Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor day picnic time

Today is Labor Day. It is also the day of our community picnic,
with firehose fights, a parade - my neighbor's grandmother, 97, is one of the marshalls. There is a chicken barbeque put on by all the churches, antique cars and tractors and fun stuff for the kids, the best of which is a chance to win a gold fish, a very highly sought prize and almost any kid wins one - guaranteed. It's a great day, with really good fireworks to top it all off. Tomorrow we will all rest from our labors and Wed. will be back to school.
Today I am having Harney's "Tippy Yunnan" to start the day. It has that typical Yunnan smell - woodsy, leathery, spicy, warm and a lovely golden brown liquor. There are lots of tips, so many it is almost more golden than brown. The tea itself is all you could ask for in a tippy Yunnan, with the taste echoing the smell. There's a slight touch of astringency to kind of grab you a little. At $7 for a 4 oz tin, it is a real bargain. You can get a sample for just $2.

Back when the Victorians would ask if you preferred China or India tea I wonder what they were offering - does anyone know? Was it Darjeeling or Keemun? Assam or Yunnan? A black and a green?

The picture in the corner is of an altar dating from 800 AD found in the cellar of the church in Meieringen, Switzerland, a few years ago. The church people were slowly excavating it and a sister altar from 1100. It is amazing in that you can walk right up to it and touch it, it's not behind plexiglass, there's no charge to wander around. It is beautiful in its strength and simplicity.

There will be no more tea tasting this afternoon. After a trip to the picnic we both reek of barbeque smoke, and so does the house, as this is a small town and our windows were open. Oh well, it was fun, the little kids were all having a great time, I got to watch some dog agility trials and pet some beautiful animals, eat barbeque and visit with my neighbors, a pleasant official end to summer.

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