Thursday, August 20, 2009

With & Without

I'm still working on my tag mini album for important dates to remember throughout the year. Click here to see a wonderful tutorial by Mary. She will also show you 2 different ideas and formats for the tag mini albums (she's so talented!).

While Bonnie and I were walking through the sticky heat this morning, I was thinking about Tom's grandmama, Eva, and a story she told us about when they moved to this little town so many years ago.

Tom's grandparents were named Ashley & Eva. Actually, Eva was born Eriel Zadie, but she didn't like that name so she changed it to Eva in her adult life. (I actually love the name Zadie!)

When Eva was in a Nursing / Assisted Living / Retirement community and she was recovering from an illness on the nursing side, the family was all gathered around her visiting one afternoon.

She told us the story of when her and Ashley moved from Charleston, SC to this little itty bitty town. She said she brought all her dancing shoes and dresses, her cocktail dresses, her evening gowns which she wore at so many occassion in Charleston only to come to this small town and realize she would not have those opportunities here.

Being the sprite she was, her and a local friend decided in her first December to make an occasion to wear these cocktail and dancing dresses again. So they threw a "Welcome to the Neighborhood / Christmas Cocktail Party" to meet her new neighbors.

I asked her if she didn't know anybody, how she invited people. She said they sent out invites to all the people her friend knew in town and the people they didn't know they just put "Mr & Mrs" on the envelope with the address. They mailed out invites to the ENTIRE town!

She said the response was tremendous. Everyone came. Cars were parked up and down the road and side roads. She said for years afterward, people were still talking about the bash.

Eva said that they pushed all the furniture to the walls in the rooms to make room for dancing. They set up a table in the dining room with finger foods and 2 punch bowls.... One "With" and One "Without" clearly labeled. And they had the Christmas music playing on the record player. (Yes, I said record player.)

She said the "Without" needed to be refilled several times. And one lady with slurred speech told Eva, "This 'Without' punch is simply delicious. You must give me your recipe!"

We all thought this was a nice story and the conversation slowly lingered on the details, the guests, how so many people came they were inside the house, in the yard, on the sidewalk.... and how the party didn't want to end until around 2 in the morning or after.

I asked Eva, "So why was that woman's speech slurred if she was drinking the "Without" punch?"

Eva smiled and said, "Because it was 'without'."

I said, "But why would that make her speech slurred."

Eva, in her dry humor sort of way, nonchalantly replied, "Well, because the 'With' bowl was 'With Punch' and the 'Without' bowl was 'Without punch'. "

All of us in her hospital room busted out laughing! The nurses' station probably was wondering what the heck was going on in there!

I said, "Granny! The 'Without' bowl meant 'without' punch?! I thought it meant 'without' liquor."

She laughed and said, "Yep. Everyone did. But we wanted to make sure everyone had a really good time at our party."

I asked, "What in the world did you put in the "without' bowl?"

She said, "Whatever we had. We just poured it in and stirred it up."

I'm telling you, that was the funniest story I had heard in so long. Eva and Ashley are both gone now. But at family gatherings, we still bring up the 'with' and 'without' story. What a hoot!


  1. Janis, what a delightful read this morning,I enjoyed it! She sounds like she was a hoot...

  2. Wow, Janis, what a fantastic story! I enjoyed it so much! You need to journal all those stories for passing down. Wouldn't that be great for the grands and great-grands!
    Thanks for sharing that wonderful story with us and thanks for the shout out!