When it comes to my memories as a child, so many of them include conversations around our kitchen table. These conversations took place at the home I grew up in, around an Amish built table that my sister has now inherited.
The house my parents lived in, was also built by the Amish. The community that we lived in wasn’t necessarily a large Amish community, but several families lived on the outskirts of town. Our main eating table, sat in a “breakfast nook” area. Large windows allowed an abundant amount of light in, making it one of the coziest rooms and places in our house to sit. The table was rectangular in shape with rounded corners and beveled edges. It was made of oak, and two-toned in color. The top of the table was honey oak, otherwise known as the stain of that decade, and the legs, farmhouse style, were painted in a country white. Our mom, before becoming a teacher, was an interior designer, and her decorating tastes always made our house feel so warm and inviting.
While sitting at the table, I would often look out at our woods, seeing critters such as rabbits and squirrels skurry in the leaves. On numerous occasions, I also remember seeing the white flick of tails, as deer would be playing among the trees. It was at the table, that I had conversations with my parents and sister several times a week. Even though our schedules were filled to the brim with after school activities, music lessons, dance lessons, and sporting events, my parents knew the importance of sitting down at the table for dinner. Our Mom and Dad usually shared the cooking, and I can’t think of too many meals, other than those that included brussel sprouts, that I wasn’t eager to enjoy. Mom and Dad would ask about our days, and would fill us in on theirs. We would talk about church that week, the weather, upcoming vacations and hunting plans for the weekend. We would discuss our classes, teachers, new kids in school and homework. It was also at this table where harsh lessons were learned, and tears over highschool break-ups were shed.
As time passed on and I headed off to college, I always looked forward to the next time I would be back together with my family. When I was home for the weekend or back for break, we picked up right where we left off, with new conversations at the table. Our discussions quickly changed from classrooms to lecture halls and from teachers to professors. It was around this table that after speaking with my parents, I decided to change my major from pharmacy to sales. When I graduated college, and moved into a place of my own, I still always longed to be in the comforts of my youthful home. Sitting at the table, I watched my sister leave for the homecoming court, watched our old black cat bathe in the sunshine on the hardwood floors nearby, and learned how to cook the recipes that I wanted to make for my boyfriend, now husband.
My husband, has his own memories of that kitchen table. The first time that he came to visit me and met my parents, he walked in the room and a shotgun was laying on the table. My dad had been cleaning it after a duck hunt earlier on in the day, and it just so happened that it was still there when my poor husband came for his introduction. Needless to say, if he wasn’t nervous before he walked in, he was after seeing the gun on the table. Especially since it was mine.
When our parents retired and moved from our childhood home, my sister was blessed with the passing down of the table. Our old kitchen table has sure allowed for many memories to be had around it. From childhood to adulthood, we have spent countless hours eating, playing games, celebrating, conversing, and reminiscing around the table. This heirloom has done its’ job and then some. With countless memories from the past and many more that are sure to be created, I look forward to more time spent with our family around the table.