Hot Tea With Lemon

Tea With Lemon Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Tea” today, I opted for a bit of hot tea with lemon. Where I live, the heat of summer is still coming back and refuses to leave quietly. But, I’m in an autumn mood, so I’m ignoring the heat and pretending that the air already has that familiar chill that I adore so much. Philippe agrees and our menu has therefore switched to lovely things like acorn squash and Brussels sprouts. As for hot tea, we have that each evening just before going to bed. It’s an herbal variety meant to soothe and make one sleepy. While this works well enough initially, having to wake up and pee a few hours later leaves a bit to be desired. But, it’s a lovely ritual, and those are just too precious to stop. That said, we’ve taken to only drinking half of the tea in the cup instead. The reason I love autumn so much is the cozy feeling that comes with the chillier air. It’s the season of hugs! Whether you have to hug yourself to keep warm, or even better, cuddle up to someone else. No matter the source, I just love hugs! If I’ve met someone for the first time and we’ve gotten along particularly well, I always want to hug them and usually do. I’ve learned, however, that not everyone is a hugger, so I try to be more careful in accessing the situation more nowadays.

When I was first visiting my family in France, I was quick to discover that hugs are not the normal way to say hello and goodbye. Indeed, it was instead with two kisses, which one would deem even more intimate, but these are delivered to the air instead by simply touching cheeks. Yet, early on, I had such a lovely time with Philippe’s mother at lunch once that I threw caution to the wind and gave her an American “bear” hug as we left. She was suitably shocked by the action, but thankfully just clasped her hands to her heart and turned to Philippe and said, “J’adore!” Proof that even those not accustomed to heavy hugging can indeed enjoy it in just the right moment. Indeed, I quite adore my in-laws and even managed to plant an actual kiss on the cheek of my sister-in-law as we were leaving on our last visit. I initially worried that I’d done something terribly wrong, but her eyes just said, “I’ll miss you too.” I’ve always just wanted to hold close the people I love in my life. I want to memorize the feeling of them being next to me, particularly when I only get to see them on rare and special occasions. It’s that warmth that gets me through until I can see them once again.

And, oddly coming back to the illustration today, that’s why I love hot tea. I love that bit of warmth that comes for Philippe and I at the end of each day. No matter what actually happened during the day, be it wonderful or stressful, I just enjoy a little chance to decompress and relax for a moment. Relaxation is a curious place indeed as it exists in the perfect middle of all things amazing and distressful. It’s the center of life itself. The same space we can feel when boredom sets in, in fact. But there’s nothing boring about taking a moment to recharge and enjoy life. I love these middle moments most of all. They are the ones where I have my best ideas, where I stop worrying about things I cannot change, and where I can focus on the most positive aspects of life. In short, the most important moments of all. As much as I cheerlead the act of DOing as much as one can, I equally support the act of taking a moment to do nothing much at all. Suspending time for a bit to look at life from only the heart’s point of view. It’s an amazing act indeed, that can often be acquired by something as ridiculously simple as a bit of hot tea with lemon.

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Tea With Lemon Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
36 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 4 weeks ago

    Your tea looks inviting Charlie! It is annoying that there comes a point in your life that no matter what you do to relax before bedtime a few hours later you will be awakened at least once if not two or three times before sunrise. 🤨 As far as the hugging thing goes, I’m getting better at that.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yeah, a full night’s sleep is like a lovely memory now. But, glad to know you’re getting into hugs!

  2. Sharon Nolfi 4 weeks ago

    Keep on hugging! I love the story about your mother-in-law.

  3. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    I call that practicing stillness. It’s a very good thing indeed.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yay to that! 😃💕Practicing stillness is the best thing ever!

  4. Bonnie Ottaviani 4 weeks ago

    Your cup of hot tea & lemon is fabulous! We too like the ritual of tea in the evenings, especially this time of year when the weather is changing. Tea reminds us to slow down in this crazy paced world.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Bonnie! 😃💕Yeah, it’s so true. It’s always good to remember to slow down a bit and enjoy life!

  5. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    Usually, we have some hot weather in September but this year we are settling right into fall. Only it’s too soon for the glorious yellows and reds and singing winds. We are having the grey gloom though – like it’s dusk all day long. We don’t need tea or anything else to get to sleep. The light is lulling us to sleep all day long – it’s staying awake that’s the challenge!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe… yep… that’s the other bit about fall. Here, the light changed, but it failed to get cooler so we’re on summer time still just waiting for the cooler weather. 😉

  6. Walter F Pierluissi 4 weeks ago

    Want to share a recipe from my wife…. She take a butter nut squash and cut it in half, take the seeds out, and take the inside out and fry on coconut oil mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers with the inside of the squash…. Then she put all that inside the squash into the oven for about 45 minutes at 375…. Then put cheese on the top and let it melt… 😘😘😘😘 It’s simply delicious…. Try it….

    • Zertab Quaderi 4 weeks ago

      Sounds so yum!

    • Robert J. Coleman 4 weeks ago

      Walter, thanks for that recipe – I just stole it!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Wow! Yummy Walt! That sounds delicious indeed! We’ll definitely have to try that! 😃💕

      • Walter F Pierluissi 4 weeks ago

        Just add to it you preference on seasoning, but don’t forget a little of Cajun seasoning!!!! 😜

  7. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 4 weeks ago

    What a lovely cup of tea!!!! I so love the light and shadows how they play together!!! Wonderful colors. Hugs are one of the best things in life!!! You talking about hugs made me think of my friend Michelle. We met at a psychic fair she was a vendor at. We began to talk and she walked all over the fair with me. We connected so fast that when I was ready to leave I said. ‘Is it okay if I hug you?” she smiled and said “yes!!! I thought you would never ask!” Touch is such a special part of life that grabs us right in the heart. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕Aww… I adore that story!! Those are the best first meets ever! Adore it! Yeah, there’s nothing better than a perfect connection sealed with a hug!

  8. Gary Middleton 4 weeks ago

    I’d love to know how you get the transparency of the tea. Brilliant painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! For this one, I took a touch more time and actually let my layers dry first! lol When you build up on dry watercolor that glow is much easier to achieve. That and my usual crazy high contrast approach by placing pure darks next to lights to enhance the effect. 😉

  9. Laura Hale 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful art and story once again Charlie. I’m a hugger as well, so I can relate.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Laura! 😃💕 Thrilled you’re a hugger! Yay! Hugs to you my friend!

  10. Zertab Quaderi 4 weeks ago

    Another fantastic piece of watercolor, Charlie! It never stops to amaze me how you get that light, reflection, the perfect color and all!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 So thrilled you enjoyed this! I just adore painting glass!!

  11. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    Love the way that tea bag looks in the tea and absolutely wonderful glass too!!! What’s not to love about a well meant hug.

  12. Loan Anh Pham 4 weeks ago

    I love to have a cup of tea like this one, Charlie. I wondered did you use it with a little honey, that thing tastes like Autumn’s flavors, a bit sour, a bit sweet, might have a bit bitter and passionate aroma. I love the season of hug, our culture is so differently,however, I’ve learnt to hug everyone. Yes, It’s warmth never known before 🥰

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕Actually, these days I take both my tea and coffee plain. hehe… I just like the regular old flavors best! And yay to hugging everyone! hehe… I love that!

  13. Robert J. Coleman 4 weeks ago

    A beautiful cup of tea, or as Liz Steel, another sketch artist says, “a cuppa”. I’m not a tea drinker, although it smells great. But I can imagine your cup filled with hot cider, a New England favorite with our chilly evenings coming now. And the hug is so American and a feature of many other cultures. On some cool, bright New England mornings I take the dogs out and it is so marvelous I want to just hug the whole world!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕ohhhh….yay to hot cider! I love that as well! And I too love those moments when you feel so good you just want to hug the whole world!

  14. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    I knew you would be a hugger. 🙂 I come from a hugging family. My husband not, but he learned early on to give in. Now he can’t leave me without a hug and an I love you. It took his mother 40 years to say it to her sons. :< Fortunately we taught our son well and he doesn't leave the house without saying it. No matter who's around. 😉 Someday maybe we will meet and hugs will be the first encounter. Nice cup of tea by the way!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      hehe… yay to a hugging family! 😃💕 Love it! Glad your husband learned to give in. And I love the idea of always saying I love you. You never want to think you missed the chance!

  15. smzang 3 weeks ago

    Charlie says, ” Suspending time for a bit to look at life from only the heart’s point of view. It’s an amazing act indeed,”

    Yes it is, and I would have given up treasure to see your mother-in-law’s face when you locked her in a bear hug.
    It makes me smile to think of it, and I’ll bet she smiles a warm and tender smile whenever she thinks of it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 weeks ago

      Thanks!! 😃💕 Yeah, I still remember that moment. I also saw the look of shock on Philippe’s face in the moment. It made everything perfectly priceless when she answered with “J’adore!”

  16. Leif Price 2 weeks ago

    Hugs are always given to the family. Sometimes, it’s our greeting and all is right in the world. I go with green tea and topping it with a slice of lemon. Just enjoying them before the start of the day.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      That sounds like a love way to start the day, Leif! 😃💕 And yay to hugs! They’re the best thing in the world!

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