A Very Special Party
Friday was my afternoon to be tending the crafts co-op shop, but along about 3 PM, I tacked a note to the door that read: "The shopkeeper has closed temporarily to attend the tea party of a very special little girl up at the schoolyard, and will return by 4:00".
One of the children I have known since birth, and also got to have as my student while running the child care program last winter, had decided that she missed her friends from that time, and wanted to see them. She and her mother agreed to host a tea party, and I was honored to be one of the people she wanted to attend. I even dressed in a skirt. All day. I brought along my Ruffled Shawl, but it was hot and muggy by 3:00 PM, so the shawl stayed in the car (I did end up needing it for the drive home late at night, following the school play, as the muggy weather turned into a mountain thunderstorm).
My very important friend, who has re-named herself Annabelle in the past few months, determining if we have enough ice for iced tea for everyone.
This was a festive occasion, with me bringing a tablecloth, cloth napkins, vases and irises, and cookies I had baked before work in the morning, Annabelle's mother, my friend Robin, preparing trays of fruits and cookies, as well as a fruity tea, and bringing tiny teaware, and Annabelle shopping in advance for small purple straw bags, filled with presents for her three child-sized guests. As you can see from this photo, purple was the color of the day (although she had also picked out pink paper plates and napkins for the event). Can you remember back to when you would have been thrilled to have a reason to wear a purple fur hat with your lilac brocade dress?
One of the guests was equally delighted to have a chance to dress for the afternoon - as a princess complete with "up-do" and crown. And, yes, that IS Barbie appliqued to the front of her ball gown!
There were many special treats, including cheeses, cherries in bowls, and tea cookies. My cookies are Jae's Maple Flax Cookies, a shortbready-tasting treat perfect to serve at teas.
Of courese, a three-year old can only sit and sip tea for so long, and then it's time to get down to some serious play.
I attended another party on Saturday, for a long-time coworker who is "officially retiring" as the elementary portion of the school where I worked for eight years (until the high school portion closed last year, putting me out of a job) is now also closing next week when the school year ends. Cheryl is also a neighbor in Forest City, where I originally landed here in the mountains 20 years ago; she is now full-time there while I am only part-time, but for many years it was the other way around. I got to visit with lots of old friends, and also discover that my lilacs at the house there are in full bloom (this is pretty extraordinary, as they do not bloom every year at the higher elevation, and this is the best I can remember).
Today was spent on laundry, house chores, and setting up a Cafe Press store (note the sidebar to the left). I had placed three framed prints from an art show I entered a few years back into the co-op shop on Friday before going to the tea party, and also discussed with another member putting cards with some of my photos in the shop this summer. I have been looking through some of the photos over the weekend, ordering prints, and realizing that my photography has steadily improved, and that living where I do has given me some unique subject matter over the years. I still discard three-fourths of the photos I take, although some of them pass through here first as illustrations for posts. A few of the more interesting ones will be making their way to my new store, where they can be ordered adorning useful household items, shirts, or greeting cards, so do stop by!