Tables. Surfaces for clutter, surfaces for dining. Surfaces for laying today’s mail, to receive immediate attention. Problematic, everything appears on the kitchen table, begging it’s space someplace else.
My parent’s kitchen table was always tidy. It still is. Layered with the plastic table cloth, plastic place mats, a wooden trivet in the shape of an apple, with a lamp in the middle on top, there is their table. You have to move the lamp if there is company, or you can’t see around it to visit while eating. But Mom can’t see well (maculaer degeneration), so that is it’s spot.
My old friend, Reenee, who has been gone probably a number of years, she had ended up in a nursing home after a severe stroke, her table was also her desk. She and Tommy lived in a tiny apartment in the same building, along with Honey, her sister (who would, incidentally, be the same age as my mother, if she were still alive today–when Reenee ended up in the nursing home, Honey had to go to a home and she died because she could not be with her sister anymore). Anyway, their kitchen table held their mail, immediate attention was on top of the tablecloth, those that she didn’t want to lose but may need attention, went beneath the tablecloth. They too had a reading light above the table, so Tommy could see. Tommy had huge thick eyeglasses. I think he had been a truck driver in his younger days. He retired, took off his pants, and never bothered again, sitting around in his boxers, day in and day out, sometimes at the table, sometimes in his chair, one of those that automatically lifted you up, he was a rather heavy individual. Anyway, Reenee’s table was a hub, that’s for sure! We drank tea, we drank coffee, Stella, her Greek friend (Reenee was Greek too, by the way) would bring baklava.
My table. My table I swore would always be ready for company. Tablecloth. For awhile it was wipeable plastic or vinyl, but later I upgraded myself to cloth. I do love cloth on a table, it gives it a clean, finished look.
But oh, that flat surface…it BEGS for the company of: mail. The daily mail. Bills. The bills that need paying, the bills that should be in the “IN” box on the desk. They all are on the kitchen (or dining) table. Waiting because they are a priority and need to be taken care of. The pad with the grocery list, accompanied by the store flyer, and a pen. The napkin basket, appropriately. But can you locate the salt shaker? Little pieces from some “thing” that the farmer is working on, a part needing to be replaced. I solved that issue with a little plastic basket, which has since been relocated away from the table, and the little pieces come back. I keep moving them.
We cleared the table this weekend, we removed the cloth tablecloth, we had company and we played cards! A large country breakfast of bacon, blueberry waffles and eggs was the attention of this surface while we all enjoyed company and the perfect breakfast. Later, me and the grandson played cards, getting ready for the after the picnic festivities with the farmer and the son. Getting up this morning, I see a bag of chips, a book of “interesting facts” from Aunt Esther, and a couple other things that will need to be cleared before breakfast.
So, I guess you could say that my kitchen table is not only for dining, but is the hub of activity around here! I can only hope that my new kitchen and my new table next door will be better acclimated to having a nice bowl of fruit as it’s centerpiece, instead of the daily mail. We will see.