I woke up on Saturday and found this: a crumbless, dishess, toyless, paperless dining room table, with a vase full of lush peonies from our garden. It's rare that this happens in our house because our evenings are filled with a flurry of activity followed by all of us collapsing into sleep. And invariably, something gets left behind.
We have a small house and the dining room table is used for multiple activities. It is, of course, our breakfast, lunch, and dinner table, but it also is our work and play table. In the Spring, you can look out the window at huge purple wisteria flowers, and all the plants around it marking different times of spring and summer with various flowers popping up. On bright, clear days, I like working at this table.
The only time all four of us really sit down and eat and talk is dinner time. My son likes to wander in between bites so we've taken to playing games and telling stories: everyone has to say what their joy and concern of the day was, and, per my son's request, everyone has to tell a spooky story. And his spooky stories are lists of things that might be spooky if there was actually a plot involved. "There once was a spooky house...and in the house was a spooky dog...and there was a spooky chair...and a spooky man came to the house...and then there was a spooky tree..." and on and on the list goes of spooky things.
We also linger at the table for as long as we can. I grew up picking up the dishes the second eating was complete. Not so since I've been married. We stay at the table and talk for as long as we can. When friends are over, dishes may not get touched for hours while we talk, argue, drink, and there are several rounds of general merriment. Life is short...merriment around the table is a must.
The chairs to this table are in dire need of reupholstery but that will happen when the kids are older and not prone to waving markers around. Therein lies the risk in one good dining room set in a small house.
The table came from my in-law's Brooklyn brownstone on Pacific Street after they sold it 2001. It's mid-century modern and goes with the decor of most of the house.
What does your dining room table look like in a zen state? Or a not so zen state? Send your photos to Four4Courses@gmail.com by Friday (May 31) with a story behind the table, and I'll feature it here. Is the table a hand-me-down? Did you get it in Sweden? Do you have your book club meeting around it every week? You get the idea.
Here's to happy times around the dining room table this week...Happy eating all!
|Peonies from our garden|