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Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Colorado Cup

We begin this tale with the usual suspects. Trent and Katrina, AKA The Lunatic, experiencing yet another bout of insomnia. Insomnia is, as I have mentioned before, an all-too-frequent visitor to our home. I have had varying degrees of success in using things that the medical community might recommend for this pain in the neck of a housemate, as has Trent. I had a particularly exciting time when I went to my doctor's office with this complaint. I was prescribed a medication that theoretically would help me get to sleep. It never really made me feel sleepy or actually helped me get to sleep, but it sure made it next to impossible for me to wake up the next morning.

That wasn't the best part, though. That's sarcasm, my friends. For some reason, the bad dreams that I was also experiencing at the time were made even worse. I know there are people who think that bad dreams are no big deal. Well, when they have dreams that are as awful as what I went through, we'll talk. These dreams were actually happening because of depression and PTSD, but the medication I was taking made them far worse. I was sometimes aware that I was dreaming, but was I was unable to steer myself out of the horrors, which often became worse. I know, and knew then, that the dreams were filled with symbolism of the events and people that caused my emotional breakdown, but it didn't make the sleeping and dreaming any easier to handle. I won't give too much detail, but a dream in which the only way to be whole and safe is to cut out your own heart and throw it into boiling water is pretty bad. And that's not even the worst part, or the worst dream!

I guess it comes as no surprise, then, that I have no desire to ask my doctor to prescribe any medications that are specifically designed to help one sleep. When faced with a choice of poor or not-enough sleep versus a deep sleep filled with human monsters that could make the most sane person completely lose their mind, I'll opt for the tired insomniac routine every time. I'd rather have the monsters visit me in the form of movies or television series or books by Dean Koontz or Stephen King. They are far less real and far less terrifying.

I've been quite sleep-challenged lately, and Trent has had some issues a few of the nights that I have as well. A couple of weeks ago, as I restarted the one hour sleep timer on my audio book for the second or third time, Trent gave a disgusted and frustrated sigh. "Are you awake too?" he asked. Naturally I was. Instead of doing something counterproductive like sitting up and starting to watch a movie, we decided to have a cup of an amazing tea made in Boulder, Colorado, a short distance from our home.

We brewed two cups of an amazing elixir known as Sleepytime Extra herbal tea made by a company called Celestial Seasonings. The tea is almost as interesting as the company itself. The founders of the company began gathering herbs in the hills around Boulder and putting them in hand-sewn muslin bags. They grew from a little company selling their products in local health food stores in 1969 to selling their teas internationally by 1977. Kraft Foods purchased the company in 1984 and Mo Siegel, one of the founders, retired in 1986. The very next year, Kraft announced it would sell the company to Lipton. This was upsetting to many of us Coloradans who were attached to this lovely company and its products. What would happen if they were swallowed up by the folks at the Lipton Tea Company?

Then some pretty amazing things happened. The local Celestial Seasoning management bought their company back from Kraft in 1988. The company moved into a new facility in North Boulder in 1990 and Mo Siegel came out of retirement in 1991 to serve as CEO. I am very proud of this "Little Tea Company" that was born in Colorado and stuck to its principles while making wonderful products. In 2000, it merged with Hain Food Group, and Mo retired again in 2002. They continue to make wonderful teas in Boulder, and if you're ever here I recommend taking a tour. Get yourself a t-shirt that says "I survived the mint room." That room alone is worth the tour. Many people can only go a foot or two into the room before giving up and getting out.

Trent and I sat in the dark living room sipping our Sleepytime Extra tea which is made with chamomile and other lovely ingredients. It also contains the extra of valerian, which can be almost like slipping yourself an all-natural mickey. By the time I got to the bottom of the cup, I knew that I had about two minutes to get to the bed or end up sleeping where I fell on the floor. My sleep was deep and restful, and I woke up grateful for Mo Siegel and his friends and my wonderful cup of Colorado goodness. May your nights be restful and full of peace, my friends.


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