Teas With Grandmother
Me (right), and Sister #2 with the Bishop College Alumni Club & Tea
Being around my grandmother was always fun and interesting. My sisters, cousins, and I used to go so many places with her.
In this photo, Sister #2 and I are asked to pose at a tea for Grandmother's college alumni club, L.A. chapter.
This particular tea was to celebrate Bishop College's (Texas) homecoming.
It was a normal and frequent activity to go to a tea with Grandmother. She was quite the achiever and extremely active in local, national and civic affairs.
She was president of numerous organizations and charitable groups, like the PTA and her regional chapter of the YWCA.
If she wasn't the president of the group, she definitely was an active member. She was a dedicated volunteer and served on planning committees for everything under the sun, it seemed.
Being involved in public service was her passion. As a result, there was always a committee meeting and tea to attend practically every week.
Many were on Sunday afternoons.
We would see Grandmother at the church hall after Sunday School each week. My siblings and I were only required to attend Sunday School. It was a 2-hour program, which would end at 10:45 am.
However, Grandmother attended Sunday School AND the 11 am "grown-ups church service" afterward--total time, 4-plus hours.
If we wanted to go to a tea, then Grandmother would always say that we had to "stay for church" also. That was the deal! But we didn't mind.
My three much-younger siblings couldn't handle a full day like that very often. But I could usually count on Sister #2 to go because she was equally enthusiastic.
It was rare that there were any other kids at those meetings, so we usually paired up.
I loved going to those committee teas so much. The tables always looked very elegant and sophisticated.
They were decorated as beautifully as any display on a Martha Stewart magazine cover.
Teacakes, cream cheese sandwiches, and other colorful delights were carried on stylish sets of porcelain with pretty floral designs.
The ladies were impeccably dressed with big hats and carried beautiful pocketbooks. The men, if they were present, looked dignified.
But typically these were women's meetings, run by women. And they talked about interesting things--and boy, were they vocal at times--
Especially Grandmother! She always took the floor to express her opinion on something.
Those teas had a profound impact on me. I was surrounded by strong, confident women who were in the world doing things and making a difference.
And for the majority of them, they did all of this in addition to managing their own households and families.
I loved hearing their conversations. I loved witnessing their contributions to society. I wanted to be like these ladies when I grew up.
My grandmother was passing on to me her spirit of being an active participant and involved citizen.
Who knew that going to tea would be so inspiring?