Friday, June 25, 2010

A June Tea Party

One thing that gave me a lot of pleasure was giving a tea party on my deck. My friends would come early in the morning and stay until nearly noon. We drank tea, tasted goodies, and yes even gossiped in the under the shade trees. In the winter I continued the tradition indoors, making changes from iced tea to hot tea, from frosty glasses to warm cups. At Christmas I traded in gift buying for gift giving by choosing to give my friends one evening with a meal they could come to and simply sit down at the table for the evening. I did it all because that was my gift---a true evening out away from families, dishes, and even having to take a dish. One year they found a collection of Mary Englebright tea pot ornaments and made a tea wreath for me. Everyone picked out a different ornament and wrote their name on the bottom. After twelve years, it begins to show signs of wear.

Eventually, as I went to work and children required more time too, they insisted on bringing something so we turned it into Christmas pot luck for just us gals. We always had a great time and it was something we all looked forward to during the holiday season. The year my dad died, I just did not have the heart to be as festive but the real issue was energy. Somehow the Christmas dinner went by the wayside, as it was a year I began working more hours too.

Our lives just got more complicated, making it harder and harder to arrange for our fun get togethers. Everyone has jobs or retired husbands to work around. Diets are now sugar free, cholesterol free, fat free, nut free, caffeine limited, or some restriction making food choices for a menu a challenge. Grown children need help or grandbabies need rocking. Cancer, heart attacks, death, aging parents and just plain old exhaustion add more complications to the mix. But despite all of the above and the horrible heat this year, I decided to have a tea party…well, a limited version of one. Due to the heat, I called for it to start an hour earlier than usual so we could end before the sun found us on the west side of the house. I limited the menu to simple cookies and tea only: no finger sandwiches, nuts, rolls, mints, chocolates, or decorated cut outs. We would concentrate on tea and talk.

And that is what we did this morning. Everyone truly enjoyed the tea party under the trees. We ate lavender, chocolate chip, and oatmeal cookies, carrot muffins, and spread fresly made plum jam on shortbread. It was a toss up which tea was the favorite between cinammon orange, ginger peach and a tropical of passionfruit and papaya. Such laughter and cackling floated through the neighborhood! The birds chirped, the water fountain tingled, ice rattled in the glasses, but no sound was more pleasant than the laughter of my friends. We talked, joked and remembered; we missed those who had moved away.

After a couple of hours or so, the heat increased and real world obligations pricked our minds. We lingered a bit in our good-byes, lamented having to end the party, and vowed to not let too much time pass before for we did it again soon.


GrannySue said...

This is MY kind of tea party. Don't get me wrong, I love all the formality of "formal" teas, but I do this kind of thing more often now. Like to say, more time for enjoying each other. There is nothing better. Thanks for reminding us.

Bookie said...

Thank you for visiting! Yes casual can be more relaxing and fun!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

So glad you were able to get together and less makes it easier to do. So important to keep in touch with friends.

Linda O'Connell said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time and made some great memories. Laughter is therapeutic. When my friends and I get together, we laugh ourselves silly too.

Sue said...

What a great thing to do with friends. We all need those times together to just be.


BECKY said...

Oh, how wonderful! The only person(s) missing from the photos is me..and some of your other blog buddies!! :D