Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Cup of Christmas Tea!

Last night Louis Dean and I sat out in the gazebo before bed and I read this little book to him.
I was still basking in the glow of hosting MY VERY OWN 'Cup of Christmas Tea'.
I could not help identifying with the 'old Great Aunt' in the story written by Tom Hegg in 1982.
No, I have not suffered a stroke and though I am definitely a SENIOR citizen
I still see fairly well and get out often. However, as I read, I realized that each and every person who attended my Tea last night had indeed each and every one given me an identical and priceless gift....

First of all to arrive was my pastor......who took time out of her busy schedule and the heavy duties and responsibilities she stop by for a little tea and chat. She and her husband had big plans for a dinner together and their son was coming in the next day. I am certain she had MANY things to do on a Tuesday afternoon four days from Christmas! And yet she gifted us with a little of that which is most precious.....time!

Then there was my 'new' friend, Heather! She works in the office where I worked for 3 years during a life changing period of time in my life. Not only did she gift me with her time, which as a working lady with TONS of things to DO..... time is in SHORT supply....she also gave me an AWESOME wall art! I could not BELIEVE it!!! "The Chapman Family   Bless this house with love and laughter."
She special ordered this and I can't wait til Amber gets home for Christmas so she can help me put it up!!
How special is THAT?? Heather is a beautiful lady and I am so fortunate to count her as a friend!
I look forward to many years of friendship ahead!

So I had new friends as well as ones I have known for a long in this beautiful lady, Brenda.
She and I attended church together for many years and as God has a way of working things out.....
we also worked together at Larry Dodson's State Farm office. She is so very dear to my heart and it was truly a gift to spend some time with her. She works, has a granddaughter and all that goes with being a wife and mother. Even when I no longer worked with her she made sure we did not lose our connection with each other. Every year she gives me a LANG calendar. It is almost a tradition....OK! It IS a traditional gift that I ALWAYS look forward to receiving.
 Each calendar over the years has been a source of inspiration in my art.

How I manage to NOT snap a pic of my beautiful niece, Leah, I do NOT know!!
When I was going through my divorce I would get off work at 5:00 and often head over to my Mother's.
That Christmas Leah (then in her 20's! and you know how social and busy THAT age group is!) came over and drove Mother and me around to see all the Christmas lights in Fort Worth. Many a time she joined us for a visit or a glass of wine and spent that valuable commodity - time- on US!
Now you talk about special people....Leah is so that!!

Another special lady I failed to get a photo of is my 'next door neighbor'.
Now that does not even BEGIN to describe the treasure I have found in  her friendship!
She is a beautiful lady. Louis Dean wants to adopt her! She and I have been neighbors for over 25 years.
Her son, Mark, recently graduated from Marine boot camp and is now and will forever be
my FAVORITE Marine!!
She stopped by for a brief chat as they were having a family Christmas dinner together before heading out of town.

Other guests included June in the green sweater whom I have known for-
gasp! can it really be forty years???? Such a dear and precious lady to me and all my children.
My son, Benjamin, has a special place in her heart and he has a soft spot for HER as well!! She came over directly after work and YES! although she is 'retirement' age.....she just keeps on working.
That reminds me of my Mother who worked up until the day she suffered a devastating stroke.

Then my daughter in law, Sherry, and her sister, Cindy. I love Sherry with all my heart.
She was such a source of comfort and strength to me during the period of time
when Louis Dean suffered a heart attack. Cindy is another 'new' friend and a movie buddy!
Sherry and Cindy left the tea party to return to the photo album they are making their parents for Christmas.
It was a real gift of their time to come and as always, Sherry started right in helping me in the kitchen.

My sister in law, Ruth Ann.....what can I say? She is the sister of Louis Dean's first beloved wife, Ellen.
What are the odds that I meet Louis Dean on eHarmony (he lived in Brownwood, Texas) and discover his SIL lives just a mile or two away? We have become good friends and I cannot imagine how I lived so long without Ruth Ann in my life!

In the background on the sofa is of Summer's childhood friends. We have reconnected after I ran into her at a Starbuck's last year and she RECOGNIZED me!! It has been like 'old home week' to quote Louis Dean ever since! She brought her sweet son, Sam, and he is adorable. I told him he could always come live with me if his mother got to be too much for him!! (just kidding, of course!)

Sam is gifted at origami!

I was so excited that my friend, Jo Ann came! She was Amber's Awana teacher years ago!
She is a beautiful lady inside and out! I might add she has an absolutely AWESOME husband!
She, too, came from work and he drove her, dropped her off, took himself to Braum's for a hamburger, came back and sat outside in the car PATIENTLY waiting for Jo Ann to finish her visit. He DID NOT call her or text her that he was waiting. Now THAT is one cool husband!

I also neglected to get a pic of Brenda....
I had not seen her in over 13 years! We reconnected by way of a neighbor who was walking her dog as I was walking mine. She was actually walking BRENDA'S dog whom she was keeping for the day. We got to chatting and talking and I mentioned where I used to go to church and one thing led to another. Facebook is a beautiful thing! That was how BRENDA and I 'friended' each other. It is such a small world.

Add my daughter, Summer, Sabrina and the baby.....well you know it was a great party!
They got off work, drove to Rockwall to pick up Abby and then drove all the way to Irving!
This was a very real gift of their time!
See Summer's cute Christmas cap?

She had more than ONE! This one sings and dances ON HER HEAD!

She even brought ME on! MINE has a tiara!

To top off a perfect evening my son Benjamin, who lives out in California, came!
It was SO good to see him!!!
This Christmas Eve I will have all four children and all four grandchildren here!

Can you tell I had a lovely time with treasured friends?
Of course not everyone could make it.....and you were missed!
We will be having another Cup of Christmas Tea next December....
and I so hope to see you then if not before!

Merry Christmas to all my dear friends and family!!

"Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver....the other gold."


Unknown said...

It sure sounds like you all had a wonderful time! I think it is so cool that you are such good friends with your SIL Ruth Ann - I'm sure LD's late wife would've loved you, too! Isn't it great how God makes new families out of the pieces left of old ones?

Amber said...

oh my goodness, what a fantastic evening! i know you enjoyed it so much, and i sure wish i could've been there. :))) glad ben came by!!! merry christmas, mom, see you tomorrow!

Blondie's Journal said...

You are off to a great start in celebrating the holidays and I am happy that you had such a great turnout for your tea. I agree with you, time is the most precious present. I wish I lived close enough to drop in!

Merry Christmas, sweet friend!


Diana Ferguson said...

A wonderful time with special ones!!! Merry Christmas to you, too.