Clearing out time?

By Marion Tucker-Honeycutt | Sep 25, 2019

Someone posted a ‘meme’ on Facebook today that says: “Look Around. All that clutter used to be money.”

That is sobering. More so if it's antiques you collected for decades and wanted, one day, to give to your kids and grandkids and you now realize they wouldn't want any of it nor need it and you have visions of it all, come the day, sitting on the shelves at Goodwill. I'm thinking, “Time to get rid of it now, even if a loss in value? Time to join the minimize craze?"

Although, the family is having an old-fashioned Tea Party-Post Bridal Shower next week for one of my lovely granddaughters, recently married and moving off to join her Marine hubby in their new home in North Carolina. Now for a "proper" English tea party, English bone china is a must, from tea cups to tea pots to serving dishes and silver and cut crystal.

Guess whose house, of the six-plus family homes, has that all that “stuff”?

So a tote of fancy English bone china and silver and cut crystal has been gathered and toted off in preparation. The ladies have parceled out to themselves and others as to who is fixing which foods to bring. (I used to have tea parties for granddaughters years ago. They loved them.)

There are pluses to tea parties. No. 1: All the food is finger food. No cooking at the gathering. Only the scones and clotted cream will require stove time. Even then, the clotted cream will require less than 5 minutes hands-on time. The rest is 12 hours in the oven and 12 hours in the fridge. Simple. No. 2: Bridal showers are traditionally "women only" so we get to have all the dainty little foods that men would really not care about, let alone drink tea out of fancy china cups. They’d be looking around for coffee mugs and beer. Horrors.

And so, we’ll be gathering at the new home of one of my other granddaughters that includes a perfect setting for a tea party. It’s in the country with a separate Airbnb consisting of a real red caboose, beautifully done over inside, connected by decks to the "Depot" house, built to resemble the old small town train depots. Nestled in the woods with a small pond, what could be more perfect?

The tables will be festooned with homemade scones and clotted cream, made by the bride’s momma. Clotted cream, or Devon cream, is otherwise produced only in Devonshire, England. But it’s not a proper English tea without it.

In addition, for the scones, there will be lemon curd and “Tawny Orange Marmalade,” both also straight from Devonshire.

Then, of course, there are the dainty, crustless finger sandwiches, like cucumber, cream cheese and olives, etc. Fresh strawberries dipped in dark chocolate will provide a colorful element as well as being delicious. Other fancy little hors d'oeuvres will round out the delicacies and I will have a grand time watching all my girls enjoying all that stuff.

Maybe they’ll even decide that at least a tote-full of my old stuff might be worth hanging onto for teas to come? Countless generations of their English lady ancestors would approve.

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Judith Inman | Sep 26, 2019 08:41

What an absolutely lovely article!  I have been attempting to "clean out" things  that two oldies simply do not need.  Now, I find my boys and their families don't need nor want any of it.  My solution is to attempt to sell on eBay, which, frankly, is a pain in the neck and more work that I really want to do.  I will have to wait another few years before the younger grandchildren settle down.  Enjoy your tea party, sounds grand, especially the cream cheese and olive sandwiches I remember as a child in the 1940's.  I live in Albion and believe I drive by the red caboose quite often when heading to Belfast.



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