Thursday, November 12, 2009


I am thankful for neighbors. While we live four miles down a gravel road, it is wonderful to have good neighbors, neighbors that truly love and care for one another. No, we may not see each other daily or even weekly, but there is the feeling of comfort that we are there for one another.
Yesterday we had our 80 year old neighbor over for tea. It was fun to watch my daughters help in the simple preparations - making sure our living area was picked up, baking "jammies", and preparing the tea and table. Our guest of honor is a widow of many years and she lives by herself. Although she has chronic pain she remains one of the most joyful people I know. She loves our children although she has 23 great-grandchildren of her own. It is with much pleasure that our family gets to learn of what life was like growing up in the 30's and 40's in rural Vermont. She shared about how her father was in charge of disbursing clothes, food and sometimes money to the poor. Back then the towns administered to the needy. She shared how they often received clothing that wasn't even fit for those in need and how her mother made beautiful braided rugs from the excess material.

My nine year old daughter and eleven year old son ride their bicycles to her house and visit with her about once a week or so and upon their return home, I am often blessed with hearing another story about her life.

Here is the recipe for the Jammies:

1/2 Cup Oil

1/2 Cup Honey

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon the dough onto a cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls. Make a dent in the top of each ball with your thumb. Spoon in 1/2 teaspoon or so of jam. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

So yummy!

Warm wishes. Tonya


  1. We have an elderly couple as one of our neighbors. We feel much the same way about them. Yesterday was a rainy day and the kids and I baked cookies. We carried some over still warm from the oven to them. They had just made a pot of coffee and were excited and surprised to have a sweet to go with it. We love them. Thanks for the recipe, can't wait to try it.

  2. It's very touching to see one's own children learn hospitality. And a good neighbor is something to be celebrated and nurtured! Beth

  3. That's so sweet! I wish more communities were still like that. We'll have to try the jammies. :)

  4. I had an elderly neighbor like that growing up, she was a real darling. Having me for tea on the way home from school. My children love to listen to my Dad's stories about how he grew up in a large family and if they didn't make it home in time for dinner there wouldn't be any! Memere would give him a nickel to buy a devil dog at the store:-)

  5. What a wonderful post! Children miss so much when the do not get to know the elderly. Weel, so do we for that matter. Lifes lessons in real time! So much knowledge and life skills they have to teach to those who ask! What a a rich time for you all

  6. That is lovely. I long to live in a place with neighbors that are pretty much like family.

    Those jammies sound yum!

  7. This past year, we were blessed to have moved into a small older city. My children have been blessed with special friendships with our many, many elderly neighbors. They are a joy to know and visit with.

    These jammies should wonderful!

  8. What a lovely post. 80 neighbors, that is amazing. What a special way to teach your children the value of being hospitable. Those jammies sound lovely, and we might have to make those this week for tea time :)

  9. It is another rainy cool day here. We just made the jammies. They were so easy and so delicious. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

  10. Wonderful post. I find it a lot easier to talk to older people- they are much more interesting and have so much wisdom to share! My favorite time periods are the 30's and 40's, what history and character your children must be learning! Too many young people their age are so disrespectful to older people, and I find it so sad. Just because there is an age gap, doesn't mean you can't be friends. So glad you've taught your children well!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress
    PS Will try the jammies. I LOVE making them, and am always on the lookout for new recipes. Thanks!

  11. How sweet! We used to live next to an older couple and I loved going over there for tea. After my first daughter was born and I was home a lot more it made it nice to have a neighbor to hang out with. We only had a handful of homes on our street and we all had acre lots, so we were spread out. We both got lonely during the days so we would get together for tea and I just loved listening to her stories!
    Thanks for the recipe

  12. That sounds like a very simple recipe. They look really cool, too.

    I think it is great that you are teaching your children to honor and cherish the elderly. That man that we get our raw milk from is 80 years old. He's a Swiss immigrant and was alive during WWII, living in Switzerland that time. I will always treasure his many stories and my kids just love him.

    Great post!

  13. so wonderful that you take the time to have her in and visit with her....I love visiting with older folks, their stories just fascinate me. this post reminded me to have my grandma in for some 'just visitin' time!' Thanks!

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  15. What a great experience. So often we miss the connection of generations. All my grandparents have passed on, and we are missing some elders in our family. Blessed-you on this day!

  16. Such a nice story, and how sweet your children are!
    I am writing down your recipe now... Thanks!

  17. That's wonderful that you are friends with your neighbor. I just moved to an urban area, and I barely know my neighbors names. (I hope to change this). I am sure that your children will treasure these conversations and tea-times for years to come :)