Friday, June 17, 2011

Bucket List and Tea Time

The authentic self is the soul made visible…Sarah Ban Breathnach

Julie’s hubby came home for retirement the same time DH did. The men had worked at the same company. Julie formed her own Bucket List right away which included a motorcycle ride, something she had never experienced. Yesterday when we went to exercise, a member of her church arrived with his Harley he had just sold. Said it was the last chance if she wanted that long desired ride. Without time to think about it, she straddled that Harley and rode away, a little nervous but with no door to back out of for her. She had a blast!

This morning Julie was here for tea and commented she could not imagine eating squirrel, those nasty looking rodents. The rest of us had all eaten fried squirrel so we added that to Julie’s Bucket List for her. I think she has more fear of eating fried squirrel than a Harley ride! She sipped her tea and shuddered at the thought of her new Bucket List entry.

Years ago I could work and still put on suppers and teas…and in a fairly clean house. Something happened! Now I can’t get a thing done it seems. I seem to lack the starch I once had, but it is more than just energy. Everyone else’s life has changed too, become more hectic or tiring. It just doesn’t seem easy to get my friends together for quiet time. Each year it is more of a hassle to gather up folks for a peaceful tea party.

This year I promised myself regular events on my “outdoor living room”! But once the rain stopped, the heat moved in with a vengeance. Everyone had grandkids’ ballgames or aging parent issues. Someone else had travel. Then the area was totally upset by that F5, and folks went to work making sandwiches, gathering supplies, or merely praying for their neighbors in Joplin. Suddenly, it didn’t so important to have a clean house; people were just grateful if they had a house!

This week I saw the calendar edging towards July and saw the days for tea time evaporating in the humid air. I decided to brew tea and share it with anyone who could. I made a snap decision to have it today even if only one friend could come. I did not bake; I got Wal-Mart cupcakes. I did not clean house; we were outside. I set up an ice bucket, toted out glasses, brewed a couple of kinds of tea, opened the front door so folks could let themselves in and made myself a glass of chilly cinnamon orange iced tea! My authentic self was showing.

I figured whoever needed to be here would come. There were five of us today in the end. Oh, what a great time we had! Such a nice summer day among the flowers and visiting wrens. A robin or two bathed at one end of the deck while we visited at the other. Their splashing was a cheerful sound. There was a slight breeze and though the air was warm, under the shade trees the air was delightful. No one missed the ten plates of homemade cookies and breads. No one noticed my dusty house as they passed through to the deck. No one cared if a leaf or stick tumbled down occasionally. Everyone sampled tea, picked their own leaves from apple or chocolate mint pots on the ledge, and felt contented in the haven of friendship.


Rebecca said...

Oh, Claudia! Your tables were very beautiful (as is the whole backyard view). I think your authentic self is a very lovely one. I wish I lived close enough to join you at your NEXT tea. What a wonderful, wonderful idea.

Ames said...

It's so nice to have enough friends close by to actually have a tea!~Ames

BECKY said...

Wonderful, Claudia! You are a beautiful, authentic self! Wish I lived close enough to visit, too. We all need to remember that it doesn't matter how clean our house is, or anything else...Life should be enjoyed!
Oh, and I loved the Bucket List part, too!

Linda O'Connell said...

Such a fun idea. Your tables looked so inviting. It is good to relax.

Susan said...

Now that's what I call spontaneous fun! Good for you,Claudia. It looks like everyone had a fun time. The only bad part is that I'm too far and couldn't join you! Susan

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
What a great idea! I'm glad you had a fun time and thank you for sharing your photos!