Tea With Sarah: Tea, Dancing, & Volunteering

Good afternoon, it’s time for tea!

I’ve been looking forward to starting this new series which features a conversation every other weekend, a chance to “talk” with blog readers and social media friends. Though there was an invitation to ask some questions and get the conversation started, I think everyone’s a little shy and unsure how this is going to work. And that’s okay…

Today, I’ll go ahead and start by sharing about my current favorite teas, a fun memory about Civil War dancing, and some volunteer work I’ve been doing…and you can add some questions or topics for next time in the comments, if you like. Tell us about your favorite books, historical movies, type of tea (or coffee), latest research project, historical sites to visit, and don’t be shy to ask about my favorites! 

What’s Your Favorite Type Of Tea Today?

Ooh, hard topic. See, I like real tea and I also like herbal “teas” (which are more properly called tisanes). And my favorite flavors tend to change with the seasons.

For real tea, I’m enjoying some Sweet Ginger Peach Tea which has a black tea base. And I’m regretful to let the holidays go, so I’m still enjoying Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride (Celestial Seasonings) which is technically an herbal tisane. What’s your favorite type of tea or tisane? Or do you prefer coffee?

Fun Fact: A couple years ago my mom and I got to visit Celestial Seasonings tea company in Boulder Colorado, and we had an amazing time sampling many different kinds of “tea” blends.

A Fond Memory On January 13th…

Once upon a time, I enjoyed a little girl’s version of a Civil War “fairytale.” As you may have guessed, I’ve been interested in history for a long time – since about age five. By ten, I was pretty “crazy” about Civil War history and beautiful hoopskirt dresses. My cousins attended a Civil War themed dance for several years, and I dreamed of attending with them. But they lived in Colorado…the ball was in the middle of winter, and where would I find a dress? And the dance had a minimum age: twelve.

By the time I turned twelve, I’d resigned myself to dreaming about this “Civil War Ball” when my dad invited me to tea and handed me a large envelope. Inside was a special invitation, asking if he could escort me to Colorado and take me to the dance. Of course I said “yes” and immediately called my cousin Miss A. to start planning what we would wear, how we would do our hair and all the other wonderful, giggly details twelve-year-olds discuss!

My grandmother made my gown from an altered dress. (Let’s not talk about historically accuracy regarding the gown! I know choose the memories over history just this once.) And in January, we were off to Colorado, where Miss A. and my other cousins welcomed me.

January 13th was the date of the ball, and it was memorable. I danced almost every dance and had learned to waltz with my dad. It was an evening more amazing than I had dreamed it would be – filled with laughter, giggles, whirling skirts, wonderful music, and handsome “officers.” For an impressionable twelve year, it seemed like history come to life. It might not have been historically accurate, but I will always cherish the memories and am forever grateful to my dad for indulging my dream and being a perfect Union Major for the evening!

Volunteering At A Lighthouse

Last July, I started volunteering at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego (California). Old Point Loma Lighthouse is preserved in the park and has been restored to an 1880’s appearance. This lighthouse isn’t the lighthouse in my latest novel, but the opportunity to visit and do research at the park provided inspiration.

I enjoy sharing about lighthouse history and  volunteering at a historic location is a wonderful opportunity. I’ve found that my favorite thing is meeting visitors from all over the world and sharing a little lighthouse history with them. Sometimes, they tell me about lighthouses in their own state or country.

There are times history can seem lonely and I wonder if anyone cares. Then I get away from my research/writing desk and start sharing some interesting facts, and it brightens my attitude to see how interested folks are in the history. Others before self is still true, and I see this through volunteering to share about the past. Do you volunteer at a historic site?

Thanks for joining me for tea and a chat! Let’s talk in the comments and don’t be shy about asking questions or sending them via this form for tea on January 27th.

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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