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: Langley hospital history recovered

After 16 years in storage, LMH memorial plaques added to museum in time for 70th anniversary party

Heat warning issued for Metro Vancouver

Inland areas expect to hit at least 26 degrees for daytime highs

VIDEO: Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials holds annual open house

Pam and Tom Erikson have 17th annual charitable fundraiser at their private Langley garden

Cloverdale horse barn goes up in flames

Fire crews work for hours to extinguish blaze on 184th Street

VIDEO: Open-to-all sprinter event for dogs comes to Langley

The second event of its kind in Canada since new rules were implemented

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 to start your day

Heat warning issued, man climbs a crane, a dog-sprinting event, and more

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

Climber with broken leg rescued after fall into ravine near Hope

The 26-year-old had a flare to show rescuers where he was.

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Most Read