As we were preparing to sit down for dinner two nights ago our guest started to fill our glasses and I said. “And ‘she’ poured” using her name.  All three in attendance shared the smile and laughter and memories of lost traditions.

Growing up in a small town we were lucky to have a weekly newspaper.  It was filled with all the news of our town and the other three towns on our island.  We had the sports news, the editorials, obituaries and of course each town had their own local columnist that weekly would report on the happenings of our community.

One would find news of relatives who were visiting.  There would be information about local elections.  We would read of our townsfolk going to visit their families elsewhere.  Social events were reported as well as school activities.  I had a short paragraph the year I earned my bicycle.  My mother thought it a great way to let the town people who bought my greeting cards know that I had indeed completed the task and had a new Royal English bicycle.

There, every now and then, would be the news of a social occasion with a note that “Mrs. Jones poured.”  As a kid I thought this very odd to be interested in who pour the liquid refreshments, normally tea or lemonade.  As I grew and began to be schooled in manners and etiquette I learned that it was a grand honor to pour.  We had a great many wealthy people from the cities that would come to our community in the summer and our news then would have more than its share of who poured what. To me it simply sounded like additional work!

Let me enlighten you that it is or was a great honor.  From the article I have referenced (1) you will read below and understand why it is or was important to note them as “pourers” as they are held in high esteem.

It is an honor to be asked to pour tea. The pourer is considered the guardian of the teapot, ‘which implies sterling social graces and profound trust.

I believe much has been lost by the loss of these small practices.  It might not have really been important who pour your cup of tea.  What may have been important was that people cared enough to live with manners and exhibited them regularly.  Perhaps some of this should be passed on in school cafeterias?  It might bleed over into our world and make it a nicer place?

I have to come to and accept that times have changed.  In many ways I have too.  While change is difficult for me and not necessarily good, times changing can be a positive thing and I must accentuate that – ever a goal of mine to live in a positive manner.

Easy to do as I watched our friend, the “pourer” drive off this morning to complete her trek up the East Coast from Florida to Maine.  Alone.  Our aging beautiful friend is 70 and driving herself to visit her family.  A good change for the better I would think.  Unheard of years ago.  Women rarely went anywhere alone let alone drive alone.

I too drive alone all the time and think nothing of it.  I know women in their 70s when I was young would rarely have even contemplated taking off on their own, let alone drive on their own.  Interesting change in thought, society and probably more to the point health.  Change is our only constant I have come to believe.  We either rail against it or go along on our own paths taking the good and leaving the bad.

As I am writing this I am thinking that perhaps we owe some of this to the Feminist Movement though I believe the women of my age would have come to this on their own.  I think we were already dropping some of the norms of our parents group by more of us going off to college rather than stay in our home towns.  It is hard to make a judgment as the 60s spawned much change.

I begrudgingly accept the fact that while I am a feminist, only in that I believe I have a choice in all I do, I was not a marching bra-burner as my Dear Friend who just left to complete her drive today was. She worked outside the home I stayed in it.  She is a great housekeeper and I am a drop it as I want to kind of housekeeper.  I cook and mess up she cooks and cleans as she goes!

I laugh as we are so very different in actions and beliefs.  Yet we rarely stop talking when we are together!  We disagree on lots of things and still find each other’s company enjoyable.  Isn’t that the great stuff of which life is made?

I smile and will go about this day having enjoyed this visit.  We both return to our lives after a brief memory that friendships are what really is important.  Our friendship was born when our boys began kindergarten and a group of mother’s decided we needed to have a ‘coffee group’ which we did every Wednesday for many years.  The fact that our particular friendship has lasted this long I am certain surprises most of the other moms as the two of us would sometimes be at opposite sides of an issue and screaming at each other.  The further fact is that it has and I am glad!

Despite marital changes, logistical changes, philosophical changes we are still friends and I think this small nicety makes my world happier and it will bleed over into my day and month and year.

Friendships make the world a better place to be.  Peg poured!






  1. Nice piece, Kathy. Takes me back to my days in New England and my sole 56-year friendship with a good friend I met first at Ferry Beach–the then-Universalist summer camp just south of Old Orchard Beach. We talk on the phone several times a week–never mind that we’re writing our third book together. But that friendship is like yours. We’ve never lived in the same town–sometimes in different countries. But it has endured. And thank goodness for the internet and smart phones that have fostered its continuation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s