Thursday, August 25, 2016

Garden Party with Mom and Aunt Laurie

And this photo is just how I will always remember Mom and Aunt Laurie.  Can you feel their sweetness right through this picture, or does it seem this way to me because I know them?  Well, they are that sweet, and this image from yesterday afternoon captures them perfectly.  And o' the fun we had!    Just to see Aunt Laurie again, period, after her health scare earlier this summer. . . And to get to share with her and Mom one of this summer's rare afternoons with a nice breeze. . . . I could still cry thinking about it.  And LAUGH thinking about it too, since right after Mom and Aunt Laurie had arranged the pretty tables and chairs and dainty tea party supplies out in the yard, one of my parents' neighbors decided the time was right to pull off his shirt and take care of the field behind their house on his riding mower.  'Not quite the ambience they been going for, so while the neighbor zoomed back and forth on the mower across the lawn behind them, they began moving the festivities father away into Mom's actual garden.  I was finishing decorating my frog cookies--I had to include frogs for Aunt Laurie, of course--when Mom came into my room to recount the Tale of the Topless Interloper.  Then Mom couldn't get my bedroom door to reopen.  Aunt Laurie was on the other side, and we all began howling as we imagined our sliding a cookie under the door for Aunt Laurie and of her somehow trying to jimmy a window open to rescue us.  As we laughed, the door popped free, and we set off--finally!--to enjoy our party.  And found, of course, that the neighbor had since finished his lawn-mowing and Mom and Aunt Laurie had moved everything for nothing.  :)
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. 
 Aunt Laurie loved her little scrapbook I'd made her--  :)
--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. 
And while the table and chairs would have looked sweet beside the bunny shed and field too, Mom's garden ended up being the perfect spot for our little party, with Mom's flowers in bloom all around us, a bit of shade from the Sumac tree that stands nearby, and a bit of privacy from Dad's grape arbors off to one side. 
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. 


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I'm happy to see that all went well with your little garden party, in spite of obstacles trying to keep it from happening. :-)

The garden is lovely and that little clip of your Mom and Aunt Laurie in the garden is priceless.

Have a good day and a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

La Table De Nana said...

You sound so happy:)
Looks like a Susan Branch tea party.
Sweet sweet sweet.

Jenny Pesavento said...

how lovely Val..... i woke up this morning in "a bit of a bad mood" - your post has made me feel better :) the warmth, the love, the sweetness you have captured and shared can be felt through the computer screen. i shall carry it with me as i go about my day. i smiled and chuckled and thought "what a very special time this was for all of you." absolutely delightful!! thank you for sharing :)

Val said...

Thank you, Lorraine, Monique, and Jenny (hi, Jenny!). :) It was such a sweet time and such a pretty day, yes. I'm glad we have pictures, especially after so many of our pictures from our crazy gnome party a few falls back didn't turn out. I will treasure these. ♥

Jenny Pesavento said...

hi Val :) your posts are like sunshine on a cloudy day.....

Val said...

Ah! Thank you, Jenny. I have been trying to cheer up myself today, so that's nice to hear. :)

racheld said...

How COULD it have been any sweeter anywhere else, any other day, any kind of weather or season or time?

Oh, the capture of the NOW. Simply perfect.


Val said...

Yes--"the capture of the NOW," Rachel. Yes, yes, yes. :)