Monday, June 25, 2007

Miss Grace

After visiting Kathy and reading her post about a tea party she went to recently I remembered Miss Grace. Miss Grace lived across the street from my grandmother with her sister. She was a special lady. She hosted neighborhood tea parties for the little girls. Here is that piece:

One warm, summer, afternoon my grandmother opened her closet removing her best summer dress. She fitted herself with a pair of low heels and a sun hat. After adorning herself she pulled my frilly sundress from the hanger. This was my Easter dress for that year, chiffon, bonnet, and white gloves. I placed my feet inside my white Mary Jane's, my grandmother tightening the buckle. Taking my hand she led me across the street where Miss Grace was waiting in her quiet sort of way. Miss Grace, quiet Grace, kind Grace, I loved Miss Grace. We entered her home welcomed by the antique furniture that filled the parlor and were led around to her garden. Day lilies, peonies, lilacs, forsythia, and Iris filled the garden with a rainbow of colors and smells. Miss Grace's most prized flower, her daisies, "because they are so friendly."
These friendly flowers adorned the table, freshly cut just for this occasion. Other girls my age had gathered here and were sitting quietly with their adults waiting and wondering what the event would behold. Miss Grace brought forth her pot of steaming tea and poured each person a cup. My grandmother handed me a beautiful container with pretty pink flowers on the side and allowed me to take one small cube with the adorable, silver, grabbing tool that I had never held before. She showed me the proper way to stir the liquid without so much as tinking the sides. As we settled into our new, adult, drinks Miss Grace produced a book that when opened smelled of the many years that it had been in print. She read poems of old as we listened intently to the soft lilt of her frail voice. Miss Grace was so beautiful in the afternoon sunlight with her pretty white dress with the small roses upon it. She had comfortable practical shoes on and she carried a white hankie in the palm of her hand. I admired her in the light, watching the sun reflect upon her. She was everything feminine to me.
As we left for the day Miss Grace paused with each of us. Taking my white gloved hand she squeezed it in hers and thanked me for coming. She said, "we should do this again sometime." I breathed her in: rose scented talc, her sweet endearing voice, and her white rolled hair. Her most endearing quality was her ability to make you feel like this, no, "I," was the center of her world.
Thank you Miss Grace for that very special day. I will never forget the afternoon and all that it has meant to me. When Miss Grace passed on she gave us a tea cup and saucer from her collection. I admire it to this day. When I had my second daughter, her middle name: Grace.


Jen Barney said...

Isn't that funny- My grandmothers jewlery box smells of talc to this day.

Kirsten said...

I enjoy so much reading what you write. You have such an amazing way with words. By the way, I tried to find that email on mileage...couldn't sorry! See you bright and early tomorrow.

Kathy Douglas said...

That reminded me of an older lady that made a tea party for me several years ago. Ms. Nina. She had the whole thing with tea and tiny cakes and served on a white table cloth covered table. Thanks for helping me remember!