Over the weekend I bought a table. It’s secondhand off Craigslist – simple, mid-century, with clean lines, six accompanying chairs, and an amazing back story. The original owners first purchased the dining set as newlyweds nearly 60 years ago. Over the years their table served as hub to countless meals and dinnertime conversations as the couple experienced life and raised their babies into adulthood.
I met the couple’s daughter and learned that her parents had recently transitioned into assisted living. With this came the selling of their home and, ultimately, the posting of their table to Craigslist. The daughter assured me that her mother would be delighted to know that her table would continue as a gathering place for family. Another generation of silly kids to dangle their legs off the chairs, a backdrop to photos of extensive holiday gatherings, a space for our family to laugh over competitive board games and to cry over complicated homework assignments as the kids grow older.
To welcome the dining set into our home, I invited my brother, a chef, to join me in cooking up some intriguing french food. I’m no wiz in the kitchen, but I do love food. All food. We served up salmon tartare (*gulp* – my first time experimenting with raw fish outside of a restaurant!), mushroom soup, Swiss chard pancakes and a tomato salad. The best, however, was making “dippy eggs” the next morning with all the leftover chopped vegetables and fresh herbs. As I ate my eggs and sipped my coffee I reflected on the importance of family meals. I’m busy. We’re all busy. But there is something great that happens when you sit around a table sharing food and drink. It slows your pulse, paces your eating, and deepens the nature of your conversation with those around you. I’m not always going to have time for fancy french food and dippy eggs, but I hope to take time each week for a handful of authentic family meals around my new (old!) table.
The Family Table by Sarah Kiser, CPNP-PC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.