Round up the kids and rustle up some clean duds to go drink tea in the most unlikely of places, Ingomar, Montana.
Now when most people think of the Jersey Lilly out at Ingomar, Montana, I’m pretty certain a proper tea does not come to mind…..and so that is what makes it an even more unique experience. This no stop sign (no light either) cowboy town still has a spitton, hitching posts for your horses, and a coral for a rodeo. There are two outhouses and no town store. Yet, everything you probably really ever need in life can be found out here (and in the words of Montana Skye, “in the middle of nowhere Momma”) in the Jersey Lilly. A wild west saloon.
This is a town where time has stood still, but then again, not at all. It’s a community that holds tight to it’s roots, yet the secret to their longevity seems to be the timeless characteristic of kindness and down home hospitality. As I read the program for the day’s tea and listened to the hostess share her story of what went into the party (as our two children began to eat their own take on finger food; Jersey Lilly’s Sheep Herders and cheeseburgers) I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. My toes knew exactly what dirt they needed to be planted in today. A place where I’m referred to as Phil’s oldest and everyone hugs everyone.
And so we drank tea, ate little cakes and sweets, talked, laughed, held dolls, and our escort Josh tipped his cowboy hat and shot up his pistol keeping everyone in line.
Ladies shared stories of tea with Grandma’s and stories that may otherwise been lost. And, the story that melted my heart was that told of my own daughter. She looked over her shoulder asking if ‘kids’ could tell a story. I told her certainly.
She said she had a tea story to tell. I wondered if she was going to share about her Four is Fairy-Licious birthday party? But, in true fashion of my daughter, she had her own story that I may have forgotten and certainly hadn’t cherished as I would quickly learn I should.
She stood and with a little quiver, started her story:
One time, my friend Katie and I were playing and we wanted to have a tea party. Together we set up the tea party with my tea set but then she had to go home. She ran back over saying she couldn’t play anymore. I was so sad and went inside.
My mom and dad then came out to have the tea party with me. It was the best tea party ever.
As soon as she started to tell the story the memory of that moment came flooding back and I fell in love with my kid all over again. Such a simple gesture to cheer her up has become a story that she cherishes and was so brave to stand up in a crowd of strangers to share.
And so the tea party may have ended, but my memory, just like my daughter’s story of her tea party, is etched deeply in my heart. An entire day to be reminded that less….. really is more.
Groovy Girls Go……….Anything but Simple Tea Party