Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tea Time

I drink tea. And I love High Tea. And I love wearing a hat. I know that in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales both men and women take time for tea but here a High Tea is most often a ladies' event. My friend Pam's daughter just announced her engagement and as she studied in England, High Tea seems an appropriate bridal shower theme. For the sake of research, Pam and I made a reservation for High Tea at Eleanor's Tea Cottage in Troy, Ohio.

This was a true High Tea, beginning with fruit, then scones with real cream and fresh jam, followed by a delicious chicken divan soup, then chicken salad, pimento cheese, and cucumber sandwiches, and finishing with lemon pie and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes topped with with crunchy little bird nests filled with tiny eggs.

A sweet little pansy topped the whipped cream

Three kinds of sandwiches

Charming little nest cake toppers

 Our hostess was gracious and skilled, allowing us time to enjoy each delicious course and feel completely pampered. It was a delight to pause, savor a friendship, and plan a shower for a lovely young woman.

About wearing a hat... My mother used to say, "Wear a hat, you'll feel better." I remember seeing a large group of women of a certain age all decked out in purple outfits and red hats at an Olive Garden restaurant. These ladies were talking and laughing and living out loud. They made me smile. They were, of course, members of a Red Hat Society inspired by the first two lines in the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, "When I'm an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me." For my mother's 91st  birthday we had a tea party and asked the ladies to bring their favorite tea cup and to wear their best hat. There were some pretty extravagant hats because many of these gals attend the Kentucky Derby, a hat lovers' paradise. My mom wore a shocking pink, petaled hat that she designed and made herself. Now that I'm sixty maybe it's time to let my creativity loose on my hat selections. And when better than to debut a new hat than at a High Tea!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Storm Body

Judy Abrahamson (writing)

Refreshing, caressing
Blowing acceptance over naked skin
Lightning overhead, surf below
Healing coolness all around
I am at peace
My body is my own.

Judy Abrahamson

I met this poet several years ago when she shared Hurricane Faye at a writing workshop. I was just beginning this journey to connect with my body and her poem struck a deep chord. It made me cry. I loved it so much that I asked her to submit it to Story Circle Network's annual anthology True Words from Real Women, 2008. I was editor that year with my dear friend and fellow writer Becca Taylor.

What resonated most was the line, "My body is my own." I was feeling so bad about myself and my body. So unloved, so rejected, and so disconnected. That wild hurricane, her oneness with it, the peace of laying claim to her own body made me aware of what I didn't have and what I both want and need. It is a long journey from living and being mostly for someone else to recognizing and honoring myself. To knowing my own beauty and value. To claiming my own power. It is not an easy journey. It is not quick. It is not finished. But words like these heal and encourage and inspire.

When ever a storm rolls through Ohio, accompanied by thunder and lightning and wind, I remember this poem. And I take time to connect with my own storm body, to appreciate who I am and who I am becoming.