The days are shorter and the sun is less penetrating. In the evenings, when we play outside and make mud pies, we’re finding more chill and less sweat coming from the western sky. Allergies are cropping up everywhere, and there are the back-to-school runny noses getting shared around all over town.

There’s something about a mug of something hot that speaks to the crispness in the air, that takes me back to days of hot cider and hot chocolate and boots piled by the heap of wet snowy coats and scarves and hats. Couple the mug of something hot with a fire blazing in our big blonde stove and a fleecy blanket and it’s a recipe for fall bliss!

From under the comfort of a broken-in-so-it’s-perfectly-soft blanket, one that carries the warmth of a dozen (or a hundred) Sunday mornings, I am contemplating the hot tea my husband makes me – because of his dear mother, whose mother taught her this little gem. Our house still has the chill from last night, and that hot mug will keep me warm inside the way the blanket cradles me outside. It’s not quite right for a fire…yet. Soon enough, we’ll be burning through our wood and I’ll lose my husband for half-days at a time to the inevitable woodcutting adventures.

But it is right for that special hot tea. It is past hinting at fall and it’s early enough on a slow-starting Saturday morning. There’s a qualifying blanket in attendance, a couch waiting to be shared, and, of course, the chill in the air.

There’s no special secret about this tea, except maybe its curative effects. We prefer just regular Lipton tea, piping hot. Get some milk (half-and-half is a special treat, one that I forget to have on hand) and douse it in until the tea is nice and chocolately looking. Then you dump in sugar until it’s nice and sweet. Voila! Sure to cure heartbreaks and flu symptoms, proven to make the day less chilly and the outlook much brighter, often the stimulant for cozy conversations and sharing of snuggly blankets.

Now, enough talk. I’m off to get a cuppa tea!