practice, I had requested that she not reveal any details of her situation to me in advance.  I prefer to start with a clean slate, no expectations or assumptions to confuse me.

I asked her if she had ever had energy work done before.  She had not.

“I’ll explain as I go along,”  I suggested.  “First, make yourself comfortable.”

She chose to lay face down on the treatment table, and I began my preliminary assessment.  There was clearly a barrier of some sort in the field.  If you meet with resistance, it is usually yours, Delores Krieger’s words echoed in my mind.  I started again, this time moving my hands further from the surface of her body.  No change. Maybe I am too forceful, I thought.  Intentionally, I focused on being whisper gentle.  The energy bounced back at me.

“I’m sorry,”  I said.  “But this does not seem to be working.  Are you open to trying a different approach?”  I had just studied third degree Reiki, and while my experiences with it were limited, I didn’t know what else to do.

I moved her to a chair, and explained that whatever was happening was between herself and whatever she deemed God to be.  “The process which I am about to do, will help you make that connection, so that you can ask for what you need.   Are you okay with this?”

She nodded ‘yes’ and I instructed her further as to how we would proceed.  I invited her to close her eyes and breathe deeply as she concentrated on what she needed.  Then I began.

The ritual doesn’t take longer than fifteen minutes, and when I indicated that we were finished, she opened her eyes clearly revealing that she wasn’t convinced.

I didn’t know what else to say.

Two weeks later, she called again.  “That thing that you did, how often can you do it?  Is it too soon to have another?”

When she arrived this time, she was animated, almost excited.  With no preliminaries needed, we moved right into the treatment.  This time she had tears in her eyes at the end.

“I felt it!” she said quietly.  She asked to come back in two weeks.

“I can feel it wearing off days before I come,”  she told me on her next arrival.

“How does it feel?”  I was curious.  This was fairly new to me too.

“It’s hard to describe, but I somehow feel more vital, alive, and then I feel myself becoming tired again just before I’m due to come back.”

Then she really caught my attention.

“I was supposed to be dead by now.”

The woman explained that she had been diagnosed with a rare terminal ailment, and given two weeks to live.  A single mother and business owner, she wasn’t ready to give up, so she visited her priest, who then referred her to me as a last resort.

“The treatment for my disorder takes a month to work, and I was too far gone, so I needed a miracle.”

Reiki employs symbols that access different forces, one of which is the dragon.  I have never really been able to define what this energy is other than to note that is often connected to breakthroughs.

Last time I saw her, my client continues to run her business and enjoys watching her own daughter blossom into a young lady.

Wake Up Call

Cancer, it turns out, it is a powerful proponent of simplicity.

Faced with uncertainty, one is forced to exam the complexities of life and cull.

Our lives are reduced to three priorities:

– Making healthy choices

– Caring for relationships

– Reducing financial burden.

Necessity demands that any extraneous commotion be pushed aside.


“There are several steps to this meditation,” Dora Kunz began, “and with each one, if you hit an obstacle, just set it aside.”

I had come, as had those around me, to learn more from this enlightened soul.  Having experienced the sense of renewal that meditation could bring, I was excited to be learning from such an expert.  Dora Kunz, co-founder of Therapeutic Touch, had practiced meditation from the age of five, she’d told us.  Now in her nineties, she had endless wisdom to impart.

“Take a deep breath in,” she started, “and as you exhale, release any tension in your body.”

I breathed in, noticing that the area between my shoulder blades was knotted in tension. I tried to envision it breaking up with my breath, but it wouldn’t let go.

“If your tension won’t release, just acknowledge it and set it aside.”

I could do that.

“Now, without speaking, affirm to yourself: I am at peace with myself; and allow yourself to feel it.”

Breathe in.  I am at peace with myself.  Breathe out.  A niggling in the pit of stomach said, No you’re not.  I knew it wasn’t true.  I was not at peace with myself.

“If you feel doubts, set them aside.  If you are unable to do that, than act as if you are at peace with yourself.”

It is as if I am at peace with myself.  Ah, that felt better.  I could imagine as if.

“Now allow yourself to become aware of the person on either side of you, and beyond them to the circle gathered here, and affirm:  I am in harmony with those gathered here.

This was easier to do.  We’d come together with a common goal.  I inhaled the warmth of our kinship, and felt myself relax a little deeper.

“Continuing to breath deeply, allow your awareness to expand beyond these walls and connect with the nature that surrounds us. State:  I am at one with Nature.

The meditation room was surrounded by nature on all sides.  Following her instructions, I imagined myself breathing in the fresh country air, the vivid green of the trees vibrating around me, and the trickling sound of the brook flowing through me.  I am at one with Nature, I repeated to myself.  With each breath, I felt as if my body and my heart pulsed with the rhythm of nature; everything interconnected.  I was now deeply relaxed, surrendering.

“Now pull your awareness back into your own center.”

Focusing on my center, I drew my breath in, the sensation of relaxation filling my belly with a calm strength.

“From this center of calm and strong, connect beyond this room, beyond nature and the world, beyond the galaxy, to a universe of order and compassion.”

Slowly, she spoke her command, and my awareness obliged, expanding and reaching beyond the beyond,  feeling that connection, as if a silver cord of consciousness tied me to an eternal, omnipotent intelligence.  I connected with order and compassion; and the presence of unconditional love, and in that moment knew that all was as it was supposed to be: life has reason, and purpose, and meaning.  I wanted to remain suspended in this realm of knowing: free.

“Now bring your awareness back to your center, maintaining the essence of your experience.”

I felt stronger, somehow, and very calm.

“When you are ready, let your breath bring you back into this room, to the awareness of your body in the chair.  Gently move your fingers and toes, allowing yourself to return to full consciousness, renewed and restored, and at your own pace, opening your eyes.”

Reluctantly, I became aware of the room around me, and ever so slightly moved my fingers.  With a yawn, I let my body wake up, breathing life back into it and stretching.  I felt so good, so alive!

A universe of order and compassion, I thought to myself.  What a wonderful idea!  If only I could remember it in my day-to-day living.

“Exactly Right”

Thor and I have a favourite game: fantasizing about what we’ll do when we win the Lottery.  We like to play it Friday nights, before the draw.  “What’s the first thing we’ll do when we win?”  Thor will ask.  We’ve spent countless hours indulging this dream.

Recently, we won a different lottery:  Thor has been diagnosed with Stage III cancer.  I can safely say we have not speculated about this possibility, and now that it has happened, we no longer have the luxury of speculating about what ifs.

Some say that everything that happens in life is exactly as it should be.  I have sat with this idea for weeks now, unable to respond.  What could possibly be “exactly right” about cancer?

Coming to terms with the diagnosis and choosing a treatment path has caused many sleepless nights and a whole gamut of unexpected fears.    The delusion of a lottery win has been replaced by the cold hard reality of our life situation.  ‘Someday’ is now ‘today’ as we find ourselves forced to make tough decisions and clean up our lives.  Finances, health, and unresolved issues have a new immediacy.

“Your quality of life will change,”  the doctors warned.  Even though we haven’t started treatments, it already has.  We will be downsizing our living space shortly, and the trip we planned for the upcoming holiday season has been cancelled.  We have rid our cupboards of unhealthy foods, and plan to make self-care a priority.  The physical trials that Thor will endure are yet to be seen.

Through all of this, one thing has remained constant: our love.  Family and friends, who have always mattered, become even more precious.

Now that we have made decisions, and taken actions to support a healthy life, we are both feeling calmer.  Is what is happening exactly right?  Ask us ten years from now.

As for now, “Don’t be so sure we didn’t win the Lottery,”  Thor tells me.  “If we didn’t find the cancer, we’d be telling a different story.”

Tragedy Visits

Something’s happened to Billy!

I shot bolt upright in bed.  He had just been here.  I saw him standing at the end of my bed, but that was not possible:  Billy lived miles away in the country and it was the dead of winter.  How could he have gotten here?

I lay back down on my bed trying to piece together what had just happened.  Billy had been there, long enough to wake me from a deep sleep.

I’ve come to say good-bye, I remember him saying.  Tell everyone we’re okay.  That’s right, he wasn’t alone.  His little brother and sisters were with him.  All of them fading back into the darkness.

I couldn’t shake the vision.  Only ten years old, this wasn’t my first night visit, but I never quite knew what to do with them.  I dragged myself out from under the comfort of my warm bed, and shivered down the hallway to my parents’ room.  The first rays of a new day were starting to break the darkness.  The phone rang.

Mom was sitting on the edge of her bed when I entered, listening intently as Dad spoke into the phone.  She gestured for me to be quiet.

“Carl and Maureen?  Are they alright?”  My father spoke with deep concern.  I knew it was tragic.  “No, no.  Oh my God.”  He listened, shaking his head and tutting.  “Oh my God.  Well, thank you for calling, and please,  keep us posted.”

“They’re both alive, but they’ve had quite the ordeal,” my father said to my mother as he hung up the phone, then turning to me, he pulled me closer, sitting on the edge of the bed beside my mother so that we were all at eye level.

“There has been a fire,”  he started,  “at your cousin’s house.  I’m afraid it’s quite tragic.”

“I know, Dad,”  I reassured him.  “Billy came to see me.  Just now.  He said they’re okay.”

My parents exchanged that look; the one they always did when they didn’t know how to take me.

“Well, your cousin didn’t make it out of the fire.  None of the kids did.  All four……gone.”

The news that night showed the pictures.  The house had been reduced to a rubble of ashes, and from those ashes men were carrying away four small stretchers bearing the remains.  The remains of my cousins.  I had never been this close to tragedy, and I really didn’t know what to do.  That afternoon, in school, I’d broken down crying when the story we were reading talked about a fire.  All I could picture was Billy and the little ones being burnt alive.  The teacher had called my mother to come and get me.

“Come away from the TV,”  my father commanded.  “Damn them for showing those pictures! Can’t a family have privacy?!”

We turned off the set, but the images remained etched in my mind.

Billy’s parents weren’t at the funeral; they were still in the hospital recovering.  It was just as well, I thought, this was one sad place.  A single coffin sat at the front of the church, bearing the bodies of all four children who ranged in ages from two to ten.  Billy had been the oldest, just two weeks younger than me.  A line of sobbing people extended from the coffin and out into the cold February day.

I had no right to be there, so I shrunk back from the crowd, hoping no one would notice me.  We always fought, Billy and I.  He was full of mischief, with deep brown eyes that twinkled with trouble.  He just had to look at me to fill me with rage.  It was only two Sundays ago when we’d had our last fight.  I wish you were dead!  I’d told him.  And now he was.  I hadn’t said it quietly, either.  I’d yelled it in front of all my other cousins and my aunts and uncles.  I was sure they all knew it was my fault.

After the funeral and burial, we all gathered at another aunt’s house.  While the adults drank tea and coffee and ate tiny sandwiches with no crusts, the cousins removed themselves to an upstairs bedroom.

“It’s just awful,”  my cousin Kate exclaimed.  “Can you believe it happened?”

“He’s okay,”  I blurted.  “I saw him, and he said he’s okay.”   I explained my nocturnal visit.

“Why would he come to you and not to me?”  Kate and Billy were closer, and actually got along.
“I loved him.  You didn’t.”

“I loved him, too,”  I protested, “It’s just that he made me so mad.”

We all fell silent.  They knew what I meant.  Billy was a tease, and could be a total pain.

I didn’t really want him dead, I thought.  I just wanted him to stop pestering me. 

The horror of our loss hung in the room between us, as cold as the icicles visible through the frosted pane.

“I wish I’d seen him,” Kate said quietly.  “Then I’d be able to believe he’s okay.”

I had seen him, but I wasn’t sure that made it any better.  The sorrow was still pretty raw.  He was still gone from our lives, and every time we got together, his absence would be a huge black hole.  Billy, who’d been so full of life, so wild, and energetic, was now dead.  It just didn’t seem possible.

It was the winter of ’69 that I first learned that even though life exists beyond death, it doesn’t minimize the depth of sorrow felt at the loss of a loved one.

A Diagnosis

My intention in starting this blog was to chronicle my journey through cancer, however; after a lumpectomy and a brief recovery time, the threat was gone.  Nothing to write about, really.  I kept going anyway.

Yesterday, life as I knew it took an unexpected twist.  Thor was diagnosed with cancer.

“High risk,” the doctor informed us.  “Your only options are surgery or radiation, but we’ll want to do more tests first to ensure the cancer is contained.”

I felt the room spin.  My eyes were fixed on the doctor, hopeful that he would add something else, anything, uplifting.  Oh my God, I thought, my poor husbandWhat must he be feeling?  Without shifting my focus, I reached for Thor.  He needed to know that I was there for him, no matter what.

“I’m sorry, doctor, but I want to be clear.”  I struggled to keep my composure, but the tears were already breaking through.  “What do you think is the best option?”

We had arrived with a list of questions, which Thor now thrust at me.  Prepared as he was, he couldn’t access them.  I glanced at the paper, but nothing was making any sense.

“Well, I really can’t say,”  the doctor hedged.  “There will be side effects, of course.”

Together, we managed to breath through the consult, but I fell apart outside of the office.  Thor remained stoic.  Shh!  he gestured towards another patient.  How can he be so calm?

“I was expecting this,”  he told me on the way out.

“I’m so sorry,”  I blurted out.  “You don’t deserve this. I mean, you are a good person…..”

There are no right words, and mine certainly sounded empty.  Truth is, goodness has nothing to do with it.  I knew that.  I’d seen so many people suffer with cancer; sat with them through their pain and suffering, watched them die.  And I’d witnessed others who’d battled and survived.  None of them deserved the suffering.

“Even the blackest hole has silver somewhere,”  Thor offered.

Damned if I can see it, but I sure hope he’s right.

Nature’s Voice

The tiny crayfish slowly made its way over the rocky water bed, climbing in and out of crevices, antennae constantly moving.  Perched on my haunches, trying valiantly not to move and startle the small creature, I watched in fascination.  His translucent body moved with such tenacity over what must surely be a challenging terrain for him.  The wind shifted, creating ripples in the water, and he was gone from my sight.

I lifted my head to listen.  There it was again:  a sudden, slight shift in the wind.  Mother Nature was gently tugging me from my reverie and beckoning me homeward.  I stood and shook the kinks out of my muscles, heeding her kind warning.  Time to go home.

As I made my way through the tangle of trees, stepping over fallen branches, and being wary off uneven ground, I noticed the wind shift again.  Her voice was more urgent now, a warning.  I decided to stay off the beaten path, and stick to the cover of the trees.  Noises ahead told me people were coming.  Boys!  As they approached, I noticed there were four or five of them, carrying something like sticks.  No, not sticks, they were carrying snakes.  And they were looking for someone.  Me!

I ducked behind a bush and held my breath.  Elbowing each other with bravado, the boys failed to see me crouched nearby.  Birds and wildlife scurried out of their path, sensing as I did that they meant only harm.  “She’s got to be here somewhere!” I heard one shout.  “Probably by the creek.”

They stepped into the woods, and not trusting my luck, I made a dash for home.

“There she goes!”

I fled along the path, until I saw the opening to the farmer’s field that bordered my backyard.  Breaking out of the woods, I caught sight of my best friend, Scott.  He knew as soon as he spotted me that I was in trouble.  Hailing his brothers, they met me just as my pursuers were catching up.

“You have a problem here?”  Scott’s oldest brother stood, towering over the tallest of the boys.

“Uh no.”  The boys turned on their heels and disappeared back into the woods.

“What were you doing in there all by yourself, young lady?” the older brother demanded to know.

I shrugged.  How could I tell him I was never alone when Mother Nature was looking after me.  I opened the gate and stepped back into the safety of my own backyard.

“Thank you for the warning,”  I said to the Wind.  The trees before me bowed gracefully at her command, and I knew my gratitude had been acknowledged.

At five years of age, it was easy to trust that life was guided by a loving presence, and I lived my life accordingly.

At fifty, I only wish I had such innocence to guide me once again.


The Thief Within

It’s time to call a meeting of the troops.

“Gather around, everyone.  We need to talk.”

The air is cool in the cave, sheltered from the hot August sun.  A small fire provides light and a focus for our gathering.  I, Self, am seated where everyone can see me clearly.  I want to make my point.

“I have called you here, because there is a thief amongst us, and I am angry.”

“Oh!”  the exclamation echoes around the circle, then a mumble of agreement – this is serious.

“I woke up this morning, full of anticipation and plans for a wonderful day – the kids are coming for dinner, and my granddaughter is staying overnight.  I planned to make goodies, and soup, and a special dinner.  As I made my shopping list, Thor added to my excitement booking a flight for our next big excursion abroad.  I couldn’t have been happier, then…..”  I paused for effect, “….one of you came in and stole my joy, leaving me in this state of raw anger.”

The nervous shuffle of feet was accompanied by a shifting of eyes and lowering of heads.  No one wanted to fess up, I could see.

“We see that you are upset,”  a kind old woman stepped forward,  “and in the interest of inner harmony, we would like to get to the root of the problem, but we’ll need more information.”

Heads bobbed in agreement.

“When did you first notice that your mood had changed?”

“When I was baking.  I noticed that my happy thoughts were missing, and I was ranting inside my head.”

“Just like that, all of a sudden?”

I thought about it.  “Well, I did start to feel really tired just before it happened.”

“What do you suppose made you tired?”

“I was up early this morning, getting work done so I could enjoy my family, so I was thinking that was catching up with me, but then I realized I was probably hungry,  which……”

“Would effect your mood,”  she finished my sentence.

“Well, true.  So, that is no one’s fault.  But then I started to eat things that weren’t good for me, and I knew I only do that when I’m trying to bury unwanted emotions, so I started to think about that, and then I realized my happy thoughts were gone, and that’s when I got angry and decided to call this meeting.”

“Was anyone else present when all this was happening?”

“I was,”  a little voice piped up.  “I was excited that we would get to play with the granddaughter.  She’s so cute and fun and makes me happy.  But then Mae called, and she called again, and again, and someone started pushing me out of the way.”

“Really?”  The women turned towards the others.  “Does someone have a problem with Mae?”

“No!  Well, yes,”  said a shadowy figure huddled in the back.  “She can’t help it that she is mentally ill, I know, but she stirs me up.”

“How does she stir you up?”

“She reminds me of all the times I was pushed aside for the others.”  I recognize her now; it’s my twelve-year-old self.  “My parents only had time for those who were broken, never for me.  They never helped her;  they encouraged her to be that way.  They liked their children to be victims so that they could rescue them over and over again.  It makes me angry.”

“So you stole my joy?”

My question seemed to jolt her out of her self-indulgence.  “No!  I mean, I had to protect you.  You’ll just get hurt again.  You should know better.  Just when it seems that everything is good, and going our way, someone will destroy it.  You know it!  That’s how it always is.”

“Oh dear,”  the little one plopped down, head on her hands.  “Here we go again.”

“What!  Why are you all looking at me that way.  You all know it’s true.  Why won’t you admit it!”  Twelve was getting hostile, almost hysterical.  “I hate it that life is unfair.  I hate it that we work hard, and try hard and always get the short end of the deal!  I hate that other people don’t have to work hard and life just gets handed to them and everyone caters to them.  I hate it that my sister wasn’t strong enough to fight them, like we did.”

“Amen to that,” said a large, blob of a character, who didn’t look very bright, but was happily stuffing his face.  Ah, I thought, you’re the one I feed when I feeling emotional.  If I’m not careful, I’ll start looking like you.  

“Can I say something,”  a slighter older teen spoke up. I recognized my independent self.  “I don’t mean to sound cold and radical here, but if you keep venting over what you can’t change, you are going to die an unhappy soul.”

“What do you know about it?”  Twelve was on the defensive.

“I know that life is full of many opportunities beyond the limitations you experienced in your home life, and I believe that while we can’t change where we’ve come from, we can make new choices for the present and the future.  Do you want to be unhappy all your life?”

“Well….no, but don’t I have the right to be heard?  Don’t I deserve justice?”

“We all deserve to be heard, and while we’d all like justice, it doesn’t always work out that way.  I’m just suggesting that you are robbing yourself of the joy of life.”

I could see Twelve wrestling with herself.

“Twelve,”  I offered, as kindly as I could.  “You say you hate victims, right?”


“Well, you are kind of acting like a victim yourself, no offence.”

“What do you mean?”  her fists balled up instinctively.

“I just mean that while you rage and wait for someone else to deliver justice, you are like a victim – giving the power to someone else.”

“What do you suggest I do?”

The Wise Woman stepped up, putting her hand on Twelve’s shoulder.  “Express your feelings, certainly, because we all care.  Can I ask you something Twelve?”

“Fire away.”

“What would help ease your rage?  What do you need?”

Twelve fell silent.  I don’t think she’d ever thought of that.  She shrugged.

“What could anyone possibly do to make you feel better?”  the young woman asked. “Do you think everyone is suddenly going stop being themselves, see the predicament, and apologize?”

“Maybe they’ll stop being nice to your sisters and spoil you!” the little one chirped in.

“That’s absurd!”  Twelve scolded.

“Is it?  Isn’t that what you want?”

Twelve thought about this.  We all thought about it.  Then one of us started to giggle.  I’m not sure who, but soon the whole room felt the relief.  It was a ludicrous thought.

“I feel like a fool,”  said Twelve.

“No hard feelings – you’re only a kid!” said the slightly older one.

“And you always look out for me,”  said Little.

“None of us blame you,”  another added.  “We all went through it, you’re just the one who held out for justice.”

“Is there never any justice, then?”  Twelve asked, confused.

“Oh there is justice:  but you need to look for it in other ways,”  Wise Woman offered.

“Like embracing life’s blessings despite the strains of the past,”  Independent Self offered.

“What she’s trying to say, I think,”  I added, “Is that if you continually refuse to be happy because you don’t like what happened long ago, then you rob all of us of the joy of the present.  Can you see that?”

“I can, but I just feel so angry sometimes.”

“I know, I know, so do I, obviously.  That’s why I called this meeting.  And Twelve, I suspect you’ve been hanging out with someone else, who is the real thief here.”

I could tell by the look on her face, that Twelve knew exactly who I was talking about.

“Jealousy is not a friend to any of us,” I addressed the crowd.  “I suggest we do our best to keep her out of our circle.”

“Here!  Here!” came the cry of approval.

“What about me?” said Emotional Eater, pausing mid-bite.

“Wouldn’t hurt you to eat a little less” came the unanimous response.

“You should try therapy,”  added Little.  Everyone laughed.

“Thanks for talking this through,”  I concluded the meeting.  “I hope we all feel better.  Little, Twelve, we got some things to get ready, our guests will be here soon!”




A Cup of Tea

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the US, and as usual, the first thing I wanted on return was a cup of tea.  It is the one thing – next to my own bed- that I miss the most  when I am away.

What is it about a cup of tea?

Raised by a Brit, tea is part of my heritage.  Growing up, we started every day with a cup of tea, and quite often ended each day with one also.  I especially remember that as teenagers, my siblings and I would convene at the end of a night out and share stories over a late night cup of tea.  Every dinner would end with someone putting the kettle on.

My children’s father was also a Brit, and he introduced me to tea time – a ritual cup every day at four o’clock, always accompanied by a sweet or biscuit.

The secret, not practiced in many restaurants, is in the preparation:  the pot must be warmed first, and the boiling water added to the tea and not the other way around.  In our family, the milk went in the cup first, with just the right amount of sweetener to offset any bitterness.

Special tea, a concoction of mostly warm milk and honey, with a splash of tea, is a family recipe for curing childhood ailments.

I don’t drink tea in the afternoon anymore as the caffeine keeps me up at night, and I have replaced the milk with non-dairy alternatives, but I still have a sense that all is not well unless I’ve started the day with that one lingering cup of tea, prepared just the way I like it.

Ahhh, the simple luxuries of home.