We all have them, and they come in an assortment of sizes. As many different styles and colors than you can imagine. I can remember our first one. It was green and gold with padded chairs and metal legs that shined liked new money. We were in tall cotton as we put in Harmon county, that means we were doing hunky-dory as Dad would say.
My mother made sure at meal time we all gathered around the table and we had better remember our manners. There is just something special about a family gathered around the table to break bread. We didn’t have a lot, but I can’t ever remember going hungry. My mother was a good cook and when feeding a family of five, you better dig in quick cause if you were late you might not get any.
I remember those times around that table, more than I remember what we had to eat. We didn’t just get nourishment from the food but from the shared stories, the laughter, the tears and sometimes the lessons.
When it was meal time Mom would say, “Let’s gather at the table and we will eat.” My sister, Cindy, who has cerebral palsy was the last guest at the table especially in her younger years before the motorized wheelchair came into her life. Most times either Dale, Randy or I might push her into the kitchen. Dad would sit, and the meal would commence.
It never failed that someone would spill a glass of iced tea… and usually it was Randy. Then came a familiar speech by Mom about how she wished we could get through one meal without someone making a mess. It was also not uncommon for someone, and that being me or Dale, to slip something under that ol’ table to our dependable plate cleaner- the dalmatian dog, old Trey. We were all supposed to clean our plates before leaving the table, which was often difficult when Mom put something green on our plates. But we had figured out, through the help of our older brother, Randy, you could wrap anything green in a piece of bread and ol’ Trey would swallow it in one gulp. He was just proud to be getting something and he didn’t taste anything green, I promise you. but I’ll admit this caused him to have some really bad gas! You know it’s the same for dogs, broccoli will give you gas if eaten too fast.
All the times I sat around the table in my house bring back many fond memories and also some that weren’t so fond. It was at the kitchen table that my dad got a call and we found out his cancer had come back, and it was bad. He just looked at my mother and said these words that I still hear when I think the world has given me more than I can cope with, “It ain’t no step for a stepper.” We all just sat there in silence. For the first time in my life that table served up something that had a bad taste.
Time passed as did my father, and the table that we sat around after his funeral is still in our family today. If only it could talk and tell of the good times it provided, the bond, and the blend of people who had sat at it. Many a good recipe was served off of that old table, and the ones I remember most were made with love and understanding.
A family needs a good table and I had one of the best. It not only held plates but held lives and a family together- better than any glue that was ever used to repair it. So when you sit down for Thanksgiving remember to be thankful, not just for the food but for the folks around the table. You just might come to the realization that it’s not only the legs that hold it up but also the family around it.