Monday, September 13, 2010


I have several Internet friends whom I’ve known since long before I started this blog. We met on various sites, commented on each others’ posts, got into a little easy back-and-forth exchange of recipes and ideas and stories, and though few of us even know each others’ names, they seem like long-time friendships, born of conversations with no goal in mind save getting to know each other’s lives and families and homes and hometowns.

When I began this blog, I e-mailed a few of them, saying that I was taking a plunge here, with a hesitant little beginning, of some small Southern memories and insights and anecdotes, and almost every one accepted and is still following along on this haphazard ride.

And the welcome and the acceptance and the everyday camaraderie which come with this territory have been amazing and wonderful. We find commonalities in the kitchen, the garden, in writing and in family life; we compare GrandChildren, pets, crafts, and vacation spots, and the great generosity of spirit just overflows.

Just last week I received the sweetest, most unexpected e-mail, regarding our Tree-Cup Tree in the back garden. The writer is a long-time friend; I’ve heard the comings and goings of her own daughter, almost since she was born. To each other, we call our girls “HERSELF.”
And she and her own HERSELF were offering us a lovely gift:

I have a beautiful light blue, white and silver floral pattern tea-cup, not quite integral enough for hot liquids any longer (hairline crack).
Its part of a set that goes with
the set that my husband brought back from Japan in the belly of a nuclear sub, lo these many years before I knew him.
Would it find a place on your teacup tree or would it spoil the balance you so carefully created?
Sending you the best,

And it was signed by the e-friend who comments as “Kouign Aman.”

So I, of course, delightedly replied:

We were just speaking this morning, Herself and I, of perhaps taking the teacups down when Winter comes, for I don't know what the changing frosts might do to the china. The ribbons are still surprisingly bright and unwrinkled, but I'm sure the bad weathers to come might fade some of their beauty---hope I can find another roll of that Tiffany blue. That was a bit of serendipity when I went to the wrapping lug.

I cannot tell you how sweet your offer of the cup is, from a friend, and with a history and provenance as sweet and historic as a crate on the Mayflower. We both said AWWWWWW. We will give it a happy home---lots of sunlight and birdsong and quite a few visits from admiring guests and neighbors and happy children. And we'll tell everyone her story. (And you KNOW I'm gonna do a piece on her when we hang her amongst her new friends).

And from her:

May I please have a mailing address, and I will send the cup off post-haste, so that it arrives in time to be managed in whatever way you manage the rest.

And so, back and forth, with little snippets of our activities and routines, and then it arrived, and I couldn't wait to let her know:

The package arrived today, just wonderfully packaged and exactly as it left your hands. And INSCRIBED in gold!!! I hope that is waterproof pen, for it will get wet a lot. The two Herselfs communicated across many, many miles to do such a lovely thing.

It's just a beautiful piece, with its dainty decoration and svelte shape---a perfect teacup, and I know you've enjoyed it in the past.

So this morning, the three of us---Our Girl, Caro and me---went out to the tree, armed with the cup, the scissors, and a stout step-stool for climbing and arranging. We chose the place, removed a Tiffany cup with her T-blue ribbon, boxed her in the same mailing-box with all the same bubble-wrap and cunningly-crafted cushioning, and she'll be off to her new family soon:

Bottom of new cup, with her Birth Certificate:

Her priceless inscription:

Click on pictures for a closer look.

And in her place on the tree---even without a flash, she SHINES.

I think she's right at home.


Beverly said...

I stopped from work for a minute knowing that I would come here and find a much-needed smile. And, I was right. This share makes my heart happy. Life is good.

Thank you for the smile and share.

Kim Shook said...

Beautiful! And what a lovely idea. Our virtual tea party here represented by a real tea party in your lovely yard!

Tonja said...

What a sweet story. You know well, that the little trinkets that pass between friends, are the treasures we hold most dear. For it has been with the one that you love and now it is with you. Dear friends, sharing the love of a trinket that no one else might understand. But, you do...and that is all that matters!

racheld said...

All you understanding hearts make the days brighter!

I think a gift that's been enjoyed and loved by a friend is a wonderful thing. Sharing DOES make our hearts happy. From either side.

Kat said...

Awwwww...this put a smile on my face and gave me sweet shivers. There is absolutely nothing like gifts received that you know are from a loving and thoughtful heart. Just beautiful!


Southern Lady said...

I know that lovely little cup is going to bring smiles and sunshine to your days for a very long time, Rachel ... along with sweet memories of the day that three generations lovingly hung it on your tree. I hope you took pictures of your little one helping ... I know she was so pleased to be a part of "the hanging."

Chesapeake said...

The ribbon just matches the cup as if it were made to do so. How absolutely serendipitous.

Kouign Aman - blushing said...

Rachel, you are so sweet. The family was thrilled to see the pictures of the tree and the cups.

Jeanne said...

Hi Rachel, love your comment about the monkey and wolf. I was always a bit afraid of that wolf too. He always looked so mean. This one is so unusual and cute. I too love the shoes.

Your tea cup friendship is a lovely story. So is the teacup. It is lovely hanging from the tree.
A unique idea, smile.
Hugs to you my friend,

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Rachel, your greeting of Fall on my post...made my heart swell with joy! I LOVED it. Thank you. What a heart felt comment!! Have I told you lately that I love you? :)

Keetha said...

This made me clap! What a wonderful story. I love your teacup tree and I love that you shared this - an internet friend giving you such a lovely, personal gift.

This just about made my day. I love the lovely little sparkle and shine here at your spot of the internet.