Friday, March 18, 2011

The Kitchen Table

Today I'm missing the kitchen table. Now don't get me wrong. We have a kitchen table, but it isn't that table, the one in our kitchen on Neff Road. We had gathering places where friends and family gathered for hours of talking, but none compared to the kitchen table.

Many the hours we talked in the field while we worked. Time passed as we labored. Teasing and joking. Gorging ourselves on sandwiches Mom brought to the field. Sweaty and dirty, we spent hours talking. Still it was not the same.

Mom and Dad were usually found on the porch when the weather allowed. Inevitably, my cousin Gene or our neighbor Carl would stop in on the way to the fields. They sat 'for a spell' talking about the crops and weather. Family and neighbors stopped in during the week to sit on the porch and chat. Often someone from the past would show up out of the blue.

The living room was where Mom sat and crocheted. Dad sat in his recliner eventually closing his eyes or sat next to his wife holding her hand and often a pan of popcorn. Inevitably, someone would walk into the house and find a place to sit for afternoon visiting with the Loxley family.

But nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to the kitchen. Mom spent hours in her kitchen baking and cooking. Everyone from the milk man to the traveling salesman had sat at that table with a piece of pie and coffee. Our family lingered there after meals talking. When visitors came, we sat for hours catching up on news. All who entered the house knew the lure of the kitchen table. Breakfast ran to dinner (lunch). Dinner ran to afternoon dessert, usually pie. Supper (dinner) sometimes caught us lingering until grandkids went to bed. The kitchen table was the center of our house. When we came home to visit, it was often the first place we stopped.

I haven't found that same table in any of the homes I've lived in or those I have visited. I wonder if our table was enchanted drawing friends and neighbors, family living near and far, those from other countries to my mother's great cooking, delicious pies and warm heart. Seldom have I had people other than family drop in to visit. I don't bake. I really don't like to cook. So I guess that I shouldn't expect a lot of lingering at my table.

Today I'm missing that kitchen table where family became more than just those living in the house back the lane.

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