1943, Paddy reads our tea leaves
Paddy was a Welshman and one of the many British sailors that our family entertained in our home in Wellesley Hills, Ma., during the 2nd World War.
Paddy was also a great story teller and he loved to practice that art by telling our fortunes using the age old method of tea leaves.
Let me set the stage for you. We were a family of 5 girls ranging in age from 10 (me) to my oldest sister, aged 18. We lived in a large 3 story Victorian style house and the inner hallway with the stairs was completely enclosed. This was important because it was 1943, we were in a “brown-out” and no lights were allowed to show at night. It’s where we girls, Paddy and whoever else was there at the time would meet after the sun went down.
My mother had a collection of fancy, unmatched cups & saucers and we’d bring these and a large pot of tea to the hall. We would choose our favorite spot on the staircase, fill our teacups (making sure that we got a good share of the leaves) and sit back in anticipation.
Then, one by one as we finished our tea we’d hand the cup to Paddy. He'd make a great show of turning the cup upside down and twirling it around . When he finally looked at the tea leaves he would express astonishment and wonder at what he saw there. More often than not there’d be a handsome lad and gobs of money!
There was a war raging and those boys knew they would be back in the thick of it soon ... but for a short time that was forgotten as Paddy transported us to a magical place with the aid of a bit of blarney and a cupful of tea leaves.