|The little hand painted tea set shown here attended a great many tea parties...|
This tradition continued over many decades...While Mommy made her home with The Normanator and me we had impromptu tea parties. Sometimes we'd invite imaginary guests; we had ladies from church; we even had a Teddy Bear Extravaganza, where stuffed animals were "served" with us. When Mommy's age and health brought her to a nursing facility that only reinforced the tea partying.
Arrangements were made for use of the facility's formal dining room. Special guests were our #1 daughter and any guests Mommy cared to invite. The time that worked best for the visiting daughter was evening, so it was decided this tea party would be a "Come In Your Jammies" affair. Those nursing home folks are tucked in around 7:30 in some places, after all!
We arrived, picnic basket in tow: there was a thermos of hot tea, Mommy's own sugar bowl and creamer, her silver utensils, and pieces of her good china. Also included were napkins and tablecloth from her linen drawer. Of course, the centerpiece was her very own teapot. Mommy ooohed and aaahed as the treasures were lifted from the basket and arranged on the dining table. Her guest, also her roommate, was wide eyed. She declared she had never seen such beautiful things.
The memory of what we served escapes me after all these years. I do remember the sense of wonder that filled that dining room with three generations of ladies and the guest who felt so honored that she could be a part of this event. Just thinking back, it makes me smile.
We had our jammies on, as mentioned earlier. And our robes. As the party was going on Mommy asked if I'd bring something from her room. I traipsed down the hall toward Mommy's room and heard someone call out, "Harriet? Mrs. Pieper? Do you want your pills now?" Because of our matching nightwear a nurse had mistaken me for my mother!
You may have heard all of us laughing when I related this case of false identity to the party goers!
This party went so swimmingly that we re-booked the room for a follow up affair. This time we'd have afternoon tea, replete with all the accoutrements of the pajama tea party but we'd meet in the formal dining room after everyone's nap time. AND WE WOULD WEAR HATS.
This was the event that was attended by residents of the home and I invited some of my peeps. We all looked pretty snazzy in our hats, sipping tea from those 1950s era china teacups.
I asked Elsie if she were enjoying herself. Elsie was the room mate who was so wide eyed at the first party. Elsie straightened up on her dining room chair and her wide brimmed hat shifted as she spoke. "OH, YES. I've never been in a room this fancy before!"
As we enjoyed our spread, we couldn't help noticing that other residents and staff made a great many trips by our dining room...they just "happened" to peek in as they passed. We also noticed they were grinning at what they saw.
Do YOU have a tea party story to share? Mother Connie would love to hear about it...that's what the comment box is all about!
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