Friday, July 27, 2012

The Delight of Hearts


Moments. Delight. Passion. Joy. 




These are all words that describe my friend, Marilyn. She has refined the art of living with purpose and she does it so well. From the word pictures she posts on her blog each day, to her creative photography and design, Marilyn greets life with exuberance and a plan. She inspires everyone around her. Her friendliness and ability to network has made me christen her the "Ambassador of Tea". It is a rank of high distinction and one she holds so well.



Recently Marilyn and her husband, Jim, decided to christen their new garden house by hosting a luncheon for tea blogging friends from far and near. Jim built the garden house from recycled materials; beautiful old windows and stained glass. A candle chandelier hangs center-stage over a wide plank table which is surrounded by antique folding chairs. For our dinner, Marilyn's beautiful heirloom china was the center of each table-setting cover. A manicured garden and a stately maple tree surrounded this back yard scene. 



Guests arrived one by one, meeting and greeting as though we'd been real-life friends for years. In actuality, we have been friends for many years, but most of us had not had the opportunity to meet physically until Marilyn facilitated this luncheon. Some came from far, while others lived nearby. Linda traveled from 2,400 miles away while Jennifer dropped in from a city just ten miles distant. The rest of us drove from points in between and each looked forward to being on the receiving end of Marilyn's most gracious hospitality. Seven of us were friends who'd met in an online tea group group ten or more years ago. We enjoyed visiting in real life! Six were devoted bloggers, generally centering our blog themes on afternoon tea. As you can tell, a common cord was formed and is now tightly wound.



The summer lunch was delicious! Marilyn made a broccoli and an asparagus quiche. Caesar salad, gigantic green olives from California, and artisan bread filled our plates. Our tea was iced; a refreshing blend of a brewed green tea and sparkling apple juice. We toasted our friendship and our friend, Martha, who was unable to attend. Conversation hummed along and if there was a lull (which I don't recall), Marilyn had thoughtful tea quotes printed on cards that she displayed in antique floral frogs as our centerpiece; quotes that could evoke more conversation if needed. Dessert was as delightful as the main course. It was summer watermelon infused with lime and fresh ginger; so refreshing! Citrus scented sugar cookies in shapes of moon and stars were passed around for us to enjoy with our watermelon treat. 



It was a day of pure delight! But it's not over yet! Come back again soon! I'm pretty sure you'll want to know about our after-dinner tea ceremony. 

*Please click on the photo montage to enlarge it. I'd like for you to see all the beautiful details.
*I'm happy to be a part of Bernideen's Tea Time Blog "Open House" today.





17 comments:

  1. Your photos are gorgeous! Thanks for such lovely descriptions of all the details. It was a delightful time of sharing and I loved doing it.

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  2. I loved reading your post about the wonderful visit at Marilyn's. Tea is definitely the great connector! Everything looked perfectly wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. LaDonna this is a beautiful, beautiful post about our very special day with tea friends and blogging friends at Marilyn's home.

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  4. It has been an absolutely wonderful year of tea friends meeting and sharing afternoon tea across America. Your photos are delightful, your description captivating. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. Thank your sharing this lovely day with us.

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  6. So beautiful, LaDonna - pictures and text! I just love your photo collage. Every photo perfectly placed. Real eye candy. Thank you.

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  7. How wonderful! Sounded like a first class kind of affair. Thanks for sharing all your great pictures.I'd love that garden house, too! Woo hoo. Susan

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  8. It was a day of magic and delight! I feel so blessed to have been there. Yes, Marilyn is a most gracious hostess and friend. No one is ever unwelcome at her table! Thank you for sharing your photos - what a treasure to see the beauty of our day together!
    ~Adrienne~

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  9. Oh it all looks magical...are you kidding? I clicked on that delightful photo montage very first thing. It was wonderful and to learn that Marilyn's hubby built this charming greenhouse...oh my! Such talent. Is she really going to want to give up her banquet room? =D

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  10. Really enjoyed reading all about this gathering of friends. I only wish I could of joined you. Love the garden house...I think I said it before but if bares repeating. Your table looks so inviting.

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  11. Beautiful food and beautiful friends........nothing better! Thanks for linking this lovely post to Open House!

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  12. It all looks so lovely!

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  13. Oh my, LaDonna. That looks and sounds absolutely delightful. What a lovely spot to gather for good food and friendship ... and tea. Have a great day! Tammy

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  14. Ahhh...a little bit of heaven. I love it! What a delight LaDonna. Thanks for sharing such a special time with friends. I feel like I was there.
    Isn't taking tea with friends the best?
    Linda

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  15. martha e11:32 AM

    Your photos and words about this very special tea time are so appreciated, LaDonna. It reinforced everything that I was picturing in my mind as I lifted my tea cup in a toast to all of you enjoying Marilyn’s happy and fun gathering of friends in her beautiful garden house. Thank you so much.
    martha e

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  16. Looks lovely and being the 'ambassador of tea' does sound like a great honorific!

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  17. LaDonna, what a fun afternoon and amazing opportunity to meet other kindred spirits xoxo Clarice

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Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.