Sun Tea And Other Great Memories

Day 10 - Sun Tea And Other Memories - #doodlewashJune2018 Doodlewash

Today, the sun is shining brightly and it’s incredibly hot here, so iced tea, our art challenge prompt for the day, is definitely a good choice. The intense heat made me think back to when I was a kid and my mom would make sun tea, which would later be poured over ice. This was a very popular tradition here in the Midwest when I was growing up. Basically, you’d toss a few tea bags into a jar with water, seal it up and set it out in the sun to bake for a few hours. Like many things in my childhood, these days, the act comes with a long list of warnings. Apparently warming water instead of actually boiling it can create a petri dish for little bacteria of all kinds to form. So many activities that were common in my childhood now carry so many warnings, that it seems a wonder I survived being a kid at all. But looking back, I only have the best memories of those times, so I think everything worked out just as it should.

Sun tea, like all seasonal traditions, was fun because it only happened at a very particular time of year. It was the signal that summer had officially arrived and school was officially over for awhile. And truly, tea made by the sun was just sort of an awesome and magical idea. But, alas, these days many warn against it adding to a list of similar memories. Like snow ice cream during the winter months. We’d scoop up a bowl of snow and then add some eggs, whole milk and vanilla for a wonderful treat! Beyond the raw eggs, these days this one comes with warnings of whether or not the snow is ever really clean enough to eat. Suggestions include gathering it mid-blizzard to assure the first snowflakes have scrubbed the sky first, or yes, simply avoid doing this entirely. Another black mark crossing out yet another wonderful childhood memory. But, I wasn’t “one of the lucky ones” who survived all of these old traditions. We all did.

And the real magic of growing up for me was doing so freely, without being drowned in so much caution. It made me ponder whether or not it’s always better to be safe than sorry. How sorry? I think life is more fun with a bit of risk taking, as long as the risks are calculated. It would be so dull if we heeded every warning we hear, because there would literally be nothing that we could do. Someone, somewhere, swears that we should avoid just about anything you can imagine these days. So, who should we listen to? Who are the real experts? To me, it’s still the same expert I’ve followed my entire life. My instinct. This is the wonderful skill I was born with to know how to keep myself alive. If it didn’t exist, I couldn’t have survived that pre-Internet era. No google search could stop me from doing something back then, I just had to take my best guess. And, thanks to instinct, that guess was usually always right. So, blissfully, I was able to grow up with a treasure trove of wonderful moments filled with sun tea and other great memories.

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 Day 10 - Sun Tea And Other Memories - #doodlewashJune2018 Doodlewash

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
32 Comments
  1. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    I love the reflections of the metal lid in the sun, with just the right amount of highlight. Another great memory of summer days!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Love any chance to paint glass and metal! hehe I have no idea why, but it’s so much fun!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    I remember sun tea! We’d set ours in the kitchen window. I can see heeding all the warnings if you have a poor immune systems, but I think many of us do because we heed too many of the warnings. It’s like building muscle – you have to tear them down, just a bit, to build them up. If we get slightly ill from sun tea, we’re stronger for it after and soon such bacteria doesn’t have a chance with us. Look at pre-refrigerator days. Most modern people would be dead in a week if they had to live similar lives, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha!! SO true! 😃💕 Here’s to not being a modern person… hehe… I think they would definitely struggle more. Our immune systems are quite strong, I would think, from all that we put them through. lol

  3. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Love that jar and of course the tea also! How did we survive all of those things we used to do…don’t forget knocking icicles off the house in the winter and eating them like a popsicle. Recently spoke to a friend who was selling a house on a beautiful wooded 5 acres complete with creek and hillside. She told me several people who looked at the house loved it but wouldn’t make an offer because the woods, creek and hill would be a possible danger for their kids/grandkids. “Bout broke my heart to hear that. The “exploring” of that kind of environment was the best thing ever when I was growing up.

    • Linda Young 2 months ago

      Yes, Mary. It seems parents are being overly cautious; not allowing their children to skin a knee or climb a tree or go hiking in the woods with a peanut butter sandwich wrapped in a daddy’s hankie and tied to a stick. I’d put the stick over my shoulder and pretend I was on a trip and I’d go on the walk by myself. I may only go withn view of our cabin; but it was a thrill. Kids need to explore and parents need to let them go do it.

      • Author
        Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

        Cheers to that! I can’t imagine a childhood without exploration! It was so wonderful! 😃💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Oh my goodness! That would break my heart as well! I can’t imagine having grown up without the run of my grandparent’s 40 acres. So much to discover and yes, dangers around every corner, but how else can we learn to be clever problem-solving adults?

  4. Linda Young 2 months ago

    Sun tea~ YES!!!

  5. Margaret Parker Brown 2 months ago

    Instinct rules is right ❤️ seems like the “should/should not” folks need to take a vacation. Haha!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      haha!! Totally agree! 😃💕 This is why my manifesto only has “DO’s” in it. We learn so much more from what we try then what we fail to try.

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 2 months ago

    Great sun tea. Although I have no idea of it.we had cold coffee.And here people liked hot tea whether hot day . I remember when kid my mom s some friends came at mid day when the high heat. They drink water n after that they drink hot tea.n they sweating badly but like to hot . we laughed.brother sis.
    Loved u r story. thanks lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Snehlata! 😃💕hehe… sounds like they definitely needed a bit of iced tea! 😉 It just makes so much more sense in the hot summer months! lol

  7. Laura Hale 2 months ago

    Beautiful and sparkling container, tea and story Charlie!

  8. crystalpaulart 2 months ago

    I made sun tea yesterday!

  9. smzang 2 months ago

    We need the bumps and bruises of growing up “unsafely”
    because it teaches us freedom and joy and it teaches us
    wisdom. Society has learned to live in fear and that’s what
    its mindset is teaching…
    I’m just saying…Keep soaring, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 I totally agree! We learned OUR way through life, not some pre-scripted list of things we shouldn’t do. That, in the end, made us more enlightened and creative. This is why I cherish my childhood so much!

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 months ago

    We’re overly cautious and overly politically correct – on the other hand, there are a lot of injustices to correct and many dangers to avoid. How to strike a reasonable balance is key. I wouldn’t go back to the authentic snow cream but sun tea is still on my acceptable list. Especially since I love your delicious painting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, sun tea is still a go to. Philippe won’t let me try snow ice cream again yet, but I keep asking each year. I haven’t shared the blizzard theory, though, so I’m still holding out hope it will happen again. I’ll risk it! 😉

  11. Nice you survived all these very dangerous things 🙂
    Your ice tea seems to be more tasty than the one I tried to make !

    robert, absolute beginner

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Robert! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, I survived all sorts of things, but it was such a fun journey! I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!

  12. Catnip Blog 2 months ago

    My mom made sun tea but never ice cream snow . . . possibly because we lived in Phoenix Arizona . . .

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe… yeah, I’m not sure the dessert would ever deliver the goods for snow ice cream. 😉

  13. Karen Howard 2 months ago

    Charlie, I love your sun tea. I’m still making it and I’m still here. Right I have last winters snow in my freezer for summer snow ice cream. We never used eggs? It was sugar and evaporated milk. Irefuse to give it up. It makes me feel like alittle kid again!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Karen! 😃💕 Yay to never giving up! hehe… and yeah, we were an egg nog household so everything was made a bit richer with eggs. We always had farm milk or cream so that’s probably the only reason we didn’t used condensed milk. It was really, really yummy!

  14. June Hadaway 2 months ago

    I remember sun tea,. Your colors are great. I think I still have my container storedvasen

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, June! 😃💕 Yeah, I loved those days. But haven’t had sun tea since I was young.

  15. teaandtinytreats 1 week ago

    despicabletea.wordpress.com

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