Last week I helped produce a high tea. And by produce I mean as in staging an event, because an event it was. A committee from our church women's group created this glorious gathering, serving over 200 women tea, sandwiches, scones, petite fours, and several more delectable treats.
Those of us who were hostesses set a table with our mother's or grandmother's china tea cups, and teapots. In my case, I pulled out all the stops since I ended up setting two tables as our numbers swelled. I used my Nana's sterling silver tea set as well as her assorted teacups, the same ones she set on her bridge tables. I unpacked, washed up, and polished my mother's wedding china and sugar and creamer sets. I used my grandmother's water pitchers. Assembling these props from a finer and more hospitable era (or at least it seems so to me) is always a nostalgic experience for me. I sense my lineage looking down in approval. My mother would have been especially pleased to see her things used for the women and girls of her church.
Daughters brought mothers, mothers brought daughters, sisters came in tandem, and others invited friends. My friend Patty, a woman who was my first real "best friend," is back in town caring for her mother. She came with me, not only for tea but also to help welcome and register all our guest. I treasure her presence still sitting beside me after all these years.
The men of our church donned white shirts and black ties and served us, pouring tea like champs and delivering trays and tiers of goodness.
It was a lovely time...time to dress up, slow down, share a cup of tea, revisit our past, and make new memories.
The forecast this week is for 60 degree days...every day. Five days in a row in the 60's and it is yet March 13th. After a very mild winter, it appears we are in for an early spring. I guess Punxsutawney Phil was wrong.
Our first crocus pushed through the ground and revealed its purple yesterday. The other bulbs are working their way up as well. Trees are budding and grass is greening ever so slightly. These signs signal spring, and everyone seems so happy....
While our spirits lift to be approaching longer and lighter days, our soul rejoices that during this season of natural rebirth, we await the coming of a new grandchild, the first born of our son and our daughter-in-law. We couldn't be happier, more thrilled, or more excited. We give thanks and pray every day for all three members of this newly expanding family.
My Lenten journey this year has me striving to live more fully in the present, seeking to cast off anxiety from the past or worry for the future. Reading about the mystics who live like this. I must say, it is easier to desire than to do but on days like yesterday make it seem more doable.
I try to keep my Monday calendar relatively clear to regroup after the weekend--reordering the house, making the to do list for the week, and generally catching up on an ongoing list of chores. It sets a tone and direction for the work of the week. Yesterday seemed both deliberately paced and intentionally calm, as I worked out, prepared for tutoring this week, walked into town to take care of errand, worked on a church project, took a nap (and read C.S. Lewis), and even had time to sew. During it all, I reminded myself to breathe deeply with an awareness that I am blessed to have this time, this place, and this life. It is good to remember this in the middle of the living of it.
In my life-is-a-bowl-of-cherries mood, I ended the afternoon making a cute oil cloth lunch bag for a friend who is having a birthday this week.
It was quick and fairly simple. Basically:
1. Cut three pieces--a main panel ( 7 7/8" x 29") and two side panels (5 1/4" x 12 1/4").
2. On the main panel, measure 12" down and make 1/4" notch. Continue 5" down on the same side make another 1/4" notch. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. Sew in the side panels, wrong side facing, using a 1/4" seam allowance.
4. Turn right side out and finish top, either by hemming 1/8" or using your pinking shears on the top.