The creative bug flew in at a late hour.
Instead of buying a card, I made a book cover for a short story that I wrote for my mother. ;^)
I cut out card-stock and sewed the paper pieces together, attaching a bit of trim and a button. I used a photocopy of a vintage pattern that I have to add a border. The top border was made with a piece of scrapbook paper that has butterfly cut-outs. I punched holes in the paper and tied it all together with crochet thread.
The story, of course, includes tea. ;^)
I also semi-created a small gift. This is the gift-box. I like to re-use and recycle. It is a little tin box that formerly held mints. I spray-painted several of these boxes to keep in my craft room for occasions like this. I wrapped it in a vintage piece of lace that has tiny hearts sewn into it and wrapped that around a dried rosebud.
Inside is a bracelet that I filled with copies of vintage photos that have to do with my mother: Her mother, her maternal grandmother, herself…
…my father’s maternal grandmother, me…
…my father’s mother…and I laid it on a cushy bed of vintage fabric yo-yo’s.
I had a good time and was pleased with the results. Everything I used, I had on hand and did not have to buy a thing. My mother always says, “Don’t buy me anything else! I don’t need anything!” So, this satisfies her and it satisfies my need to still feel like I’m giving her a heart-felt gift.
Here is the short story that I wrote:
(It is based on truth, but slightly fictionalized….)
Melva and the Tea-Party Legacy
By Cynthia L. H.
Melva sat in the middle of the dirt, smoothing out lines for the playhouse with her small hand. The shade from the massive oak tree delivered some relief from the Oklahoma sun, but the temperature still sweltered. The six-year-old Melva and her sisters did not notice. They chattered and made plans for play that were just as important as any “real” plans possibly could be.
The family farm recovered slowly from the hard-hitting dustbowl and Great Depression, but the giggling girls did not feel the effects. Their Mama and Daddy loved them. Three square meals a day nourished them with fresh milk and churned butter from the cow. Eggs from their chickens, with produce from the garden and the quail that Daddy hunted rounded out the fare.
“I’ll pour the tea,” Melva said.
“What are you going to use for dishes?” Mary Fern, the oldest of the three and most pragmatic, asked.
“Rocks for the saucers and acorns for the cups!” Melva said.
Her red ringlets bounced and mischievous freckles glittered in the sunlight. They scurried and gathered up kitchen-tool treasures from under the tree and beamed at their finds.
“Wynola, go ask Mama for a little bit of cream,” Melva said. She figured that sending in the youngest was a good idea. Mama was immersed in household chores. Hopefully, she would be distracted and let them play house with something real to drink.
In a few minutes, Wynola skipped out of the house with Mama. Melva dropped her sparkling blue eyes; very focused on the lines she drew in the dirt to establish rooms for the playhouse.
“Look!” Mary Fern said. “She’s got milk and bread!”
Mama carried a platter laden with cups, saucers, bread, butter and milk. Wynola glowed, hopping along with a homemade roll cupped in her hands.
Mama smiled and spread an old quilt on the ground. The girls scampered onto it, eager as ants for this unscheduled feast.
“Oh! It’s hot in that house!” Mama said. “I need a little bit of fresh air and a moment to rest. May I join your tea-party?”
“Yes! Yes, Mama! Of course!” The sisters chimed in.
“Mary Fern, you pour the milk,” Mama said.
“Can we pretend it’s tea?” Melva asked.
“Why, yes, that’s a great idea,” Mama said.
“I want to pour!” Wynola said.
“You can place the bread on each saucer. See, here, like this,” Mama demonstrated.
“Melva, you can butter each piece of bread,” Mama said.
“Oh! Butter! Mama! That will be so good,” Melva said.
The chatter swelled, while a tea-party fit for any little princess continued. The breeze seemed to cooperate and cooled the air down a few degrees. The giggles and conversation lightened up any weight there might have been and Mama relaxed completely.
When Daddy and the girls’ brothers came in from the fields a little early, they happened upon the idyllic scene. They pretended as if it was too feminine for them to understand, but secretly, wished they could participate.
Mama stood to go inside and begin supper. Maybe some cold potatoes, radishes, tomatoes, and cucumbers would be a good start, so she would not have to heat up the kitchen again with the cook-stove.
“I’ll call you girls in to wash up and help me set the table in a few minutes,” Mama said.
Oblivious to the potential end of their fantasy, the princesses sipped and giggled.
Thus, began a long, family tradition of tea-parties. The clock hands ticked through time and brought a myriad of changes. Gains and losses filtered through the generations, but Melva maintained her sense of revelry. She passed on a love of make-believe and playing pretend, to her daughter, and her daughter, and her daughter. The chain stretched on. Moments to sip a cup of tea and tarry in the gift of each day presented themselves. A legacy, simply begun, would march through the halls of the ages. Laughter echoed and brief, fragrant wafts of a long-ago moment rode in on the breeze. Red dirt, fresh butter, and warm, baked bread mingled for a fleeting second on a cherished remembrance, fluttering down like a leaf from the oaks of time.
(The photos are of my mother and her siblings.)
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! ;^)