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  • Kate Malone Hesser

Just one day a year, there's a tea garden.

On the last Saturday in July, the town green in Thetford, Vermont hums with hellos sung from fifty feet away, the picking up and putting down of an aunt's old cake plates at the antique table, and the blending of maple frappes and "creamies." At the very edge of the Thetford Hill Fair, beyond the sawhorse merry-go-round and the goats and the tortoise in the petting ground, is the Tea Garden. Hosted graciously by the family in the house near the green, the Tea Garden provides a once-a-year moment of brewed grace. Teacups and platters of ornate cookies are brought to clothed tables by local sixth graders and visiting grandchildren. Windchimes and brags about rummage sale finds hang in the air as neighbors visit and sip their hot or iced tea as if it's what they do every weekend. At four o'clock when the chairs are folded and the china is put away, the Tea Garden becomes a happy memory from the height of the summer and something to be looked forward to in the next year. Mark your calendar and join us!

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