Grandma’s Tea: A Celebration of Life

Grandma used to make tea for Grandad most afternoons. I remember her boiling the water and bringing him his cup and saucer on the living room couch. There is just something so comforting (and so British!) about afternoon tea. So to honor Grandma’s passing on July 10, 2019, we decided to have a small gathering of friends and family and serve afternoon tea. The family couldn’t all convene in Texas until around Christmas so we set the date for December 27, 2019. 

We all had dinner out at Gianna Italian Kitchen in Tomball the night before, which thinking about it now seems like such a distant and wonderful thing to be able to do. I haven’t seen my extended family since then. It was so nice to all be around one table together, and the cherry on top was Colin and Hailey, the two great-grandchildren who are about a year apart, meeting for the first time. 

The day of the tea we all did our best to channel the Queen or at least to imitate British tea party attire, complete with brightly colored hats. I wore a pair of Grandma’s old clip-on earrings (she had her ears pierced but for some reason she often wore clip-ons), a necklace Grandad had given her as a gift that she later gave to me, and the bright pink hat I wore on Hat Day at my college graduation. Donna looked regal with her fur hat, brooch, and shawl. Nick and Nigel each wore one of Grandad’s old ascots and David had on a classy bow-tie. Grandma’s Christmas carolers were up on the mantel and pictures and memorabilia were placed around the room. A wonderful slideshow of pictures of Grandma put together by my sister played on the big screen. My mom had put out an amazing spread of food including shortbread, clotted cream, jam, scones, brownies, macarons, mince meat pie, cheese, finger sandwiches, and of course a wide variety of teas. 

The service started with the hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful, which Grandma had picked out many years ago. It really is a beautiful hymn which celebrates “all creatures great and small” including “each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings .. the purple-headed mountain, the river running by, the sunset and the morning, that brightens up the sky, the cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun, the ripe fruits in the garden,” which come to think of it, really is perfect for Grandma. She always appreciated the little beauties in life. The day to day things that really are miraculous when you think about them. I think she passed this on to my mom who passed it on to me and my sister. I’m getting a bit off track here, but this may be an important part of Grandma’s legacy. This hymn and thinking of this concept of appreciating the little every day miracles in life reminds me of another quote I got from my mom. It’s from The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents by William Martin: “Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” Especially during this pandemic, appreciating and celebrating the little things with my son has become so essential. 

The rest of the short and simple service included words of welcome and remembrance by Nigel and Nick, followed by Donna leading us in the Lord’s Prayer, and closing by listening to There Will Always Be an England. “There’ll always be an England, And England shall be free, If England means as much to you, As England means to me.”

Afterwards we all did Christmas crackers, as we do every Christmas, and wore our crowns the rest of the day. My husband John put together some games for us all to play including Family Feud and Glover-themed trivia. We ended the night with a rousing re-match of The Bowl Game with everyone’s favorite duo, Rosie and Nick. If you were there, you know what I mean. Sorry Rosie and Nick.  

Grandma, we miss you and love you and think of you every day. My daffodils just started blooming, and I’m sure you would’ve loved to know about that as much as I’d have loved to share it with you.

If you want to share other memories from the day or of Grandma, feel free to do so in the Comments below.

Happy 2021

Today would’ve been Grandad’s 94th birthday. While we reminisce about him and think of him often, his would-be birthday had my mom, sister, uncles, aunt, and cousins catching up via group text and sharing memories and pictures. Grandad’s father died at 49 and his mother at 51 so he liked to say that he “exceeded his expiration date” by many, many years. He shared a birthday with Martin Luther King, Jr. (though King was born 2 years after Grandad in 1929), so he also liked to announce that all were invited to his and King’s celebratory parades. Grandad died the same day as George H. W. Bush, and I imagine he’d also say that Bush’s funeral train, which passed just a few miles from my mom’s house in Decker Prairie, TX, was also somehow in honor of his passing as well.

This year I am going to try to post more on the blog as I know Grandad wanted me to keep it going. 2020 was challenging for us all and I can’t help but but be thankful Grandma and Grandad didn’t have to endure it. I know for the elderly the pandemic has been scarier and more isolating than for most. I’m just thankful we now have a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, and I’ll be back with more posts throughout the year. Happy Birthday, Grandad!

A Celebration of Life

On what would’ve been Granddad’s 92nd birthday (January 15), I’d like to share a bit more about the services we held to celebrate his life on December 27 at my mother’s house in Decker Prairie, Texas. True to form, Granddad had already planned his funeral service and gave instructions on what hymns he’d like played and what the program should look like. We tried to follow his wishes as closely as possible.

The service was lead by Chaplain Laura Ammon who spent time with Granddad in his final weeks. My husband and I designed the program – you can take a look at it below. He specifically requested Abide with Me and Battle Hymn of the Republic so we had the lyrics printed and all sang along together. Nigel and Nick had especially touching words to share, and I did my best to get through the two prayers that Granddad recently shared with my mom from his childhood (see A Quick Memory from Ken (and Christine)).


Chaplain Laura closed the service with a lovely poem by Henry Van Dyke.

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other. 

Then, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!” 

“Gone where?”
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. 

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
“Here she comes!”

Around the room we placed mementos from Granddad’s life: his diplomas, a very small sampling of his large boomerang collection, a few of his carvings, several of his paintings hung around the room, and copies of his book were available for anyone who may not already have one. A wonderful slideshow of pictures and videos created by my sister Megan played on the large screen along with a playlist of songs that Granddad liked or that reminded us of him (including Yellow Submarine, Fields of Gold, In My Life, Crazy, Memory, and Dancing Queen, to name a few).

The service was attended by family and friends from all walks of Granddad’s life. Many others were with us in spirit.

While it was a somber occasion, I think Granddad would have been pleased that we ended the day with games, card tricks, and attempting to put spoons on our faces (he was a master of this trick).

Nigel noted that Granddad always liked to joke that there were often parades across the country on his birthday (he shared a birthday with Martin Luther King, Jr.), and that he would’ve been pleased that the flags were at half mast for 30 days as he passed away on the same day as President George H. W. Bush. I hope he knows that many people are thinking of him and missing him, especially today on his birthday. Rest in Peace, Granddad.


Guest Memory Four: Geoff Glover

IMG_3359On the eve of Ken’s memorial services, I wanted to share this guest memory from Ken’s cousin Geoff Glover. Geoff and his wife Chris live in Ailsworth, not far from where Ken’s childhood home once stood. In 2015, my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Geoff and Chris and experiencing their wonderful hospitality. They showed us Ken’s father’s home in Sutton, the quaint church in Sutton where Ken’s parents were married in 1921, and the lovely, small cemetery in Sutton where Ken’s grandparents David and Harriet, his uncle WP Glover, his aunt Mabel, and his father David were buried. We also visited Castor Church where Ken was Christened, toured around Peterborough, and even made a stop at Peterborough Milton Golf Club. Geoff and Chris, with the help of this blog, gave me a priceless glimpse into my own family history. Geoff wrote me the note below upon hearing about Ken’s passing.

Thank  you so much for letting us know, through the Texas Limey Blog, that Ken, sadly, has died.  I had suspected, when you took over the blog, that perhaps Ken was unwell, and it is sad to have that confirmed.

As I think you know, Ken was part of my youth and, indeed, childhood, although the age difference meant that we were never very close.  My mother, however, was his Godmother and always very fond of him and, therefore, often talked about him when I was young.  And she made sure that I recognised him as a ‘role-model’.  To some extent, that worked as I am the only other one of the cousins (see below) to go to university.  He sort of walked out of my life, however, when he and Doris emigrated to Canada in 1954 when I was 18, and possibly at an age when we might have forged a closer relationship.  In more recent years, we have corresponded via email but, unfortunately, were unable to meet either here in Ailsworth or in Houston.  Encroaching age does impose limitations on one’s life.

As you also know, Ken’s father, my uncle Reg, was one of a family of ten.  Three of them never had any children but the remaining seven, between them, spawned a large number of cousins in Ken’s and my generation.  There were fifteen of us, including one in Australia who none of us ever met.  With Ken’s parting, I believe, I am the only one left.  I think this might have annoyed Ken who, I believe, always hoped he would outlive us all.  (His friends will recognise his competitiveness).  But I am 9 years his junior, so the odds were always against him, I’m afraid.

My most vivid memory of Ken dates back to 1939 in the Summer before World War 2 broke out.  I was only about three and a half while Ken would have been about 12.  My parents, my baby brother and I, together with Ken, and cousins Margaret and Kathleen, and possibly others I have forgotten, went on holiday to Hunstanton, about 50 miles from Ailsworth.

Hunstanton is a small coastal resort on the East coast of England although, due to the shape of the coastline, it faces West and enjoys lovely sunsets over the sea. (You might like to check the map)  We stayed in a static ‘caravan’ on a sight close to the Gasworks.  (Long gone as we no longer produce gas from coal!).  I remember it as an idyllic week.  It was my first sight of sea and sand, and my first experience of building sandcastles.  I remember that I had a lovely time and I hope Ken and the other cousins, who were much closer to his age, did too.  I also recall the never-to-be forgotten and all-pervading smell of the Gasworks !!

I share your grief and would be grateful if you would please pass on my love and sincere condolences to Doris.

Geoff, thank you for your memories and your condolences. You will be here with us in spirit as we celebrate Ken’s life.


Memorial Service


Family and Friends of Ken Glover:

Information about a memorial service and celebration of life honoring Ken Glover is below.

When: Thursday, December 27th

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: The home of Melanie Lacy

33047 Decker Prairie Road, Magnolia, TX 77355



A Quick Memory from Ken (and Christine)

Granddad recently shared a memory with my mom that I’d like to share. He says that when he was seven years old (1934), his cousin Joyce made him two prayer plaques to hang on the wall of his room in his family’s home in Ailsworth. He says he doesn’t remember a day that he hasn’t said these prayers.

Below are the two prayers as he remembers them.

Morning Payer

O Father, who didst all things make
That Heaven and earth might do Thy will,
Bless us this day for Jesus’ sake
And for Thy work preserve us still.

Evening Prayer

New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.


Castor Church

My husband and I actually saw where Granddad’s childhood home once stood, and the several others in a row just like it that are still standing on Main Street in Ailsworth. We also saw Castor Church where Granddad was Christened. I like to try to picture what it must have been like back then and all the wonderful memories in this blog help paint the picture.

That’s all for now. I will have a new Guest Memory to share soon.

Uncommon Places Number Five

Climbing Mount Schiehallion

In January 1945, I became 18 and got my driver’s license. I had been caddying for Dr. Hunt, a well-known lawyer, at the Peterborough-Milton Golf Club since I was 14 and since it was just two miles from my home on my bicycle.  Dr. Hunt was used to having a chauffeur for his Humber Super snipe car and his regular driver, Albert had been drafted into the army and had been killed in a tank fight just as the war was ending.  Continue reading

Uncommon Place Number Three

Rock Gun, Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar, a British Garrison colony, is located on the farthest south-western tip of Spain guarding the Straits of Gibraltar and the gate to the Mediterranean. The Straits or STROG for mariners and the Pillars of Hercules to the ancient Greeks, have always been important in history, separating Muslim Africa from catholic Spain and the other European countries.  Continue reading

Uncommon Place Number Two

The Whispering Gallery of St. Pauls Cathedral

St. Pauls Cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill, the highest point of the one square mile that is the true City of London. Dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, it dates back to a church on that site in A.D. 604.  The current church was built in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren and as it states therein, “If you seek his memorial, look about you.” Continue reading