A pot of hot tea, some treats so yummy, a loving hubby, and tea time with me! That means it’s time to break out the Scrabble® game.

If you’ve ever played Scrabble, you know that part of your strategy is using words that are not well known or not all at known to your opponent. Then, when he/she questions it, you say “Are you challenging?” It’s up to him/her to decide whether to or not. If the word is found in the official Scrabble dictionary, the challenger loses a turn. So, your opponent will think twice before challenging.

Armed with some rather esoteric tea terms, I was ready to do “Scrabble battle” as long as I pulled the right letter tiles out of the bag. Of course, hubby has picked up quite a few tea terms himself during our mutual tea adventures. This should be interesting.

My first play: “GONGFU” with not even the slightest hesitation from hubby about the word’s legitimacy. He counters with a slam-bang term: “LAPSANG” and I give him a quick cheer “Hurrah!” I go for an easy one: “ASSAM” (our favorite type of tea, I muse as I sip a cupful). Hubby surprises me by adding “SOUCHONG” onto the end of his previous play. Hmm…this game isn’t being quite the one-sided (in my favor) affair I had imagined. Never fear. I easily counter by playing “OOLONG” off of his word. And so it goes, each of us pulling letters, rearranging them on our letter trays until the solution presents itself.

While our game has progressed, the tea in the pot has gotten low and the small amount remaining has cooled, the yummy treats are gone, and the minutes and hours have ticked by. Hubby gets up while I ponder my next stratagem (limited by the strange array of letters on my tray that refuse to forms words, no matter how I rearrange them) and sets the kettle on the stove as the first step in preparing a fresh pot of tea. “Make some First Flush Darjeeling this time, dear,” I call to him. “And slice a bit of that cheddar cheese to have with the Walker’s Oatcakes. A few grapes would be nice, too.” (It’s hard to think up tea terms on an empty stomach.) Soon, we’re settled with a freshly-filled teapot and a plate of treats to fuel us through the rest of the game. I play a word. Then, hubby plays his word. All the while, we munch on our snacks and sip our tea.

Suddenly, I see a word to play: “OXIDATE”! A great word and one that used up my remaining letters. “Victory!” I cry and begin a little victory dance around the room. Hubby soon joins in. I can only imagine what strange gyrations our silhouettes were making on the vertical blinds covering the sliding doors to the deck. Our neighbors know us well enough by now not to think we are having some kind of conniption fit or to dial 911 for an ambulance.

Our dance ended, we settle back down to look at the game board. “Good game,” hubby says. “Indeed,” I answer with a bit of a twinkle in my eye as I take a big gulp of that tasty tea. “Wanna play another?” he asks. “Sure, as long as there’s tea in the pot!” I answer.

The new game begins!

Between your Scrabble matches, check out Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

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