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

VIDEO: Officer knocked down by truck trailer in Langley City

IRSU investigator was looking for distracted drivers

VIDEO: Fans line up to meet Riverdale stars

Actor Cole Sprouse treated fans in Langley to hugs, selfies and autographs

Talking about poverty reduction in Langley

Provincial Ministry of Social Development to hold Poverty Reduction Strategy community meeting

Last skate at Aldergrove Arena

Aldergrove residents get their final skate around the 45 year old rink

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Body of missing Australian woman found in Whistler lake

RCMP say they do not suspect foul play in Allison Raspa’s death

COLUMN: Fundraiser helps Abbotsford family fulfill $100K goal for BC Children’s Hospital

Five years after setting their goal, Team Miracle Maya surpasses their target

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Speculation tax causing concern at Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs

Recreational property owners face hefty bill for 2019 for what some call a ‘wealth’ tax

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Wasn’t that a St. Patrick’s party in Aldergrove!

A full house enjoyed the Irish Ceilidh style St. Patrick’s Day party at the historic Coghlan Hall

Most Read