A Surprise Zoom Tea Party Across 5 States and Thousands of Miles

Jen: We were 6 young, wide-eyed college friends fumbling our way through the rollercoaster ride that is the college experience. We navigated all the ups and downs together, laughed our way through the pizza nights on the couch until 2 AM and cried our way together through the confusing things life threw at us. In the many years since graduation, we've always done a weekend getaway together every 6 months...until coronavirus came out of left field. 

One of our fondest memories has always been the "living room conversations," the 6 of us sprawled around a cozy living room together chatting up a storm. No need to do anything exciting or thrilling, just being in each others' presence and sharing our lives together is enough. While Zoom dates since have been somewhat of a replacement, Grace and I thought to ourselves, "How can we surprise our dear friends? How do we make the thousands of miles between Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville, and San Francisco feel a little smaller?" 

We found a Saturday afternoon that worked for everyone and asked our gals to keep a chunk of time blocked off for a surprise. A day or two before the Saturday came, we had the same Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea (we oogled at. the beautiful pattern on the tin!) show up on all 6 of our doorsteps, accompanied by a little note from Grace and I.

Saturday came, and as we chatted for hours, we had some fun showing each other the different ways we had made the tea: some with milk, some iced, some hot. We shared the different mugs or glasses we used for the tea. For a few moments, it was as if we were all in the same place. Although we were thousands of miles away from each other, somehow the little extra detail of getting to sip on the same exact tea together made this Zoom date a little extra special. 

Grace: Especially with long distance friendships, benchmarks for reunions serve as the best relational lifeline. It's a date that requires perseverance to reach and is rewarded with sweet, sweet time together. When those benchmark reunions became no more (thanks a lot, 'rona), I felt like the rug had been ripped out from under me, from under our little group.

Enter our tea party. No, it wasn't the same as a full weekend of togetherness. No, it wasn't the same as going on adventures or staying up super late having those deep, heart felt conversations. No, it wasn't the same as whipping up a meal together and the fellowship around the dining room table that is so life-giving. But it was beautiful all the same. We caught up. We dreamed. We were together. 10/10 would recommend.

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