Once in a while, I do something wise.
Such was the case when I invited some friends from church to our home.
“Come to afternoon tea”, I said. “On the verandah and in the garden.”
Of course, the plan was immediately followed by a piece of brash foolishness.
“I’m doing it all myself,” I proudly told my husband.
By myself, I had rarely entertained more than one person at a time, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle it.
“Okay,” he finally said.
Carefully, I made a menu, a shopping list and a detailed schedule.
Checked them a million times.
Tidied up the verandah.
And prayed for good weather.
Daughter and son-in-law kindly took the list and went shopping.
My good man left me alone to get everything ready.
Then he phoned: “Shall I pick up a couple quiches?”
“No,” I said. “I have enough food.”
“Hmmm…” he said.
The garden looked lovely.
Birds sang their welcome.
I took a deep breath.
Our guests were arriving.
My husband smoothly took over the greetings, drinks and garden tours.
In the kitchen, I smelled something delicious.
Quiches warming in the oven.
I started out very well.
But before long, our friends ordered me to rest. I wisely obeyed and everyone helped everyone else.
Everything unfolded according to plan, prayer and an abundance of good sense (not mine).
Perfect weather for garden-touring.
Happy and helpful guests and one very thoughtful husband.
There was also this frequent visitor.
And yes: the quiches were a hit.
It’s such a great blessing: having a caring church family to call our own.
For years we’d kept telling Claire, our priest: “We’d like to invite you and others to visit.”
But I simply hadn’t felt up to the task. So Claire wisely nudged us and last week, it finally happened.
Watching their happy faces made my husband and me happy.
We ended the party by saying ‘the grace’.
As we held hands and prayed, my cup ran over with joy.
Great thanks to photographer Gundy Schloen.
73 thoughts on “Wisdom, Foolishness and Joy”
Your garden looks beautiful Cynthia and I am glad you were able to share it with those important to you.
Thank you, Valerie. Your garden is also an inspiration and I am so thankful you shared it with us here on my blog.
Love. This is beautiful. A reminder of love and life and joy.
Thank you, Minelle. Well said.
So good to have a chance to share your beautiful garden and hospitality. I’m sure it was well appreciated.
It was good to have a chance to share our garden. Since I ended up being served, I think we’ll have to salute my friends’ hospitality, though!
Cynthia, thank you for the wonderful afternoon. Lovely hostess, beautiful flowers, excellent food, great company and perfect weather. What more could anyone want? I had a happy and memorable time. Many thanks to both you and Hamlin.
Hey, that’s the first time in years that anyone has called me a lovely hostess. My goodness, my head is swelling. Thank you, Georgeina, for being with us, and for your kind comments.
Your gardens, yard and home look lovely Cynthia. And I’m glad you were able to share those gifts with your church community. Sharing our passions and joys seems to multiply them. Helpful husbands are nice too. XD
blessings to you and yours…
So well said, Brad. Thank you. I love these people.
I do so love an afternoon tea but I must say, your company and the beautiful setting would set the bar high! Beautiful, Cynthia. Looks like a little slice of Heaven in a busy week:). Good for you for being a gatherer!
Thanks, Kay. It was a slice of Heaven being among kind and thoughtful friends who have been so supportive to our family for years now.
How lovely and nice to share with friends!
Thanks, Cindy. It was nice indeed.
Such a beautiful garden and what a thoughtful husband. Looks like a great time, thank you for sharing it.
Thank you, Lucinda. It reminded me that when we do something nice for others, we also do it for ourselves. It was a lovely afternoon with a great group of people.
What a wonderful team you and your husband make. Cynthia, I’m sure your guests come to sup on friendship—regardless of what’s on your table. And what a bonus you have such a beautiful home and garden.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀
Hi Wendy: How nicely you word this. Thank you.
I love their friendship and am grateful for it.
And I give thanks daily for my husband.
What a wonderful day that must have been! I just love days like that.Your flowers are so beautiful.
There was this one photo with some deep pink trumpet shaped flowers. Are they “Angel trumpets (Datura Brugmansia)”?
Thanks very much, Theresa. That’s a red weigela (Bristol Ruby).
So glad you were able to entertain with a little help. Hospitality is one of those things that blesses the giver and the receiver. Your garden is beautiful.
Thank you twice over, Karen. Hospitality does indeed bless both the giver and the receiver. I hope you are doing well.
Looks like a lovely day was had by all. Whenever I’m invited somewhere I’m grateful to my hosts for opening their home to me and sharing themselves with me. I’m sure, quiche or no quiche, that was the sentiment at your afternoon tea. Your gardens and verandah are beautiful.
Thank you for those kind words, Geralyn. Indeed, a lovely day was had by all.
Lovely joyful happy post Cynthia, I can see how much this means to you. Precious memories too.
It meant a lot to me, Julie. Sometimes I push the limits and regret it. But I definitely did not this time. Precious memories indeed.
Grace and peace to the lovely garden, friends, and blog author.
A lovely response, dear Aggie. Grace and peace were the passwords on that afternoon.
Such a lovely gathering and warm friendship, Cynthia. So nice over afternoon tea too! Glad it was a beautiful day! 🙂
Ah, Iris. It was a lovely gathering, warmed by good weather, good food, and good people whom we love. And the tea, of course!
A wonderful gathering! And that veranda is so incredible gorgeous! Love and Peace, Johanna
I love verandahs — they seem to bring out the best in everyone, most of all me. Our family homes in Jamaica had verandahs and the deep verandah was a staple of the area where I was raised.
Looks like a happy, happy gathering and what a fine day! You WERE wise!
Yes! It was such a happy gathering. Thank you, Kerry. Have been thinking of your family.
Oh what a joy to see you and your church community gathered together enjoying your garden, enjoying each other’s company, supporting each other. When you talk to the garden next ( 😉 ) give it my love and thanks for bringing you all such pleasure. And special thanks to the peonies for being extra beautiful on the day.
I will, I will! And I will listen out for an answer too. After all, I talked to the house for years – still do – so why not relay your message to the garden? It really was a joyful day.
🙂 ” happy, happy, joy, joy” as we say in my family. Have no clue where we got that from. Perhaps we made it up.
I like it. All families should have happy sayings.
Oh I do have a clue…..just remembered it was what our daughter’s nanny sang to her when we lived in Zambia. 🙂
Aha! Ain’t memory a wondrous thing?
Yes, it surprises us all the time!
You are blessed in having a tactful and loving husband. I often commit myself to something and then find I’m not really up to the job anymore. The will is there but everything else is on a go-slow! The joy of visits from close friends and church gatherings is that no-one sits around waiting to be waited on. Everyone pitches in and it becomes so much nicer. You have a beautiful garden with gorgeous flowers. I am so pleased the tea was a success. God bless you, Cynthia!
Thank you, Clare. You have stated this so well. I have lots of will some days, but the execution is another matter.
I give thanks daily for the blessings of family and friends. God bless you too, dear Clare.
Looks like such a perfect afternoon!!!
Hi Cynthia, Your house and your gardens are gorgeous!!! Wow, what a lovely place to call home. 🙂 I think your family (and precious husband) did exactly the right things, knowing when to help and when to step back. The kind of gathering you hosted really is the sweetest and most special. Your church friends and priest look so happy to be there with you.
Thanks for sharing these images, and congratulations on a party well done!
Big hugs to you,
How lovely of you to say so, Denise. Thank you.
Amazing how finally doing something we’ve wanted to do for so long can make us feel so good. What’s next on the list?
I’m glad that you have so many caring friends, and a caring husband too!
What next? Hmm… I would love to climb a tree. I used to be an expert tree climber. OK, just kidding.
I fell out of a tree and fractured my spine in 2 places when I was 14, so I’ll just stay on the ground. I hope you will too!
I promise. I cannot even get INTO the tree these days. Do you still have pain or is it now gone?
I’ve had back pain off and on forever, it seems. Sometimes I can’t even dress myself, but it’s usually bearable and comes and goes with a mind of its own. I find that regular walking helps keep it at bay.
Even pain can become an old friend, or at least a companion, when you live with it long enough, as I’m sure you know.
I hear you. You are very mature about it. Pain is a dreaded companion but will never be an old friend. I still want to shoot it… and I’m not a violent person ordinarily.
I understand perfectly, and I’m sorry that you have to live with it.
Any maturity I have concerning pain must come from familiarity.
You’ve lived with it for a lot longer, so I understand. I’m sorry too.
What a lovely day, Cynthia. It’s great when everything works nicely 🙂
Isn’t it? Such a lovely afternoon all around.
Splendid, all the way around!
Yes, Beth. Splendid.
My cup runneth over….
What grace, joy, and strength!
Thank you very much.
A beautiful way to spend a lovely afternoon with friends. What a joy! Your garden always inspires and motivates me to get up and attend to mine.
I’m glad. It inspires me to get up, too. Wish I could do some real gardening. That would be wonderful, but in the meantime, I thank my Good Man!
I’m glad you took the plunge and invited your guests Cynthia, it sounds like a lovely gathering in a lovely setting.
It really was, Andrea. I get into trouble sometimes for pushing too hard, but it does work out when I realize (yet again) that I need the help of others.
What a great thing: to arrange such come-togethers! I love inviting people, and I’m sort never worried what to serve. It’s too bad I have not many people here around who I know and could invite, most of my friends and all relatives, except my husband are in Latvia, across the ocean.
Your garden party looks excellently carried out, everything so neat and so beautiful. I believe it’s always worth the efforts.
Thank you, Inese. It’s such a good feeling to see people enjoying a visit to my home. I’m sorry your family and friends are so far away.
It’s nice when we know our own limits – or think we do – but equally nice when someone loves us and knows them even better. Lucky you to have such a loving husband.
You are so wise, Jeanne. What a lovely reply.
Looks like a beautiful day, Cynthia! Wonderful pictures 🙂
So much beauty and so much joy in one place. Blessings indeed!