Some of my best memories come from the dinner table. At my grandparents (on my dad’s side) my brother and I would spend countless hours sitting around the dinning table, that sat in the kitchen, playing cards with papaw and mamaw. Back then we did not have common core math we had something better grandparents with imagination. My brother and I were taught how to add, subtract, multiply and divide by playing card games such as Rummy, Poker, and our favorite Canasta. We could spend hours playing with our grandparents on cold rainy days or even on days it was just to hot to play outside. Man I miss those days.
I also think back to my other grandparents(on my mom’s side) The table was placed in the dinning room between the kitchen and the bedroom. Saturday nights my grandfather, dad, and all my uncles on that side would gather around the table to play cards while the ladies cooked up something yummy to eat. All of us grandkids would be out chasing fireflies, swimming in the creek, or playing the “Dukes of Hazzard.” Sundays we gathered to eat meals fit for kings. Completely homemade, completely wonderful. We did not have assigned seats at the table, but everyone knew who sat where without saying. At both tables you would find my grandfathers at the head of the table where they could over see everything. And the chain of command went down from there. My dads mom could be found to my grandfathers right. Close to the sink where she could avoid the early afternoon sun coming in the far window. On my moms side the men always ate first, childern second and the ladies last. Its how her mom had done before her so that tradition carried on to her house. Nowdays I am sure someone would be offended but back then it was just how we did things no one questioned it no one fussed. These were the good ol’ days when kids could play till the sun went down, we drank Kool Aid, ate homemade breads, parents just yelled out the door to say time to come in, yes times were simpler then.
I have tried to keep the dinning room tradition alive at our house. We all sit at the table together now. With six little ones you need all hands on deck. And you can tell you sits where by looking at the chairs.
There is the obvious chair baby girl claims. It’s the only one with a booster strapped to it. There’s the one Alex sits in. It has very little stains on the cushion, he is the cleanest three year old eater I have ever met. Which brings us to Eli, his seat is covered with stains from meals past. He is not the cleanest three year old to eat. I think he gets more food on him than in him. Elissa sits at the top left seat, so she can watch for dad to come through the door if he has to work late. JR’s place is at the end of the table. He likes to stand while he eats so no chair is needed. (He does have one just on case he would ever change his mind) Next to him is where my husband eats. Right by the door so on those long days at work he can slide right in as soon as he comes in. When our older kids are home for a visit they pull up the stools and determine their place by which younger sibling wants them beside them the most. It’s always a different spot seeing the young ones can never agree on anything. That leaves my seat. To the right of my husband, just as my grandmother’s seat was to the right of my grandfather’s. This places me beside my husband and beside baby girl. That takes us full circle or in this case a rectangle, you can’t fit nine people at a normal table.
We share stories about our days. We laugh, we do homework,we eat, we live around that table. My husband refinished our table shortly after we moved. The table belonged to my great grandfather on my dad’s side. I am sure if it could talk the stories it would have to share of a simpler time and stories we have created. I pray that as my children grow some of thier best memories come from the time we spend around our dinner table.
From our beautiful chaos to yours take this day God has given and make some beautiful memories.