Tea and Tenderness

Candice Shea Maxwell
3 min readAug 31, 2020


Yesterday I went with Rachael to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Rachael is my business partner. We own Recovery Tea together. But I consistently struggle with what to call her when I mention her to others.

Rachael is far more than a business partner or a friend to me, as we have intertwined our lives together in so many ways. She loves my son and brings an endless light into his life. I love her children as a good aunt should and make an effort to bring joy to their lives when I can in unique ways.

I haven’t called anyone my best friend since high school and I see her almost as a chosen sister because we do so much together and share a love for so many of the same people in our lives.

This weekend I spent most of my seconds with Rachael and many of them with her kids. They came to stay with us for the weekend and so the house was full and loud and I liked it. We worked the market for the very last Saturday this year selling tea and bonding with our artisan friends while Matt battled entertaining her children and our boisterous two year old.

That afternoon we took all of the kids to the park. We played and laughed and I intermingled between my family and Rachaels. It is easy to feel like one big family at times because I love them dearly and because both families were pieced together like a gorgeous quilt through fostering and adopting.

Saturday evening my brother, his boyfriend who we adore, and our mom came to join the rest of us for dinner. We had stuffed shells and Jason made Malva pudding. It felt like a family should.

Sunday Rachael and I went to Parkersburg to visit one of our herb farmers, Shauna, and to visit the sober living home she manages. The farm was serene and it was fantastic to see the home where some of our best product comes from. Shauna grows the Calendula that can be found in our Flower Patch product.

The sober living facility was breathtaking. It has been built out of an old funeral home so the walls were ornate and each room was a marvel. I fell into my old self from my VISTA and WVCC days, discussing practices of facilities, communication tactics, and the importance of finding healthy ways to fill your downtime. I do not have personal recovery experience, so I tend to take the back seat when someone who does is a part of the conversation, but it is something I am very passionate about and I have listened and learned from so many fantastic people in my life who do have that experience.

All in all, I had a good weekend and as I sit here, watching the rain seep down the windows at Taylor's, knowing that the endless rains of valley fall are upon us, I wanted to cling to those good feelings and accomplishments for a moment longer.



Candice Shea Maxwell

“And if I see you, how it changes me. And if you see me, how it changes you.” — Andrew Bird