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Karen’s Birthday Tea

November 17, 2020

I know. I know! It’s been a year.

Oh, what a year it has been.

It’s been a lot of hanging on by the fingernails, a lot of one foot in front of the other, a little bit of oh-my-gosh-I’m-never-going-to-survive-this and a smidgeon of pleasant surprises. Like the rest of the universe and working parents, I vacillate between coping and overwhelmed. Writing has been just too much – I couldn’t even form the words…

We are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

We are all healthy. We are trying to find things for which to be grateful. Last month it was the most glorious autumn I’ve seen since we left Maine 20 years ago. It was perfection, and if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve seen the photos. New England did not disappoint – it was like walking, running, riding, living inside a box of crayons, the colors were so vivid. Lately, I’ve been grateful for my Wahoo in the basement and Netflix Christmas movies. At this very moment, I’m grateful nearly every day, Gabe brings coffee to my desk upstairs in the master bedroom where I’m working four days a week.

We are grabbing joy wherever it can be found.

However, it is now NOVEMBER. You will see from my posting history; November always hits me hard. The start of the holidays has often been the start of an emotional decline that I often don’t climb out of until spring.

We can’t let that happen this year. We just can’t. I’m barely coping with Pandemic Life as it is.

As such, I’ve formulated a plan, but first, a bit of backstory.

My mom’s birthday was November 26. It always fell during Thanksgiving week, and at times, as with this year, on Thanksgiving Day. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always “her” holiday. This year she would have been 72.

She’s been gone 14 years now, and every year around this time, I get a little blue. There have always been distractions – family gatherings and dinner parties, school events and field trips. It was enough to get me through to the bit where I put twinkle lights all over everything and that tides me over, at least, till New Year’s.

But this year, there will just be the four of us. Maybe 5 if Gabe’s mom drives down for a few days, but that’s it. Staying home, staying safe, staying isolated. Staying lonely.

I needed something to look forward to.

As such, I decided to plan a party.

A birthday party for Mom. And, what else would Karen’s birthday party involve but a fancy English Afternoon Tea.? Her favorite pastime in my high school years, Anglophile that she was. She sent me away to my first home armed with china cups and saucers, tiered servers, teapots and cozies, silver tea sieves and sugar tongs.

These treasures have been neglected on the shelves of my china cabinet far too long.

I threw together an invitation on Canva, and will deliver it with an attached menu to my teenage sons later this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I hope that a few of you are still out there and will read this. It felt like something I needed to share.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2020 6:52 am

    I love this idea! I am missing going to tea so much! It’s so sweet to share a cup of tea and some savories and sweets. Happy birthday to Karen! She will forever be 30 something to me!

  2. Nancy Snider Larsen permalink
    November 17, 2020 7:29 am

    Dearest sweet Adelle. Lisa says Karen will always be 30 to her. You will always be that adorable little girl calling me to see is Betty Stanley and I want to meet you and Mama for “a little salad”! How precious you were and are…a perfect little lady. I recall many great times, Adelle, when your mother and I were very close and something happened to the friendship.
    Not sure what. Maybe the time of the divorce but she had no idea what I was living with, either. All water under the bridge at this point.

    Lisa and I have a date that honors MY mother’s passing April 17, 1955. It’s called “Beulah Day”. Lisa sends me a gift or letter or card, always unique and honoring her day. When Lisa got older she thought how sad that mother passed when I was 17 and mother just turned 44 and weighed 62 pounds. Had Cancer for 10 years. Daddy 10 years later at 57 with Cancer for 5 years. So 4/17 is OUR day. Very dear to me and thoughtful for Lisa to always remember.

    My love to you with incredible memories. Would love to sit and share with you, your young life with your mother and grandma. We DID have some great times, Blessings, Nancy Larsen Roanoke VA

  3. Chandra Adkins permalink
    November 17, 2020 7:31 am

    Perfect!!!!! β™₯️

  4. mtnmalou permalink
    November 17, 2020 7:42 am

    How wonderfully appropriate to honor your dear sweet mother’s memory in this way. She and I shared countless Tea parties together over girly BBC movies. She introduced me to all of the rituals of proper tea time. She was my special Angel. God gave her love and friendship to me during a time when I desperately needed her. My consolation is that she awaits me in heavenly realms. God bless your special tea party. She lives on through you. πŸ’—

  5. Kandis permalink
    November 18, 2020 6:32 am

    This is such a wonderful thing to honor your mom! I hope it helps give you that little oomph that you need to get through this time of year. Glad to see you writing. Always looked forward to it, but I have to say, I have loved seeing your beautiful pictures on Instagram. Hang in there. Your beautiful memories will help sustain you. Enjoy your amazing Karen Party. It sounds so much like my grandmother and her teas. I always loved them – not the cucumber and the tuna little sandwiches so much, but the decorations, appointments, tea and sweets were always amazing! πŸ™‚

  6. Cheri Gregory permalink
    January 15, 2021 7:42 pm

    Heya Adelle β€”

    I’m still out here! Read and loved this so ever-so-much.

    Looking forward to hearing how it went.



    On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 6:25 AM Adelle Gabrielson wrote:

    > Adelle Gabrielson posted: ” I know. I know! It’s been a year. Oh, what a > year it has been. It’s been a lot of hanging on by the fingernails, a lot > of one foot in front of the other, a little bit of > oh-my-gosh-I’m-never-going-to-survive-this and a smidgeon of pleasant sur” >

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