Yesterday we had dinner at the dining room table. While that may not seem like a big deal, it was for us, because since June our beloved table was being repaired at the furniture shop. It’s absence made me realize how much I missed it, since it had been the scene of most Sunday dinners since 1967. Regardless of soccer games or crazy schedules, we always found time for Sunday dinner at the dining room table. Of course as the years went by, the kids left and came back and sometimes stayed awhile. Then they got married and had children of their own.
Yesterday I set the table for just two and recalled all the times I had done so for so many more. Now with five grandchildren, I never know for sure when to set the table for more than two; but I am always ready. As I cleared the table after dinner, I remembered decades of Sundays and holidays; family conversations (some more lively than others) and the loving wear and tear we foisted on that weathered table.
Now that it has been repaired, and a lifetime of scratches have been sanded smooth and refinished, I like to think that our story – the history of our family – is somehow still retained deep within the lovely wood grains of our dining room table. As foolish as this may seem, this is a sonnet dedicated to our dining room table:
The table’s set, it’s Sunday, after all,
Though when the kids were young I set for four,
Come rain or shine our clan answered the call,
And afterwards all joined in clean-up chores.
Then came the college years, yet even more
We kept our dining ritual intact,
We knew they’d all return someday for sure,
To homey kitchen wafts that drew them back.
The years flew by but I could never slack,
For married then, they came to Sunday dine,
Insert the leaf and placemats to unpack,
Our numbers grew to six, then eight, then nine.
Eleven, twelve and more this table’s seen,
Our story lives within the fine wood grain