Sunday, June 4, 2017

Willow Hearts Tea Time In Texas - a mother/daughter tradition

The transformation of my backyard

Willow Hearts is a love of mine.  We started this girls group almost 5 years ago with the idea of creating community, a safe place, an inviting place, an accepting place, a loving place, a fun place where we could  share, learn and grow.  We have met at least twice a month, where art, faith and friendship collide.  We also have special days and traditions such as our Costume Party,  Christmas in Mexico (a service project), Secret Santa and Summer Fun days but one of the most special of all days is our annual Mother/Daughter Tea which also includes Grandmothers.  It's a time to sit and enjoy moms and daughters, teas and scones, love and friendship.  My backyard becomes center stage for our Garden Tea Party where glass plates, teacups and pretty napkins are placed on each of the round tables,  where food is served from tiered plates and laugher is heard from table to table.  It's a moment in time that seems to stand still, no distractions except maybe a bird or two. At the end of the tea, we all participate in a teacup swap.  Each mother/daughter/granddaughter brings a wrapped teacup whether new, old or somewhere in between.  It's an exciting time to see all the teacups- the varying styles from modern and sleek to floral and elegant.
The tables are set

But the most wonderful exchange is not the teacups but of  stories, friendship and love - for which I am forever grateful.   These girls and their moms have shared with me their time and creativity, their friendship and their love.  This year was no exception to the beauty and joy that was shared that afternoon.  My backyard is transformed to an elegant outing, an oasis from the busyness of life- we hide the pool rafts, clean up the flower beds and make sure there is no evidence of the three dogs that grace our yard on a daily basis.  We set rented tables with crisp white linens, fresh flowers and conversation starters.  We pull out the collection of glass party plates, teacups and vintage silver spoons, polished only on this occasion.   We begin to plate the glass tiers with chicken salad tarts, cucumber sandwiches (my mother's infamous tea treasures) and turkey triangles.  On another plate is scones accompanied with clotted cream and jam, and still on another is macaroons, cream puffs and mini Victorian sponge cakes made by Presleigh who loves all things British.

Snapdragons and hibiscus planted and in full bloom

the walkway filled with purple goodness

This year, we shared about the memories made by the exchanging not just of teacups but of time and presence.  I encouraged them to lean in and remember these special times with friends, moms and daughters, to remember the warm feelings of friendship  admist the warm Texas heat, the hands and hearts who selected the teacups.  We know that our teatime tradition only lasts a few hours, but in the moments forward, this teatime afternoon becomes a memory to savor and serve warm with a dollop of love!
Mothers, Daughters, Grandmothers - Friends!!

Until next time, Tea is always served at my home- join me!

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