I wonder what stories an inanimate object such as an old dining table might reveal if we were able to listen? Would it sing of families gathered for their daily meals?
Perhaps she who cared for it remembered it from her own childhood, or if found in a quaint old shop, what homes had it rested in?
If a kitchen is the heart of the home, surely a dining table is its handmaiden.
The old woman stood by the table wondering these things. The sound of children pounding on this table while waiting impatiently for breakfast or dinner remains in her ears and she smiles at the memory.
She remembers them sitting diligently doing homework every afternoon as she plied them with cookies and milk. How anxious they were to grow up.
And then there were the grandchildren, who sometimes on a rainy day made “caves” underneath the table, and she let them keep their cave even though it interfered with dinner preparations. Such a little thing to do. She did enjoy spoiling them a bit.
Oh how many dinner parties and holidays this table had seen! A last minute waxing before the pristine white table cloth was gently lowered onto it so as not to muss it up. And the flower arrangements! Too many to even remember. It was so important make sure the silver was polished, and her mother’s crystal shining. It was tradition; this is the way she had been taught by her mother and grandmother.
Holiday dinners with the whole family milling around while the turkey or roast beef (or both) sent out their tantalizing smells were special memories. Everyone trying to help at the same time while children whined because it was taking so long. Her pies had been legendary, and there were alway several for a hoiliday; always pumpkin and apple, and her daughter loved pecan, so she made it for her. Each holiday she made something different that she hadn’t made before, and sometimes they liked it and sometimes they didn’t! She prepared for days ahead.
Do they ever think of those times too? And if they do, were they special to them as well?
Times and customs have changed. When everyone left, there were only two which meant learning to cook all over again, but she did it, and it was a new and different life, special in its own way. More casual perhaps, but satisfying, and there were always occasions when some of the family came again.
And then there was only the old woman, and the old table, though remaining, is in someones else’s dining room. It doesn’t look quite the same she thinks as she caresses the polished surface. Perhaps my eyes are not as strong as they once were, maybe I need new glasses.
“Mother, what are you doing alone in the dining room?” called her daughter. The old woman roused from her reverie replied “I was just remembering.”