Sunday, July 1, 2012

The life story of a kitchen table
































I used to have a legitimate pants wetting problem when I was a little a girl.  It was a secret that I never told anyone about.  I could hide it because it would only ever be a little bit and it would only ever happen around a certain group of girls.  When I got together with my cousins at my grandmother's house, I would always end up laughing so hard that I peed my pants.  ALWAYS.

I'm back in New Jersey this week, helping my mom clean out my Grandmother's house and while the last time I was here I felt like I couldn't stop crying, this time, while I might not be peeing my pants laughing, I can't stop thinking about all of those funny times.

When all of this is almost over, the last things to go will be the furniture.  I'm taking my grandmother's kitchen table to Brooklyn with me- a beautiful round Formica "wood" table top with a funky metal tulip bottom and absolutely dreamy yellow leather chairs that spin (how many times were we scolded for spinning ourselves around on them until we were so dizzy that as soon as we stood up, we'd fall to the hard kitchen floor?)  I feel like this is the most important piece of furniture that I could inherit from Mama (the bonus factor is how super cool and 1970s it is) because that kitchen table had a life just as rich as my grandmother's.

I never felt comfortable sitting at Mama's dining room table, the "kids table" was where I belonged, where we could all squeeze around it and laugh as loud as we wanted an entire room away from the grown ups, tucked into that little nook in the kitchen.  That kitchen table held our food but when I look at it now, I can smell the kielbasi, kapusta and ham, but see that what it really always held was our memories.  






























My mom and I are cleaning out the "middle room" this week.  This room was once called the green room (because of the paint on the walls) and was where we would play.  It once held barbie dolls, baby dolls and coloring books but now it holds pictures.  Thousands of pictures, most likely close to 100 photo albums that we need to pack away.

Us, "sleeping" in the Green Room 






















I'm finding pictures with people around that kitchen table, snapshots capturing memories one meal, or craft activity at a time.  And I can't help but think that if I could lift up that table cloth that always covered it, I'd find an open book of happy memories written between the patterns of wood, stuck in the grains telling the life story of our family.



9 comments:

  1. This was lovely and inspiring to read. I've often taken to writing about items and objects for this very reason. Something that would mean nothing to a stranger, but would be just somewhere to sit and eat, means so much more to those who have been connected to it through the years. Our dining room table is one that has been around since I was a baby myself. I have pictures of myself sitting on top of it and when wiping it down after a meal I am often reminded of it's history. Finger nail polish marks from when we were young and silly, teeth marks on the edges, nicks in the top from accidents while creating art projects. It's all there amongst the grain. I'm thrilled you will now have your own table of memories inside your home and be able to revisit it with every meal.

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    1. Thank you Sara. Yes the "flaws" make it that much better. And something about a table and meals really goes hand in hand with creating memories. I'd love to read a blog post about your dining room table!

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  2. This is so lovely and I really enjoyed seeing your old pictures!

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    1. Thanks Jessica. Yes, I kept finding photos of us around the table, it was so great to have that visual inspiration when writing this post. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Thank you for writing this. What an amazing post. I look forward to sitting around that table with you making new memories.

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    1. Awww, thanks Kate! I'm sure Jack and Mark will love those yellow spinny chairs!

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  4. I loved this! Thank you for sharing. I can relate to very similar memories at my grandparents' house and am looking forward to building memories like that with my future children and grandchildren.

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    1. Thank you so much! Heading over to check out yours right now :)

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