More Than What It Appears

More Than What It Appears

My dining table is traveling incognito. Sure, it looks like what it is–a wood table that has seen a lot of use,  but it’s actually more than it appears to be.  My mother bought the table years ago after she saw it sitting on someone’s front porch. She stopped and asked if it was for sale and it was. She re-finished it and that became our dining table. It no longer has the beautiful finish she put on it; it has seen a lot of use. It was probably a hundred years old when she bought it and that was perhaps forty years ago. There’s a cigarette burn on the top where Dad was so engrossed in conversation that he didn’t notice his cigarette had fallen off  his ashtray. One of the legs leans a bit and the cross-pieces that hold the legs together are scarred from many feet resting on them. It isn’t perfect, but it holds wonderful memories.

This table is a witness to my family’s history. It has heard years of conversations and become acquainted with generations of people.  If it could talk, it would tell of mealtimes with family and friends gathered around. It might whisper of heartaches and tears that dropped onto its smooth surface or secrets shared over a cup of coffee. It could boast about my mother’s cream pies with the melt-in-your mouth crusts. It would remember a lot of laughter and a lot of food.

 Memories continue to be made at Mom’s table. Now it welcomes my children and grandchildren, other family members and my friends. Sure, the new tables in showrooms are far more beautiful and certainly less scarred but they are sadly lacking in character. My old cherry wood table has held many a tasty meal but, more than that, a lot of priceless memories.


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