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Friends fight COVID blues with tea party

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

In this time of canceled trips and events, one group of friends has developed a creative way to be able to see each other, while still following the social distancing guidelines.

It had been at least three weeks since Evie Jo Greene had seen her friends, when Linda Smitherman dropped off some chicken and dumplings.

“She brought me a bowl of chicken and dumplings to cheer me up,” Greene said. “Isn’t that a good friend?”

The friends talked at a distance and Greene commented on how much she was missing everyone.

“The older people in Maplesville where we are, we really didn’t go anywhere,” Greene said. “We were getting a little anxious to see each other.”

This gave Smitherman an idea to surprise Greene with an outdoor tea party. Evie Jo and her husband Dale have a carport where everyone could sit and spread out, and the guests were limited to eight.

When Smitherman called Dale to get him in on the plan, she did not realize the phone was on speaker and Evie was within hearing distance.

Despite the event not being a surprise, it was a complete success in helping each attendee cheer up and feel less lonely in these pandemic days.

“She brought strawberry cake and tea,” Evie Jo said.

The event was such a success that the friends made it a weekly occurrence.

“They loved it so much, so we are still continuing it,” Evie Jo said. “… We take turns bringing a little snack.”

She said the social time has helped her.

“It has really helped me,” Greene said. “It has given me a reason to clean up my house and do something rather than just sit and think, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ Mentally, emotionally, It has been a lifesaver.”

The snacks have varied from cookies to homemade ice cream.