My Kitchen Table

I’m typically not a very sentimental person. I can do without all the Hallmark Holidays. The only feelings I care about are the ones that are unsolicited and genuinely offered, the ones that don’t have to be coaxed or coached, or require an appointed day.

I’m also not a saver of any kind of stuff, really. Except for a few pieces of Cait’s baby clothes I think she’d like to have, anything not in use gets given to friends or donated. (Sometime I’ll write about my house burning down because of a propane truck accident, which will help explain why I don’t particularly care about things anymore.)

But as I think about my kitchen table having seen better days, and Andrew and I considering getting a different one that would also fit our kitchen better, I suddenly find myself time-traveling back through 25 years.

This is the first kitchen table I bought for myself as an adult. It’s the only surviving piece of furniture from the fire. It holds the history of nearly half my life.

Everyone I’ve loved and cared about has sat at this table. Even though some of those people are no longer living, I can still sit here and conjure those lively conversations, those animated evenings, those kaleidoscopes of faces. I fell in love with Andrew over many cups of tea and talks at this table. I won over my stepsons’ hearts by serving them up soul-satisfying meals at this table.

As I lightly finger the marks left by Cait’s baby spoon, made when she’d tap, tap, tap the table to some tune only she could hear in her head, I think that even though it doesn’t owe us a thing, and it’s never really looked right in this house, with a little luck, it’ll travel with me another 25 years.

 

6 thoughts on “My Kitchen Table”

  1. Michelle,
    A teak table with leaves! Sounds like it will be beautiful once again when it’s refinished. Thanks for visiting. I really enjoy your blog. It has extra special meaning because one of my stepsons (who’s a wildlife biologist) is living in Alaska, so I feel that I get to share a little bit of his experience by reading about yours.

  2. Oh don’t get rid of it ever! You sound like me, I never keep things either. I’ve always said I’d never make it onto Antique Roadshow because anything that is unused gets tossed. I’m a minimalist. But (and can you believe I’m also married to an Andrew) I too am attached to my kitchen table. When we moved back to Alaska 11 years ago my parents were redecorating and gave us the table that I grew up around. It seats 12 with the leaves in it and it’s a fabulous teak creation with a bit of wear. I never had much attachment to it until recently when I realized how much had happened around that table. Family meal times have special emotional significance and the kitchen is the heart of our home. I’ve found a place in town that will pick up, refinish and deliver for $400 and that’s what I’m planning to do, I’ll keep this table until I die :) I loved your post, you’ve said it much better than I could.

  3. Well stated. I have a few of those objects that have outlived their attractiveness, but not their usefulness or their ability to conjure up memories of my life.

  4. I feel a little bit weepy.

    Some things just catch us out of left field, don’t they? I think it was, “Everyone I’ve loved and cared about has sat at this table.” Beautiful.

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