It Was Merely a Dining Room Table

“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”–Samuel Pepys (1633-1703)

But it was so much more than that.

I remember the day we sold it at a garage sale. I don’t recall the price we asked for it. It doesn’t really matter what the amount was. To me it was priceless. I sat and watched as the new owners took away and I hoped they’d make as many happy memories at it, as we did. I sat there and cried. My family looked at me like I was kook. I simply said, it was like a part of our family was being taken away.

I thought of Grandma Georgia and Grandpa Hap. They were the original Edith and Archie Bunker. Grandma had a heart of gold. She lived to nurture us. Feed us. Love us. She did all of those things at that table. Grandpa was kind of a bigot, but he meant well. He had a wicked sense of humor. And they both had the best laughs. Grandpa had the gift of gab, was a gossip and chased fire trucks.  He always gave me the young celery hearts with the leaves intact, because he knew they were my favorite. I would eat them, leaves and all. Of course they had to be dipped in Grandma’s famous veggie dip. Yes it was homemade, and no she wouldn’t tell you the recipe.

Grandma’s homemade noodles were to die for. And her rolled roast beef was always succulent. My Dad always ruined it by drowning it in ketchup. She loved her only son though, so she always indulged him. Especially when it came to her homemade cheesecake. Dad would cut and serve all the pieces, saving the one with all the maraschino cherries for himself. We always harassed him about it. He didn’t care though. He got the piece he wanted.

Grandma’s mashed potatoes. Oh my God they were a bit of Heaven. She whipped them in an original Kitchenaide Mixer. With salt, whole milk and real butter. Sis and I would take black olives and stuff them on our fingers. We then shoved them in the mashed potatoes that were drowned in homemade beef gravy. Don’t ask me why we did it, we just did.

As Grandma Georgia got older, we would supplement the meal to help her out. I did my very best to relish those last few meals that she cooked on her own. At least I tried to. You never know how much you miss something till it’s gone. Just like that old table. I have the memories of Grandma and Grandpa, wonderful meals, laughter, stories and the closeness of family. I hope the family that has the table now thinks about the history of it, every once in awhile.

15 thoughts on “It Was Merely a Dining Room Table

  1. This brought tears to my eyes – you are not a kook. So many important memories are formed at the dining room table – especially at a grandma’s dining room table. I can taste the mashed potatoes. Thank you for this!

  2. Beautiful as usual. The description of family and food, reminds me so much of my ex’s family and the food they used to prepare, down to a T. While I don’t like him so much, I loved his family. The special potatoes his mother used to make for holidays, and the racist and stern grandparents he had. This was like a warm snuggly blanket of memories for me. Thank you.

    • Thanks for the comment honey. Isn’t it funny the memories we have for inanimate objects? I know I would love to sit at that table again and eat my fill of roast beef, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles and cheesecake. And of course hear my grandfather say racist things while he drank whiskey and water. He didn’t mean to be so ignorant, it was just the times.

  3. This is a brilliant post Renee,
    I know exactly how you feel, and you are not a kook for crying.
    After Mum died, we had to clear her house so that it could be sold. The first things that went were all her clothes – done whilst I wasn’t there, it would have been too difficult for me – which went to charity shops ( 50 bags full!! )
    Then we had to decide about the rest of Mum’s possessions and what was going to happen to it.

    To cut a long story short, we chose between us what we wanted from her furniture, pictures and paintings, and personal belongings… the rest of it either went to charity shops, or in to a skip, which absolutely broke my heart.
    I felt like we were cleansing Mum from our lives, purging ourselves of her belongings, throwing her away like some piece of rubbish .
    It hurt them and still does now even though I know it had to be done.

    We couldn’t fit everything that Mum had in to our various houses.
    I would have kept everything if I could – I wanted to buy the house but I couldn’t afford it – but decisions had to be made.

    The biggest wrench was the house itself.
    I did a blog about it, The End Of An Era in January of this year,
    which explains my feelings about the house and its contents at the time ( and now ).
    I was distraught that it had to go, and even now, I drive past it sometimes, hoping to get a glimpse inside.

    One of the (many)items that no one could fit in was the dining room table.
    This table had seen happy times, sad times, arguements, laughs,tears, my 18th birthday party, my 21st birthday celebrations,family occassions, funerals, christenings and nearly 50 years of glorious christmas celebrations, Mum was a great cook, and turkey was one of her specialities.
    This old table had been broken a few times and been repaired, and at one time was probably worth a lot of money, but it held all those memories, all those emotions, and I made such a fuss over it that finally one of my sisters relented and kept it, and right now it is sitting in her barn, whilst they do up their house, and prepare a room for it.

    Hopefully one day soon, we will be able to relive those happy times sat around that old table.
    Sadly the house is gone for ever now, but that table will forever hold a special place in my heart.
    Keep safe, keep well and stay sparkly Renee 🙂
    Love n hugs
    Ps. I hope the results for Adamboy were ok.. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for him x

    • Oh Seadog thanks so much for the great story. I loved it. I can just feel all the love you feel for your mum. I’m sorry she’s passed away. I know you miss her every day. Fortunately I still have my mom. I don’t know what I’ll do on the day when I can’t pick up the phone and call her. I’ll be so lost. Thanks for reading me honey.

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