McGregor Says: Making time for tea

Back in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, an invitation to an afternoon tea was a sign of being invited into a very significant segment of society, as teas were reserved for  very special  occasions.

My sisters decided that my Mom’s 98th birthday was indeed a very special occasion and they set about planning an afternoon tea, involving as many generations of the family as possible in the planning and subsequent implementation of the event.

Round tables were set with linen table cloths and each one was centered by a three-tiered serving dish displaying homemade sandwiches, scones and special cakes.

Clotted cream and homemade jam were available for spreading on the scones — everything made by the family.

Fine china was on display and any pattern ever produced was set out for the guests.

Cupcakes, tea and coffee were served by granddaughters and great granddaughters dressed appropriately in summer dresses and shiny black shoes. The grandsons and great grandsons were required to remove their baseball caps. All electronic devices were turned off for the afternoon.

The guests represented the 98 years of the guest of honour’s life, and included children, nieces, cousins and close friends.

Some of the relatives came from the same home town in Saskatchewan and some guests had long ties with the church congregation or were former neighbours.

It wasn’t long until the tables began to fill up with memories as stories of snow storms and prairie dust mixed with recollections of church dinners and bazaars or neighbourhood corn roasts.

Generations mixed and stories were passed down with the younger ones listening in amazement to explanations of party lines and hand-me-downs.

As the family photos were taken, my mother was the centrepiece of each sitting, remarking how special it was to see the five generations that had sprung from a kiss on a small bridge in Edam.

By request, no one bought presents. Our gift was just to be there.

Also on display was my mother’s childhood teapot, which she had used as a little girl.

Others at the party recalled sharing tea with friends or dolls or Teddy bears.

Later, as adults, having someone drop in for tea and biscuits was always a welcome respite from housework and a chance to catch up on what was happening around town.

It doesn’t always have to be an expensive catered affair; dropping in for tea will do just fine.

At least that’s what McGregor says.

 

Dropping In

The day has stretched to afternoon,

Here, listening to a Chopin tune,

The water’s on to boil;

So nice of you for stopping here,

Your presence always brings such cheer,

And grants me pause from toil.

 

To share a cup of tea together,

To talk of children, husbands, weather,

Is a blessing to my day,

You are ever welcome at my door,

Ahh, it’s ready, shall I pour?

Tea doth soothe the cares away!

Just Posted

DW Poppy Sr. boys basketball defeats ACSS Totems rivals

DW Poppy’s Sr. boys RedHawks defeated ACSS Totems this Friday in a high-stakes basketball match.

VIDEO: All ages participate in Langley Hospice Historic Half marathon

Turnout was down, slightly, this year but donations are up

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Langley Township goes high tech to spotlight local history

To mark the start of History Week, the Township has put out a new app all about the community.

Kodiaks begin best-of-seven series strong

The Kodiaks opened their quarter-final playoff series by defeating the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read