We hadn't coordinated our tea party plans with each other pre-visit, so each of us literally just brought something to the table and we made it work. It ended up being a yellow, red, and pink affair with mismatched florals and ginghams. I had kept it simple by buying a package of gluten-free sandwich cookies and decorating a few as frogs for my (long-suffering) aunt. I combined lemon and lime-flavored mini marshmallows with a handful of sweetened coconut flakes, a can of fruit cocktail, a can of pineapple chunks, a little whipped cream, and a few spoonfuls of pistachio-flavored pudding mix for a quick take on ambrosia, one of Aunt Laurie's favorites.
Mom had a similar idea and simply mixed together sliced strawberries, whipped cream, and a little strawberry-flavored gelatin powder for an easy strawberry salad. (You can make these salads with any flavor of pudding or gelatin mix, of course, adding whatever fruit complements the mix-flavor. 'No waiting for gelatins to set or puddings to cook or chill.)
Aunt Laurie gifted me with these cute little paper plates, but I just had to use the first three during our party, of course. She gave Mom this new tea pot, brought Hershey Kisses candies in pink wrappers, and baked gluten-free blueberry and cranberry muffins in red gingham liners.
--and she looked at it and a couple other little gifts I'd found her while we ate. Dear Aunt Laurie. ♥
The afternoon would grow hot, but we were outside early enough to enjoy warm-but-not-too-warm weather and even a good breeze. The rain held off another day, only falling this morning as Dad and I made the trip back to the bus station.
Aunt Laurie showed me sketches she had made of dreams and experiences she had had while in the hospital during her sepsis care this June. . . .She was visited by her and Mom's dearly-missed grandmother and by their beloved aunt Ann. Aunt Laurie said that even at her sickest, she was never afraid because she could feel like a protective force around her all the prayers and good energy we were all sending her way.
Hearing that from her was itself an answered prayer for me, as was this entire get-together, of course.
'One of our favorite times together, and that it could have so easily not happened at all--due to illness and weather and lawn-mowers and locked doors--made it, ultimately, all the sweeter.
I captured eighty seconds of it on video too, but I will remember the gentle breeze, pretty flowers and goodies, and these sweet hearts even without it.
Ah, love! ♥ Blessed, blessed, blessed.