Tea and Hospitality and the Good Old Days


Something about the times we are living in has me longing for days gone by.  Not centuries ago, although that sounds lovely as well, but the days of my early adulthood and marriage.  You know the good old days of the 80's and 90's. (Technically I guess that was a different century but in my mind it can't have been more than 20 years ago.)

Do you remember the days of Romantic Homes, Country Living and Victoria magazines?  The days when we looked to still pictures in books and monthly publications for our tips and style inspiration.  The days before fast moving reels and flashing images?  The days when you went to a thrift store and old dishes cost a dollar or two?

Our move last winter was a considerable downsize for us and I was brutal in the editing of my possessions.  Countless sets of glassware, dinner plates and serving bowls found their way to the donation center. There is nothing like a move to motivate you to reassess everything you've accumulated over the years.

Long forgotten about boxes of chintz china and teacups that fell out of style, were unearthed from a previous move and lovingly hand washed and repackaged to be brought to our new home. No longer concerned with the latest decorating trends they are proudly out on display and I am determined to use them routinely. 

This year, as this brutally hot summer comes to a close, I am excited to reconnect with my love of the art of afternoon tea.  Nothing fancy but a purposeful slow down with a fine china cup and saucer, a little sweet treat, a time of quiet contemplation, a good book to read or the browsing of an actual magazine.  A little time just for me.

Or perhaps I will send a handwritten note to a friend (there was no text messaging in the good old days) and invite her over to join me? Nothing says hospitality like tea and conversation, don't you agree?

Just because this world seems to be spinning faster and faster, doesn't mean we have to hop on for the ride.  

We are still in control of what happens under our roof and between our four walls and if I want to go back in time to circa 1985 and open up one of my treasured Mary Engelbreit magazines, then by goodness that's just where you'll find me.  

The outside world will intrude eventually, but until it does, here's to the good old days.

xo, Patty


  1. I still have almost all of the Mary Engelbreit magazines that came out. I remember looking forward to when each one came out. I also used to really enjoy the early Country Living magazines. I kept some of those, too. It makes me so wistful feeling to go back and look at my old Mary Engelbreit magazines or my old Country Living magazines (the ones where they still felt cozy and didn't have the small snippets of dry information on each page). It was such a pleasure to read one of those magazines, and savor each issue, studying the photographs for all kinds of decorating ideas. I miss the feeling of those times, with the magazines that I enjoyed, while my kids were young coming in and out of the house all of the time. It was a completely different phase of life that I was in back then. Now I am a Grandma, my grandson is 11 (the age my kids were when they were always coming and going). My granddaughter is a toddler . My daughter is married now and has her own home to decorate. My son is overseas now In Europe. I would never have imagined that.
    But much of my home decor still includes many of the items I found at thrift stores and garage sales way back when. I don' normally feel that inspired to shop for home decor items nowdays unless they are a necessity.

  2. You are definitely speaking my heart, Patty. Over this past year, I've forced myself to put down the phone in the afternoons and pick up a book or magazine and spend at least 30 minutes reading. I used to read so many books and would use any spare time I had, reading. But how the technology crept in and took over! This also leads to what you and I are doing here...going back to blogging. Who says we can't bring back those things that were simpler and fed our souls more? Here's to afternoon tea (or coffee), the good dishes and some good reading time. Cheers!

  3. As I get older I look to the quiet life, sitting in the garden with a cuppa and just taking time to breathe. I do love those cups,so beautiful.

  4. That was a lovely post, Patty. I love your calmness, gentleness, humility, and love of the Lord. Your decor is gorgeous, too.


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