The Kitchen Table

Many a good times have been had around the kitchen table. My own Grandmother’s kitchen was always a beehive of activity and I have fond memories of such things as Uncle Butch before daylight eating a huge plate of eggs, me with a five gallon bucket of okra to slice, my Aunt getting a home perm, Grandma Dall decorating someones wedding cake and many fine dinners with a dozen platters of vegetables fresh from the garden along with fried chicken, beans and Spanish rice. 

Surprise! Someone with a camera caught this circa 1950'2 - 60's kitchen table photo. Front L and then counteclockwise; Grandma Thelma Hargett Dall, Uncle Mitchel (Butch) Hargett, Odessa Hargett Severn, Bob Severn, Gilbert Hamling, Dad Kenneth Blevins and someone else. I am sure there were more adults and many children eating in the living room.

Surprise! Someone with a camera caught this circa 1960’s kitchen table photo. Front L and then counter-clockwise; Grandma – Thelma Hargett Dall, Uncle – Mitchel (Butch) Hargett, Aunt – Odessa Hargett Severn, Bob Severn, Gilbert Hamling, Dad – Kenneth Blevins and someone else. I am sure there were more adults and many children eating in the living room.

My Mother’s kitchen table when we were young was home to her sewing machine at times, a place to do homework and the nightly gathering place for dinner. It was also home to birthday party cakes and Saturday night card games.

My own kitchen table is either spotlessly clean or knee-high in some project most likely food related. It has hosted card games, pot lucks, canning and freezing adventures and quilt sewing.

This morning I happened across a FB post from a friend across the big pond, Jean. I always enjoy Jean’s posts and this one was spot on for me. I hope you enjoy it.

Printed with permission from Jean Marie Feddercke; “I don’t have a kitchen table anymore. I haven’t had one for almost twenty years because my flat has a “galley kitchen”. But I can remember a time when the kitchen table was smack dab in the centre of my life. 

When I was a kid growing up on my Grandfather’s farm in the Ozarks, the kitchen WAS the home. A bedroom was for sleeping and the front room was for ‘company’. The kitchen was for everything else.

And any time that you were in the kitchen, the radio would be playing in the background. You knew without the man on the radio telling you when summer storms were coming because there would be crackles and static from the lightning as it approached. In the summer, despite having chores in the morning, we would often sit there at the kitchen table listening to the radio until as late as 11PM. 

When I did the ironing on Saturdays, I always placed the board so that I could look out the window that was over the kitchen sink. This gave me a view past a huge walnut tree, down past the chicken house, and then on and on over the woods. With some music from the radio it was a pleasant time and not a chore at all.

But the real heart of the kitchen was the kitchen table. Now let me tell you about our table: it was ultra-modern! Yes! My Grandfather wanted to keep up with the times and he bought a metal table with a formica top and four chairs with genuine vinyl seats and back rests! It looked just like the picture below that I found after Googling, except ours was grey and white. My beloved Grandfather really moved with the times!

This kitchen table was not only just the place that you ate, it was also where you sat and peeled potatoes, shucked the corn, shelled the peas, and generally prepared meals. It was where you did your homework. It was where you sat silently yet companionably reading of an evening with your Grandfather – one or the other occasionally making a comment about what was being read (or making one more cup of tea). It was where you sat on a hot summer night, watching moths and June bugs beat against the window and little lime green tree frogs with pale yellow bellies and sucker feet would hang on to the glass and catch them for their dinner.

Looking back, I can’t remember all that we talked about on those nights at that kitchen table, but I promise you that those conversations and all the time spent at that kitchen table fed my Soul and nourished my Spirit.”

More of Jean’s writing can be found on Amazon here.

What is your favorite “kitchen table” memory?

signature, Sarah

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