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Reconnecting to (and in) the Wilderness

Sometimes I get entirely too wrapped up in the city and forget how wonderful nature can be.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to southwestern Pennsylvania for a reunion of old friends. Nearly two years ago, a set of my college friends were wed on the farmlands of Greene County. I remember their wedding night being a very memorable one; it truly set change in motion in my life at the time. The couple invited me (and the old gang) to join them to celebrate the construction of their new home. We marveled at their quaint country home, the outstretching hills and our seamless ability to reconnect with one another despite distance and change.

I almost won a cornhole tournament. I ate four different kinds of meat. I laid in hay and grass and slept in a tent on slanted ground. But most importantly, I reconnected with old friends.

I was initially worried about the campover. Would everything be as it once was? Would everything look and feel and be the same? No. It can never be the same as it once was. But we can certainly connect with one another on a real human level and learn about the new ways in which we are.

I almost think there is more of a blessing in that than anything else.

Home-Brewed Iced Tea

It is the summer, and I am in love.

Last night, my housemate and I joked about our beverage selections for guests.  “Would you like water, or, uh….maybe water… with ice?.. Wait, there’s some half and half here. How about some half and half… over ice?”

Needless to say, we have little desire for anything outside of the water spectrum. We are cheap. We are trying to live healthy lives. But you know, once in a while – I’d just like to have a taste of something that isn’t translucent. So entered the ginger tea, and my new love.

Before the boyfriend was my boyfriend, he went on vacation and brought back this container. “I thought you liked tea.” In fact, I do like tea. I had been collecting tea from my days as a food blogger, where I used to get bags for free. At one point, I had so much tea that I donated much of it to my writer’s workshop. I simply couldn’t drink enough tea to keep up with my collection. That is, until I started brewing it in mass quantities (mainly to get rid of it) this summer for iced tea.

This is literally one of the easiest and cheapest things I’ve ever done. Please follow these steps and fall quickly in love. It may seem simple. It may seem rudimentary. Maybe you feel like you don’t have time to brew your own tea. You do. Don’t be lazy. We all have 15 minutes.

Step 1: Collect 12-15 bags of tea.

Step 2: Boil them in 12-15 cups of water for 12-15 minutes.

Step 3: Remove tea bags.

Step 4: Pour into a pitcher. Maybe add ice right away. Maybe not. Maybe add water to water it down. Maybe not. (I always add water).

Step 5: Enjoy the tea of your labor with ice.

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