Into My Garden

 

By Angel Spangler

 

Some people have their bedrooms, others may have a hockey rink or football field, but I have a place that not many people have much less go. In the back of a store, inside Downtown Plano, Texas, lies a small, delicate tea room.

                Into My Garden Tea Room sits just inside a little shop in Downtown Plano called “Nooks and Krannies”. When I first walk inside, I see all kinds of wonderful toys and pictures, purses and bags, soaps and candles. Tucked away in the back of this quaint little shop is a small, seemingly hidden tea room. Standing at the entrance that is a trellis with silk vines weaving in and out of each hole and open space, I see randomly placed tables that are draped in quilts which do not match any other in the room. They are soft, thick quilts that could, in case of a sudden ice storm or even a chill, easily keep you warm. Depending on the placement and size of the table, there are a certain number of chairs that do not match, either. These chairs aren’t uncomfortable, necessarily, but as are most wooden chairs, rough to the touch. In the far corner stands a large armoire which seems to swallow the delicate china tea sets that it is used to hold. Two mannequins, elegant and beautiful, stand off to the sides to make this place even more unique. The sounds of people talking and laughing can be heard the moment I enter the door which makes a little tinkling sound as the bell shakes to let the employees know a new customer has arrived. Speaking and eating with much enthusiasm, customers hungrily devour the food and letting their forks and knives drop onto the plates, they have settled their hunger with the delicious variety of quiche, salad, and soup.

                On Saturdays, when my step-dad is working and step-brothers are at their mom’s house, my mother, sister and I wake up around nine or ten in the morning and get prepared for a day of girlish indulgences. The Tea Room opens to the public at 11 A.M. for their weekly Saturday lunch. Standing under or just outside of the trellis, we wait to be seated, but know that as soon as we are seen by an employee, we will be told to choose our own spot. We never need the menus, because they always know what we are going to order. They know that my mom prefers no melon in her fruit salad and that instead of salad; my sister likes half a cheese sandwich. When they bring us our food, they stay for a few extra minutes for some quick catching up from the last two months since we previously visited. These special Saturdays at this special place in particular are times when nothing else matters. We don’t think about tomorrow or yesterday, but here and now. The rest of this easy Saturday, eased by our current outing, seemed to hold no large expectations that needed to be worried about at this time.

                Places like these are special and everyone needs one. They let people release all of their doubts and stress, insecurities and loneliness, or even any worries. Places like Into My Garden Tea Room, the seemingly hidden tea room in the back of a quaint little shop are there to not only keep us sane, but make us simply find the joy in “right here” and “right now”.