Friday, November 12, 2010

LAWN TEA, AGE TWO

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE INTERNET

Two years ago today, I sent out my first post into the Blog World. The subjects and the stories and the people have been varied and numerous, and the response has been heart-warming and wonderful.

The title came out of nowhere, when the one I chose was already taken---I was just thinking of the lovely Lawn Teas of the past, with ladies in softly flowing dresses and the scent of mint rising with a sandal-step, the beautiful tea tables arranged with pastel cloths and colorful flowers and dishes and teapots. I’ve longed to have one of those parties again, with guests at their ease on a wide shady lawn, chatting and enjoying the languor of good company and good food as a long day winds down into a starry evening and fireflies.


Somehow, it’s just never happened, in this several years I’ve meant to have one---my own lawn right now is more lazy and littered and leafy than languid, and though my heart longs for dainty iced cakes and gracious manners, the coming of Autumn brings only a shutting-down of all outdoor activities save perhaps a weenie-roast out at the firepit, with sunny afternoons of leaf-sweeping and putting away for the cold to come.

We've had quite a few little moments, whether carefully arranged or impromptu, but never the tables and silver and chairskirts and a table of savories and then the dessert table with its lovely goodies like beautifully-wrapped presents.


Nothing quite so formal and stiff, of course, as the crimped-and-collared tea-on-the-lawn of our forebears, with such detailed manners and staid attire:



But not quite so casual, either, as the guests who have to be not only seated by the hostess, but propped up sedately, to sit stiff and speechless during the refreshments. (Though that COULD well be ME in that picture---my hair parted Just So, and in that scratchy dress. And I, of all the people I know, WOULD be the one to think that having tea within feet of the railroad track would be the height of fashion and delight).


But, there WILL be a Lawn Tea---in the Spring, or in the Summer of next year---the nine months or so of Meantime will be a time to dream and plan, perhaps polish some silver and unearth the jewel-toned dessert plates. And until then---the plans and the hopes and the dreams, for such an elegant event.

And my plans always begin with little
Individual Iced Cakes---they set a gracious, beautiful, dignified tone to any affair. Teapots and pretty china cups, as well as sparkling glasses beside the several big punchbowls of sweet tea and mint tea and a nice rum punch.

We go on to trays of Small Sandwiches, Crudite, Small Biscuits and Pate a chou puffs, Chris’ grilled Tenderloin on soft rolls, a good old Southern Congealed Salad, some small, too-twee CUT-OUTS, savory and sweet, and a tray of SOOOOEEET Piggies nestled warm and luscious into their honey/butter/brown sugar syrup. And always, ALWAYS, Chicken Salad.
The dessert table will have cakestands of lovely iced cakes and tiers of brownies with doily-covered trays of Lemon Bars and all sorts of cookies, and a big trifle bowl of layered Banana Pudding.
This year’s chance has gone, unless we want to be like Miss Martha’s icy gathering, muffled and gloved, drinking heavy mugs of strong tea and toasting hearty cheese sandwiches over the open fire, between active sessions of skating on the pond.

I just spent the morning pruning the grapevines and cutting down all the yellowed, limp hostas, spent and fallen, with promises to Sweetpea that their “eggs” are still safe under the soil, and will sprout gloriously in Spring. I promise that to ME as well---gotta have something to dream about when the holidays are over and the snow flies.
It will be like Seed Catalogues in January, to see me through the cold.
Thank you all for these two lovely years, of the companionship and the comments and the wonderful friendships forged on this ethereal 'Net. And tomorrow will begin Year Three.

12 comments:

Southern Lady said...

Rachel, words can't express how much I have enjoyed getting to know you and your sweet family through your beautiful stories here at Lawn Tea. Your gracious, kind, and awe-inspiring way with words never fails to captivate, entertain, and touch my heart, no matter what the subject you've chosen for the day. Congratulations on reaching such a memorable milestone ... You are truly a remarkable lady with a very special talent, and I'm so glad you share it with us.

Bev said...

Southern Lady expressed it beautifully!! Congrats Rachel..love you, love your blog!

Maggie McArthur said...

I'm in awe of the quality and the humanity of your blog posts. You've brought us all much joy. Thank you, dear friend.

steelersandstartrek said...

Your poetry is a balm for the soul in this hectic world. Happy birthday to your blog, and congratulations to its muse.

Kim Shook said...

Happy Anniversary, my DEAR friend. I've said before what a lovely gift you give us all by sharing your home, your family, your incomperable words and thoughts with us. 'Tea' with you is truly a feast.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

What a great way to start the winter with dreams of pastels and flowers and songbirds singing to your guest.
Congrats on 2 yrs. How wonderful.
Molly

Linda J. said...

Congratulations on your 2 year blog anniversary. I enjoy your posts.

Beverly said...

I was at your party in my heart. The visions were the epitome of all that is gracious and lovely. I had a bit of a time deciding what to wear because there were too many tempting choices, but I decided on pink seersucker "pedal pushers". I had a pair when I was a child, and of course I had tea parties, too.

Thank you for sharing all of you. We, your readers and admirers, are blessed and grateful.♥

racheld said...

Ohhh, Y'all are all just TOOO Kind!! It's so lovely to hear from every one of you.

Isn't it just the nicest thing to have a party and enjoy such interesting, charming guests? The People are what make a Party.

Janie, I SO welcome your comments and so greatly enjoy your own gracious hospitality, with all the scenes and vignettes and glimpses of the South and all its beauty.

And Bev, it's always a treat to see you drop in---a cheerful friend popping in for a little chat every day is a wonderful thing to look forward to.

Maggie, you know how much your comments and your own words mean to me---remember the first post evolved from a letter to you.

SAST and Kim, I have no words for the forever friendship and your dear selves---balm and muse, indeed. Mostly more like Vicks and harpy lots of days, but ahhhh, your rosy glasses.

Molly---thank you for your own wonderful words and pictures; they give me a glimpse of way back when I lived there, and you portray them so beautifully.

Linda---I love your travels and look forward to all your own lovely Tea Adventures, and it's so nice to see you peeking in.

Beverly---Pedal Pushers!! Those bring a smile to my face and a wonderful memory. My little brain cells are churning already---I can just SEE that pink seersucker. And thank you for all your PINK cheer and especially the MUSIC you bring to my life.

Thank you ALL for dropping in so often, and for your lovely comments. I look forward to them every day.

Kat said...

Happy Anniversary! I always always enjoy my visits here. And, oh how I would love to attend your lawn party!

Hugs sweet friend,
Kat

Janie said...

Thank you for the flowing words that open our mind's eye to all the scenes so aptly described. Thank you for the laughter, the tears, the everyday happenings, the joy you give to all your readers. I look forward to another year.

racheld said...

I SO wish it were real, and somehow, every one of you could be here. I hope that you will all feel welcome when we get it all together in Spring.

And Janie---It's always lovely to hear from you, and I look forward to next year as well. Thank you SO much for the kind words---I hope the little stories and tales are interesting and memorable.