Our world has changed overnight, and I hope and pray the changes have not been too catastrophic for you and your loved ones. If you or anyone in your realm is a first responder or on the front lines of this medical battle, please accept my deepest gratitude. You truly are heroes.
I've spent the last two weeks fielding questions about our events and now that I've come up for air, wanted to give you an update. We have not cancelled any of them, as there has been substantial outlay on most of our events, and frankly if we cancelled, we'd lose all the money and the tearoom would lose our business. Instead, all of our events are on-hold or postponed with an eye toward rescheduling them when the dust clears.
Since we are a social group and not a business, when the in-person events run at a deficit the difference comes out of my pocket personally. I tend to spend more on party favors (such as they are) than is in the budget for any given event, so I usually lose a wee bit per person, and am happy to do so. I've also begun paying by check to save the tearooms from paying credit card fees, and I've begun supplying tea to save the tearooms money, all in an effort to keep costs down and enable all income levels to join in the events.
Our beloved tearooms have never needed your support more than now. Coterie Tea & Eatery in Upland spent their 1-year anniversary in lockdown, but rather than wallow, they launched a website and are now accepting Take-Out orders. The Four Seasons Tea Room in Sierra Madre is not only offering take-out Fri-Sunday, but full take-out dinners ... as well as sewing masks for those who need them most. And darling Kristen Larrea of McKenna's Tea Cottage who had twins just a few months ago, is making lemonade by offering a take-out menu with the option for local delivery by bicycle! If you can't get to your favorite tea room for "pick-up" right now, consider purchasing a gift certificate to keep them going. Every little bit counts.
To stay in contact and provide a whimsical outlet for our communitea, I'm currently offering the following via Facebook and through various sites, all at no charge:
- A chapter a day of my new fantasy series that was to have been celebrated at my 10-years-in-the-making biz launch Elements tea last week -- obviously that didn't happen
- Sequential chapters from the 5-novel Tea Cozy Mysteries series
- Cup of Mystery games to be played via Facebook Live -- we just tried our first one yesterday and I think it worked! Congrats to Robert Clemens for solving the mystery!
- An interactive Tea Leaf Reading session via FB Live on Sat, April 4
- A Masked Ball as a mask-raiser for those who need them most via FB Live on Sat, April 18
- The Academy of Omniosophical Arts & Sciences page on FB is celebrating UNHalloween throughout the month of April
- The former la Vie Sirene theme magazine is sharing old issues an article at a time
Additionally, the moment this is over, I'll be hosting a Pajama ParTea at Pamela's tearoom, and yes, nightwear is encouraged. I'll also host a Christmas in July tea party where/when possible.
That's all I can think of for now. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do for you in any way, even if you just need someone to vent to. I am here for you and the kettle is on!
In closing, Quiet Heroes (the writing attached as a PDF below) is by one of our tea travellers, Trish Miller. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. I'm so thankful for each and every one of you.
Cheers and hugs at a distance,