Many of us love Emilie Loring’s books, because we see ourselves in them. We share her gumption in striving toward a vision, her belief in the best and her sunshiny outlook. This post is dedicated to Ellen Jenken, the creator of a wonderful Emilie Loring garden and the inspiration for our annual tea, with a spirit we recognize.
“I read Emilie Loring books (from our school library) as a young girl. A year ago I discovered a few in an antique shop on the north shore of lake Erie. Since that time I have acquired the remaining 30 books. I am not interested in the remaining 20 books but have enjoyed once again reading her original books. They have a special spot at our cottage. There is nothing better than the wood stove blazing and a book that takes you away to a gentler time.”
“So glad there are so many of us out there who love Emilie. I realize after reading her books once again after 50+ years that she has really influenced my life–even the flowers I plant in my garden each year–amazing!”
“I am in to do an “Emilie Garden” this year! It would be fun to make plaques with some of her sayings to place among the flowers. Just a thought! Keep up the amazing vision Patti!”
“Planning my Emilie Garden in Ontario this spring! Dollars to Donuts that I will accomplish it!”
“Do not end with flowers only! A month or so ago I purchased a beautiful new wooden bird feeder at our local thrift store for a mere $6.99. It will become the Silver Moon Chowder House in my Emily garden. Also, I acquired a handmade bird house with frogs attached that will now become ‘Kick, frog kick.’ I have kept a china parrot on a perch in our basement for many years not wanting to discard him so I guess Mephisto will be in the garden to say to the local squirrels ‘Goo’-bye! Goo’bye!’ I guess my garden will definitely have to be named ‘Fair Tomorrow.’ Have fun!”
“Would it not be grand to designate a time this summer to have a cup of tea in our Emile gardens (together in spirit) to remember this wonderful lady! I even have a teacup with a butterfly handle! Scones must be there as well don’t you agree?” [We did!]
“It is on my calendar! Have time to perfect Emilie’s scones! I hope!!!”
“Hope you receive a great response for this invite. Will be digging out my vintage clothing from an old chest for the occasion . Cheers!”
“Victor must have been her great champion and proud of all she accomplished.
Love shared is love multiplied. Would you know the year Victor & Emilie married? Working on a special plaque for my Emilie garden(s). Lovely post! Amazing how much she has influenced my life! So thankful I found you all last year! Blessings! Ellen J.”
“EL will reach the next generation if we carry the torch… Will certainly promote Emilie at the garden party this summer. I’m getting a great response. Just hope our resident garden snake does not show up for the festivities!”
“Really enjoying your blogs. Emilie would be pleased! lol E.E.J.”
“Visited a retirement home today and invited a former neighbour who is 93 yrs. young to our Emilie tea party. She remembers reading her novels as a girl and plans to attend. Some others have offered to make some of Emilie’s recipes. Our local author will pose as Emilie for the afternoon! Hope I can take the stress! hee! hee!”
“This endeavour has certainly generated great interest in Emilie & your soon to be published bio. There is even talk of doing a short write up in our local country paper! What fun!”
“Yes! some of us are attempting to wear vintage clothing! I will be displaying my mother’s going away dress circa 1932. My wonderful servers are wearing 1940-1950 aprons. So far I have only one full apron (over the neck). I kept only 2 of my mom’s dresses and donated the rest to a country play house many years ago. The group were ecstatic as they could use them for patterns for future events. The other dress is being worn by one of my precious servers, Mary! She says she will not be eating anything until the tea as my mom had a tiny waist! ha! One of my gal pals is even bringing a propane stove set up to show the proper way to make tea with a tea ball! Of course she was born in England! Dollars to Donuts my husband & I will make it to Blue Hill in a year or two. We have two 13 1/2 year old Welsh Pembroke corgis who I will not leave anymore at our favourite kennel. Our female corgi is of course named Tasha! If I have time tonight I will forward you one of the pics of a birdhouse I have created in memory of three sisters from one of your blogs. Start grinning! Cheers! Ellen J.”
“I love creating things! I am trying to keep our party to 20 gals but indeed it is becoming a monster! What fun! I will send you some more pics later on as it may be difficult to view them in their entirety with all my wild friends on the 29th. I am pea green with envy that you will see Emilie’s things! Take lots of pictures please. lol E.J.”
“Wish you had seen my neighbour friend and I yesterday decorating sugar cubes with royal icing for our tea. My first attempt at pink roses looked like little blobs on a green leaf. We improved with the blue, mauve and yellow ones. Hope Emilie would be proud of our endeavour. Praying we get a write up and I will send it to you. Some wrens have moved into “Larkspur Lodge” so that makes me happy. Take care of you! E.J”
“I am thinking as one of our goodies to make and serve tuxedo strawberries as the strawberries are in season here in Ontario. Did any of the men wear tuxes in any of Emilie’s books? So many of the ladies have never heard of Emilie but they will know about her after this tea party! Thanx! Ellen J.”
“Hi! If you would like to do an earlier post on my creations go ahead. If it will spur some of your ‘Emilie’ blog followers to do more in their preparations that is great. I’m just a catalyst and CAN’T is not in my vocabulary. … My husband has one question for me. ‘Do I have to put an addition on the garden shed this fall?'” (See: You’re Really Going to Love this Emilie Loring Garden)
“It only takes a spark to get a fire going!”
On the day of our first Emilie Loring Garden Tea Party: “Weather forecast rain, rain & thunderstorms today! We will still have a lot of fun! … Just love theme parties! I’m in my element! Blessings! Ellen J.” (see the result:
“I am in earlier pics with a red hat & shoes & a dress with a navy top & navy & white polka dot skirt. I believe in one of Emilie’s books someone wore a polka dot dress. Hope it was not a vixen!!”
“I sent off to you Dot’s write-up on Thursday of last week… Believe it or not everyone wants to come back here next year-even my gal pals who did the serving for me! … I loved your latest post and I am now thinking of a yellow garden next year in one of our beds. I still hope to make a Sultana roll (minus the brandy) at a future date. Have a great summer! Happy Landings!!! E.J.”
“Still planning to decorate & send to you a box of floral sugar cubes in the spring. You may decide to host a Garden Tea Bridal Shower for your daughter! I’m always thinking!”
“Loved this post! I must include in my five favorites Give Me One Summer. Creating another bird house using a wooden mailbox shaped like a trolley car which will become ‘Nogi’s Night Lunch’ from Gay Courage.
“It might be fun for us to send you pics of toasting Emilie next year on her birthday by or at a place that is special to us. It may be from our childhood or when we were proposed to, a garden or by our favorite lighthouse! etc. Hopefully, I will be able to stand by one here in Ontario if I can not climb a lighthouse by next year! Here’s hoping! Have a happy September! Ellen J. ”
“P.S. We have 2 new friends hooked on Emilie (who were not at the garden tea) who are reading her books!”
“Yesterday we visited a most beautiful friend who recently moved to retirement
home. She presented me with the most exquisite teacup and saucer to add to
to my collection. It would be lovely someday to do a post about a favorite teacup
that has such a special place in our hearts. I remember Patti, you mentioned your
grandmother’s special teacup in an earlier post.”
“I inherited this lovely cup from my mother’s collection in 1988. She and I shared many a cup of tea together before her passing. As long as I remember whenever the tea was poured and there was any slight evidence of bubbles on the surface of her tea she would scoop them up with her spoon and say she would receive money soon! I have never followed this tradition to receive any money but it is never too late! My husband’s aunt Mary did this as well. Maybe it was a common practice here in Canada. There are references to having tea in some of Emilie’s books as you would know. We have had our first snow ! Time for a cuppa! Best regards Ellen J”
“One of my favorite quotes: ‘Why not aim for champagne even if I have to settle for Canada Dry?’ Rainbow at Dusk”
“Re-reading Hilltops Clear and visualizing a hike through the woods in Maine. Have always loved Jane Mack and how Emilie has her popping up throughout her book with her suggestions and prophetic words. When the emerald and diamonds are snatched and Jane is described as yelling like a movie star on the screen I thought it was hilarious. Wonderful post and makes me anxious to visit Blue Hill in the future! (post: A Silver Pen in Her Hand, The Sleeve of a White Blouse)
“I have collected lake glass for so many years and have had fun creating so many ‘one of a kind’ gifts for others. One creation I have not parted with is an old retro lamp that a friend gave me from a thrift shop. It has a large glass base that I filled with green and white lake glass. This lamp now weighs a ton but it holds wonderful memories of searching the shore for unexpected treasures. I too have ‘cabinets of wonder’ and love to collect the unusual. Love to surround myself with happy things in our home that bring back wonderful memories. I must start searching for ‘wishing rocks’ along the shore!”
“Planning to head to Blue Hill starting the weekend of August 25th & staying at least a week or more if time allows. We will be sure to head for the local pottery place that you mentioned in one of your posts. Have a great weekend and please leave me some sea glass! Best to you! Ellen”
“The GP feels it will take several weeks before I will feel better. …I will be cheering all you ladies on to greater heights. Praying I will be 100% to travel to Maine! Best to you! Ellen”
I am deeply sad to report that Ellen died a week ago today. She has meant so much to me and to us here in this community of Emilie Loring fans. I miss her already. I never saw her in person, but through more than seventy letters in the last two years, she was my friend and a cheery, creative inspiration. Emilie would have liked her a lot!
I want all of you to know how much I appreciate you following this blog, writing comments here and on our Facebook page, reading Emilie Loring, and sharing her with friends and family. I so enjoy your insights, questions, encouragement, and participation. I didn’t expect it, but this has become a community.
Emilie Loring’s birthday is September 5th. Let’s take Ellen’s suggestion and share pictures of us toasting the author in a place that is special to us, with people who are special to us, or simply with thoughts of special times and special people.
Dollars to donuts, we’ll do it!
Thank you, Ellen. “Happy landings” to us all.