Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hey, out there. June is the first official month of the beginning of summer. It is also Adopt a Shelter Cat month. But-did you also know that June is also National Iced Tea Month? Frankly, I had no idea, which is why this post is so late. How could I? Though, come to think of it, I have been regularly making sun tea down here for two months now, the thought never crossed my mind. What’s the big deal about iced tea, you may ask? Please, allow me to enlighten you, as I have been enlightened. Born and raised in New York City, iced tea and tea never much meant anything to me. It was something to be enjoyed when thirsty or feeling a bit under the weather. The same is not to be said about other parts of the country. Namely, down South. The English may enjoy Afternoon Tea, but in the South, tea is revered even more so, savored, in fact.

In the south, every month is Sweet Tea Month. How could I forget? Shame; shame on me for forgetting, but hey I am new at this. I am a Yankee, after all, though with a rebel heart and I’m still learning the nuances of living in the beautiful South. I obviously have a great deal to learn. Up until now, my knowledge of tea was limited to having some in a cup when I was ill or having it cold with ice up North. I had no idea that down in the South that iced tea, more so, sweet tea is such a revered drink. Down here, sweet tea is served with everything. Some say it is known as the white wine of the south. I don’t know about that; I prefer white wine to be white wine. Some say that sweet tea is better than sex. Well maybe not, but it sure is a lot less complicated. One thing is for sure, down in the South, sweet tea is served with every meal or no meal no matter what season we are in no matter where you go. Fast food and full dining restaurants serve it and sell it by the gallon. Drug stores and supermarkets sell it too. I doubt there is hardly a place you can go where you can’t find sweet tea. When you go dining and ask for iced tea, the automatic response is unsweetened or sweet tea, not unsweetened or sweetened, which is what I am used to hearing everywhere else. Personally, I don’t get the fascination with sweet tea. After all, it is just a cold drink. I can tell you this: Chilled sweet tea on a steamy, hot day is delicious. With ice in the glass, it’s the next best thing to air conditioning and a dip in the pool. All right; not quite, but almost. Sit anywhere outside down South, walk around, or do some work and when you are offered a glass of sweet tea, you are sure you are in heaven. Not quite, but close.

I know my dogs’ sure love sweet tea. Born and bred up North in the Plains, they’ve never been down South until now. One hot day on a trip to Florida we made a stop at McDonald’s for a quick snack of fries and large cups of sweet tea. As I said, on a hot, balmy day down South, there is nothing quite like it. Cold soda and water just doesn’t cut it; doesn’t quite quench the thirst. Anyway, the top of one cup came off and before I could replace it, our boy dog went to drinking away. The dog knew instantly what was good on a hot day. If I didn’t stop him, he would have drunk the entire cup full. Who knew dogs would enjoy sweet tea? Is it something magical in their souls? Anyway, whenever we travel with them now and we stop for a meal, guess who gets their own cup of sweet tea with their kid’s meal? You got it: The dogs. Yes, it’s happened: Sweet tea has gone to the dogs and they couldn’t be happier. Yup, down South when the sun is shining down on you and the heat is enveloping your best efforts, nothing beats a tall glass of sweet tea over ice, except for the shelter of an air conditioned house. Try a glass of sweet tea on your next trip down South and you’ll see what I mean, and I mean down South. Just pouring sugar into a cup of tea isn’t the way it’s done, but if that is all you can get, go for it and see what you think. Down South, there is a trick to making sweet tea, but that could be another article for another blog down the line. 

Until next posting, I wish you all a happy, fruitful day. Remember, life is too short to be angry or hold grudges. Be grateful for every day in every way for what you have. It sure beats the alternative.

Cheers! My best to you and yours.

S. J. Francis
"In the End, It's All About Family."
Visit S.J. on her Blog:  

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