The Tea Widows Society Meeting

The snows did not impede. Tea water was boiling and Apple Blossom was about to call the meeting to order.

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Teatime on a snowy day was never in danger of cancellation due to inclement weather. In fact, it was most eagerly anticipated as not only a pleasurable diversion, but a necessity to combat a winter chill – especially when ice and snow were forecast.

“I call the meeting to order,” chirped Apple Blossom, flushing in all her cheerful pink florals. “This week’s Tea Widows Society Meeting  is called to order!”

The chatter and clinking on the tea table came to an abrupt halt as Mrs. Lefton, Mrs. Dover, and Lady Victoria settled to attention. Four teacups, vintage yet vibrant in color, not a hint of staining or wear to be seen, were gathered together in mutual fellowship.

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Not a one of them had a saucer to call their own anymore – their significant others having each passed to the Realms of Broken China. Their stories were all different – but the end result the same. A series of unfortunate events had, over time, reduced their saucer mates to rubble. They were left alone. Widowed. Destined for a future where invitations to tea tables would cease to exist. Only teacups and saucers were invited thus. Lone, widowed teacups must fend for themselves now – or face being exiled to . . .

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The THRIFT STORE.

Eeeek!

Fifty cent tags could keep them on the shelves indefinitely – after all – who wants a cup without a saucer?

Thankfully, however, our four Tea Widows today have found sanctuary in a tea lover’s home – where they are retired, quietly, and meet weekly to review poetry or perhaps partake in an engaging book discussion. This week, Apple Blossom – the most congenial of the group – had a surprise guest, newly acquired in the household.

“Ladies, I’d like you to meet Miss Phoenix – a white glass vase of great distinction recently rescued in an estate liquidation.”

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Pleasantries ensued as each took their turn at introductions, beginning with Apple Blossom.

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“Well, I hail from the Countryside Series of Queens Fine Bone China – made in England, of course. Don’t you just love my delicate Apple Blossom pattern? And, another flourish just inside my gold trimmed rim? I have the most darling little thumb rest on the tip of my handle – with feather-like gold flourishes, too!” 

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“I’ve been called, ’round and plump bellied’ – but really, since I feel like spring year ’round’ I’m just ’round’ and jolly!” She drooped a bit in sudden remembrance. “Except,” she said, “the day my saucer broke in the sink after slipping while coming out of the soapy water.”

Mrs. Dover audibly sniffed. “Yes, my saucer met his end the same way, poor dear.”

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She brightened, suddenly. “I’m made in England, too, you know. Royal Dover Fine Bone China.”

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“I have the most alluring shape and my festoon of jewel toned flowers on the front – and a smaller matching bouquet on my back – have always made me stand out on a tea table.”

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“Add to that the fussy scroll work of my ultra feminine handle . . . well . . . I daresay I – “

Lady Victoria cut her off firmly, in a trice! “I daresay you have regaled us quite sufficiently with your charms, my dear.”

Mrs. Dover slunk back at the reprimand with another sniff. Lady Victoria turned to her audience with a polite smile.

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“Now, as to MY history, well, I enjoyed quite an active social life – patterned, as you see, in the most popular of white wild roses! I come from a complete set that was in use regularly, you know.”

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“Until the day . . . we were all separated out . . . when the mistress left us.” There was something of a dramatic pause – for effect. “Eventually, I found myself in the hands of a young girl who had NO appreciation for fine art. She actually took me to . . . to . . . “

“To the FLEA MARKET!” Mrs. Dover exclaimed lustily – with a victorious grin.

Lady Victoria glared at the interruption, then slowly turned to their guest with a measured smile. “Yes. So it was.” She continued with regal poise. “My saucer and I sold for quite an impressive price.”

Mrs. Dover giggled under her breath, “Two dollars – impressive, indeed . . .”

Lady Victoria pretended not to hear and went on, “But, alas! When we were unwrapped at our new home, my dear saucer slipped out of the tissue wrapping and fell to pieces dashed against the table and onto the floor.” A dramatic lunge forward capped the performance and a moment of silence followed.

“Is it my turn, then?” spoke Mrs. Lefton shyly.

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She was the only foreigner in the society, being made in Japan by an Hungarian immigrant to America. Though, perhaps, she was the most elegant of them all.  Generous gold trim outlined handpainted roses set against a creamy teal background, with yet another rose painted with gold trim flourishes on the inside against an opalescence lustre.

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She had a wider opening that came to a tiny waist, pedestal set, and gleaming in elegance. Her words were few as she did not quite feel confident to put herself forward so fully, stacked against her English china society friends who boasted a much grander pottery shop history than her own, being founded as recently as 1941.

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Poor Mrs. Lefton has little memory of her saucer mate – having lost  him so very many years ago. She was just grateful for a comfortable retirement home.

Once, introductions were made, it was Miss Phoenix’s turn to tell her story. 

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A complex one, to be sure as there exists quite a turbulent history relating to her “Chickadee in the Foliage” mold which dates to the Art Nouveau/ArtDeco late 1920’s period with Consolidated Glass. However her mold had been transferred to Phoenix Glass in the 1930’s, and had been produced in various incarnations through the 1950’s, eventually finding the marketplace through Imperial Glass. Well, whatever her lineage, Miss Phoenix turned out to be excellent company – and the inspiration for the society’s poetry reading that day.

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It was an excerpt from Heart Throbs: The Old Scrap Book, a collection of popular and best loved poems and anecdotes submitted by the readers of The National Magazine, published in 1905. Each of the four teacups took a part in a humorous reading about – a vase . . .

THE V-A-S-E

From the madding crowd they stand apart,

The maidens four and the Work of Art;

And none might tell from sight alone

In which had culture ripest grown –

The Gotham million fair to see,

The Philadelphia Pedigree,

The Boston Mind of azure hue,

Or the soulful soul from Kalamazoo –

For all loved Art in a seemly way,

With an earnest soul and a capital A.

Long they worshipped; but no one broke

The sacred stillness, until up spoke

The Western one from the nameless place

Who, blushingly, said: “What a lovely vase!”

Over three faces a sad smile flew

And they edged away from Kalamazoo.

But Gotham’s haughty soul was stirred

To crush the stranger with one small word.

Deftly hiding reproof in praise,

She cries: “Tis, indeed, a lovely vaze.”

But brief her unworthy triumph when

The lofty one from the house of Penn.

With the consciousness of two grandpapas,

Exclaims: “It is quite a lovely vahs!”

And glances round with an anxious thrill,

Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.

But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee

And gently murmurs: “O, pardon me!”

“I did not catch your remark, because

I was so entranced with the charming vaws.”

by James Jeffrey Roche

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Well, that’s said it all – no words left for me.

We’ll adjourn the Tea Widows Socie-tea.

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Sharing The Tea Widows Society Meeting this week with:

Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage Tea Time Tuesday

A special greeting to Sandi – celebrating 4 years as a most gracious teatime hostess in Blogland!!

Kathy at Delightsome Life’s Return to Loveliness

Terri at Artful Affirmations Tea Cup Tuesday

Martha at Martha’s Favorites

Bernideens Teatime Blog

Ruth at Antiques and Teacups

P.S. Miss Phoenix, the Chickadee in the Foliage white glass vase is featured this week in my Etsy Shop at Cameo Impressions

P.S.S. If any of you ladies can help me locate a saucer mate for my teacup widows, they’d be most grateful!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Kathryn Ross 

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.

Comments

  1. You are a very talented writer! This is wonderful and I am so glad you linked to Friends Sharing Tea!

  2. Hello Miss Kathy,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your little teacup story. What a splendid introduction of each teacup and such imagination! The vase is wonderful too. I smiled all through your post. Thank you for sharing with us and joining me for my Anniversary Tea Party. I’m so happy we ‘met’ over a cup of tea one day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

  3. Great entertaining post! Love the final prose. So nice the widows have an appreciate home with you! Thanks for your lovely post and linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!
    Ruth

  4. Bravo! Yay for you and your story telling skills! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story about the tea cups. You are a clever writer!
    Hugs,
    Terri

  5. Hello and Happy New Year! What nice photos and sweet sentiments in this post.
    I’ve heard that you can learn the history of film by merely watching various Sherlock Holmes movies through time. Have you watched Basil Rathbone? I have seen Jeremy Brett, but I felt that Doctor Watson was undervalued in this series and that Jeremy looks quite like a vampire. I did however, like the humorous quote from The Six Napoleons, “This is no time for Humbugs, Doctor Watson!” I understand that many people like the Victorian setting for the Consulting Detective, but I appreciate the creators’ attempt (Moffat and Gatiss) to, in their words, “blow away the Victorian fog” and translate the stories for modern times. Happily, this BBC version has garnered new AConanDoyle fans and sales of the original stories have increased!

  6. Kathy I so enjoyed your lovely tea post. I’m going back to read it once more. Just lovely.

  7. Lavender Cottage says:

    Very imaginative and a fun read Kathryn.
    Judith

  8. What a fun post. I like the analogy of the tea cup being widowed. I always thought of them as strays which is sadder. I rescued 2 widows from the thrift store this week and I PAID FIFTY CENTS FOR THEM – I laughed out loud at your thrift store sign BRILLIANT! If you look close at my Tea in the Library 24 post you’ll see the cup and saucer are not a matched set. But, what in life is perfect? = ) I’ll be featuring this post next week – it ties in perfectly with the post I’m working on about my mismatched cups! Have a great week.

  9. Kathy,

    What lovely photos. Some lovely finds.
    And I feel as if I’d been to tea with you as well. Glad that inclement weather never stops a tea party!

    Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places…
    Brenda

  10. So delightful! I would adopt any teacup with or without saucer – we could match these widows up nicely 😉 I do appreciate you sharing with A Return to Loveliness,
    Kathy

  11. What a delightful tale – such imagination you have!! I love Miss Apple Blossom best, I think.
    Always a joy to stop by your place.

    Shalom,
    Gail

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