Monday, December 21, 2009

Daughters of the British Empire Enter the Garden

dbe_ctlogoThe Daughters of the British Empire – DBE  (Sir Edward Elgar Chapter) were invited to hold their Christmas gathering at my house this year.  It was my mother’s turn to host the meeting; so I offered to host the party.  Our house is usually decorated for Christmas and it would be fun to see all the ladies.  I couldn’t just have them show up for a gift exchange only.  A simple menu needed to be prepared for the ladies that were born in Scotland, Ireland, and England.

Split pea soup, salad, bread & butter, and a dessert followed by tea (of course) would be ideal for ladies that had birdlike appetites.

The hostess ( my mother) and Lyn arrived early to make sure everything was in order.  The soup was ready.  The salad was set to be tossed.  The rolls just needed to be warmed.  The caramel sauce for the chocolate cake was warm on the stove.  The tea kettle was on standby.  The hostess assembled the place cards for the 9 DBE members.  There was a 10th place card for Queen Elizabeth just in case her social calendar cleared for the event.  The Union Jack was posted in the front yard to alert the remaining daughters where to find the party.  After all, the British Empire once ruled the entire world.  Surely, these Brits could find their way across town.

In they came dressed in their holiday outfits.DSC_1160_2485Anna was full of Christmas cheer and even matched the holiday china used.  Very festive and always easy to photograph.  Thanks Anna.DSC_1161_2486Barbara migrated thousands of miles from Scotland to finally live in Bakersfield, California.  Bless her heart. DSC_1162_2487Kitty from England was more than willing to get her portrait snapped.  She’s such a “luv”.DSC_1164_2489

Norma, from England, was sporting her DBE pin with a flare of red, white, and blue ribbon.  Sweet .DSC_1165_2490Eileen was very glittery with her golden shimmering top.  She was clearly festive.  She’s also from England.  Sorry about getting the soup to you last, Eileen.  DSC_1167_2492 Joannie was sporting a sequined Christmas tree pin that reminded me of one from my childhood.  She was very kind.  Her English manners were appreciated by a fumbling wait staff (me).DSC_1168_2493 Connie was really showing her Scottish roots with her tartan vest.  Connie knows her way around a computer with her many emails.  I expect her to comment on this post.DSC_1169_2494Lyn is from England.  She had her make up done for the party.  Doesn’t she look pretty?

DSC_1170_2495Marjory enjoyed closing her eyes and listening to Vera Lynn sing about the White Cliffs of Dover.  Jimmy Shand also played to the delight of the Scottish lassies.

A gift exchange was underway while the split peas soup and rolls were laid out.  Sadly, the Queen didn’t make it so the meal got started.  Once all the bowls were in place, Marjory offered a Burns poem before the meal:

"Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit."

DSC_1174_2499All nine of the daughters were off to a great start.   If only the Queen would have made an appearance.

Now it was time for the salad.  Romaine, iceberg, red onion, cucumber, avocado, salami, provolone, vinegar, oil, and bleu cheese all tossed together.  Just as the salad course was finishing up, a knock came to the door. 

“Make way for the Queen.”  The Queen WAS at the front door.  It was a complete surprise to everyone (except Anna – cheeky wee bissom).  Seating arrangements were adjusted and the Queen settled in for a bowl of split pea soup.  There was no salad to offer.  Fortunately,  she was able to enjoy dessert and tea.

The afternoon was a roaring success with a table full of daughters gabbing and enjoying each others company.  The Queen was one of the last to leave.  With all the excitement, I almost forgot to snap her portrait.  Luckily, I scrambled out to her before she was whisked off by her driver.

DSC_1176_2501 Queenie is an Irish lass that lived for many years in Bakersfield.  She now lives in Visalia and made a special trip down to surprise everyone.  And she did.  She certainly did.

Merry Christmas

Thank you for leaving a comment.


Lisa Paul said...

Love it. When the Jessica Mitford Chapter of DBE meets, I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful posting of this Christmas event. Aren't all these beauties a delight to be around? I have in the past been able to join them during summer picnics usually held at a park, and I have always found them to be a delight to be around, especially Lyn, she's my mother. Thanks Donna for treating these ladies so "royally", love to you and Merry Christmas. Stacey Bland.

Anonymous said...

D = Delightful
O = Outstanding
N = Nostalgic
N = Noteworthy
A = Awesome

I totally enjoyed the blog, it was truly a memorable occasion - thanks for everything - Lyn

Anonymous said...

I was delighted to see all the lovely ladies at the DBE gathering. My mother, Lyn can't stop talking about what a great time she had and how perfect everything was. I can see by the pictures how right she was. Chris

Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Donna, for being there when needed. We all enjoyed your hospitality....Connie.

Anonymous said...

I opened my eyes
And what did I see?
‘Twas everyone laughing
And smiling at me.

The food was so good
And the company grand
That I just had to close 'em
And hold out my hand.

Perhaps there among us
A elf or a gnome
Would jump out and sing to me
On the way home.

But all that I saw when I closed my own eyes
Were sights that I felt were such a surprise.

On pea soup!
On salad!
On Christmas Tree cake!
The things that my daughter
Could certainly bake.

But now I must stop
For I shouldn’t say more
Except I was so glad
That I did not snore. said...

I was so happy to see and read about the lovely ladies from Sir Edward Elgar DBE celebrating at a Christmas luncheon together. My sister InaMay Stewart used to be in that Chapter and was the Regent at one time. When I would visit her in Bakersfield I would sometimes get to join in their chapter meeting. My hope is that some of the daughters, granddaughters and perhaps great-grandaughters of these members will keep their heritage and culture alive by joining the DBE to keep Sir Edward Elgar strong as these ladies have for so many years.
Olive Wilkison, Western District Organizr DBE
Denver, Colorado