A Good Home, Afternoon Tea, Friendship, Gardens

Wisdom, Foolishness and Joy

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.”

Blog Photo - Garden - Red Wiegela

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.

Blog Photo - Garden - Begonias and Muskoka Chairs 23 006


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.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Verandah 1


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.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea garden with hosta and tree

Flowers bloomed.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Pink Poppies

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea  Clematis Burgundy

Birds sang their welcome.

Blog Photo - Afternoon tea cardinal


I took a deep breath.

Our guests were arriving.

My husband smoothly took over the greetings, drinks and garden tours.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Rev Claire and HG

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.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Group on Verandah1

Everything unfolded according to plan, prayer and an abundance of good sense (not mine).

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea guest in garden

Perfect weather for garden-touring.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Poppy deep pink

Happy and helpful guests and one very thoughtful husband.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Miss G and Me

There was also this frequent visitor.

Blog Photo - Afternoon Tea Cardinal 2

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.


Blog Photo - afternoon Tea Group shot 1

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”

  1. Your garden looks beautiful Cynthia and I am glad you were able to share it with those important to you.

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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 ❀

  6. 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)”?

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

  10. 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,


      1. 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.

      2. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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