A Time of Peace

Welcome to to my World!

For those of you who are new readers, I’m Terry, owner and caretaker of Willowbrook Manor English Teahouse and Farm Stay. During the summer months, mother nature’s gift of peace and calm is palpable at Willowbrook. It’s what I love most about sharing my farm with guests.

This email comes to you because you either signed up for this newsletter, made a reservation at Willowbrook Manor, are a friend of mine, or are a follower of my mother, author Liz Adair, who has her own corner here in The Willowbrook Word. There is a giveaway at the end of each newsletter so make sure to read to the end.

Summer Garden Tea ~

We readied the tea tent for Summer Garden Tea! Typically the summer season is too busy with farm work, gardening, hosting bike tours and overnight guests for me to offer high tea. But so many requests made me realize I had to offer a summer tea experience. So now, every 2nd Saturday from June through September, I host ‘Summer Garden Tea’ including an informal concert in between tea sessions.

Our first Summer Garden Tea debuted on a misty-rainy Pacific Northwest Washington day, but the tea tent was cozy-warm and inviting. (Click HERE to view a short video.)

Sharyn Peterson performed an exquisite concert in the tearoom. My vision was for an outdoor performance in the garden, where guests could wander, or sit and visit with the ambiance of beautiful music, but the rain changed those plans. Instead the manor was filled with tea guests enjoying time together, with soul-stirring melodies from Sharyn’s 200 year-old violin.

July 8th is our next Summer Garden Tea. Make your reservation HERE.

Minis Came for Tea!

The Puget Sound and Oregon Mini Societies included tea at Willowbrook Manor as one of their stops along the Cascade Loop. Here is a picture of a few of their classic cars.

A Regency Tea ~

It felt like stepping into a Jane Austin movie when the Washington Regency Society came to Willowbrook Manor for high tea! It was splendid to see the manor filled with tea guests dressed in hand-crafted period costumes.

I asked local photographer Courtney Holcomb to capture the day in pictures and she did a marvelous job. Click HERE to see more timeless photos of the Washington Regency Society Tea event.

Connecting with Courtney ~

Courtney is wonderful photographer, she is also mother to Adelle and Eva, two of my adorable and hard-working tea helpers. The pictures she creates whisper the essence of a person and the feel of a place, which is why I chose her to preserve the memory of this special tea day. The pictures she took make you feel like you have stepped back in time.

If you are local, contact Courtney Holcomb to capture the beauty of your special event, senior, graduate, pet or the whole family. You will be delighted with her work. Click HERE to view her website.

What Overnight Guests are Saying ~

“Willowbrook Manor is a serene haven that opens up space in the mind and heart for reflection and peace. Thank you so much, Terry for your care and hospitality.”

“We enjoyed our stay immensely. Very peaceful, restorative, and lovely. Terry was a delight. The property was stunning, the scones and tea every morning were delicious and there were so many nooks to go settle in with a pot of tea for some conversation or just a good book.”

Rejuvenate at Willowbrook ~

Book your stay at Willowbrook Manor or give a gift certificate for an overnight stay to someone you love. Click HERE for more information.

Tea and Tour ~

Did you know that you can choose a beach cruiser or E-bike when you book Tea and Tour? This summer adventure begins with tea and scones under the tea tent at Willowbrook, then sends you down the Cascade Trail with a scavenger-hunt-type map where you will find tour posts that share the history of the area. The route travels through forest and farmland with gorgeous views of the Skagit river. It is a must-do for visitors and locals alike. Click HERE to schedule a Tea and Tour for you and your family and friends!

Time for Liz ~

This is where I turn the newsletter over to my mom, author Liz Adair to share a bit of her world with you.

Liz Sez ~

A couple decades ago or more, “Good News, Bad News” jokes were all the rage on TV, calendars, and in joke books. Here’s one of my favorites:

“I have good news and bad news,” a defense attorney told his client. “First the bad news: The blood test came back, and your DNA is an exact match with that found at the crime scene.”

“Oh, no!” cried the client. “What’s the good news?”

“Your cholesterol is down to 140.”

Our lives—mine and Derrill’s—seem to have been drawn straight from that era lately.

This particular good news / bad news chain began a couple months ago when we discovered that the backyard fence was leaning because the cedar posts had rotted at the base. Derrill asked a friend to go out with him to get some replacements, so he could fix the fence.

The posts aren’t the kind of cedar you’d have in the Pacific Northwest. The trees are actually junipers, and are relatively small, growing to twenty-five or thirty feet tall. Fenceposts made from these trees can last centuries in the dry desert soil. Derrill’s companion—we’ll call him Lyle—grabbed his chainsaw and they headed out to the hills to get half a dozen fenceposts.

They were in a beautiful area, and Derrill must have been admiring the view. That, and his deafness, kept him from hearing Lyle holler “Timber.” As he was standing right in the path of the tree, it hit Derrill in the chest, taking him to the ground.

Lyle brought Derrill home, and I took him right to the ER. He was in tough shape—he lives with arthritis pain every day, but this was a whole new level. They got that controlled with drugs, did a CT scan, and the doctor came in and said he’d tell us the good news first: there were no broken bones.

The bad news was that the scan was showing a mass in his lung.

After a visit to the oncologist and a biopsy, we found that Derrill’s colon cancer of two years before had metastasized to his lung. But, because Lyle (through no fault of his own) dropped a tree on Derrill, we found it early enough that it can be successfully treated with radiation.

Which is why we were in the waiting room at the Cancer Center in St. George and one of my fondest desires was realized—a fond desire that had nothing to do with Derrill’s cancer.

Every minor author has the hope that she may get on an airplane one day and find that her seatmate is reading one of her books. I guarantee that anyone who writes has played that fantasy in her head. And yes, every time I’ve walked down the aisle of Southwest Airlines, looking for the nearest vacant seat, I’ve also kept an eye on what the passengers were reading.

But this snuck up on me. I walked into the waiting room with my mind on the coming consultation, and bam! there sat Linda Stevens, reading my first novel, The Lodger. She gave me permission to use her name in the newsletter when I shared my good fortune. I’m afraid I was too gobsmacked to even inquire as to why she was in that particular waiting room. I did get a picture, though.

So, thanks to Lyle and his chainsaw, we caught the cancer while it was easily treatable, and one of my fondest desires was realized. I guess that’s good news / good news.


(Back to Terry)

My Dad ~

My dad has always been my hero. He taught me to love the outdoors, even though I HATED the backpacking we did as a family. (Do you love my print polyester bell bottoms in the picture?) I would complain and complain about how HARD hiking was. But I turned into an avid hiker! Go figure. Thanks Dad!

When I was ten and wanted Muffy, the stray dog that I fell in love with to be my own I went to my dad and bawled, “I love Muffy, and Muffy loves me! He gave in, and Muffy became the best dog we ever owned.

The sweet memories go on and on. They become even more tender the older my father gets. Thanks Dad.

Giveaways ~

The winner of this signed and framed 2023 tulip poster goes to Pamela J from Lyman, WA. Congratulations!

A Tea Sampler & Scone Mix Giveaway ~

This month I am giving away my signature scone mix and herbal tea sampler so two lucky winners can enjoy a Willowbrook tea party in their own home. Click HERE to enter to win. Don’t forget to include a little note to let me know how you are doing. It is always so good to hear from you!

That is it for this issue!

Sending lots of luv from Skagit Valley!
And Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there!

Post Script.

Here is my calendar of events:
(Click on the link listings for more information)