Sunday, October 19, 2008

a tale of two tables

it was the best of times... it was the worst of times. the renovations are winding down...tempers are revving up. Beloved and i have reached the point where we both want things to be done...now. our snarling has settled around a kitchen table. literally.

among other things, i have brought two tables into my Beloved's life. there's a certain similarity between these two tables - both have sturdy legs, impervious tops. the first, which we eat off of every day, Beloved has coveted from the moment the nice men from jc penney carried it into my condo in farmington. it has a blue tile top and gold oak finish. i brought it with me when i moved into pond house from farmington, and Beloved has rejoiced in its presence in his life ever since. he even calls it my dowry.

the second table came from my grandmother's house at the shore. sturdy, with legs like two by fours, and a metal top strong enough to stand on, it bears, in layers like old paint, a good portion of my memories.

i learned to play pinochle at that table. my great-grandfather presided over sunday dinner predictably as the sun rose and set at that table. i learned of births and deaths and marriages at that table. at it, i ate all the favorite foods of my childhood. the touch of the slick surface, the aroma released by the old drawers conjures the ghosts of wards' cookies and clint's fried chicken chased by a cold coke in a green bottle at the back of my tongue.

in Beloved's eyes it is ugly, old and worn.

in mine, it is history given weight and substance and form.

someday, i would like to teach baby jake to play pinochle. someday, i would like to tell him of his great-great-great grandfather, who ran away from home in italy when he was only 13, and stowed away aboard a steamship bound for new york city. someday i would like him to know his roots are sturdy, and strong enough to carry him anywhere he wishes.

and furthermore, the war must end. blessed be.

6 comments:

Shades of Scorpio said...

I haven't even seen it. But I love that table.

Carol said...

i thoroughly understand your love of your grandmother's table. i, too, have a piece of furniture in my dining room that is my treasure. it is a hideous green, covered in yearsandyearsandyears of paint drops, patched here and there, mismatched hinges, etc. it was my father's work cabinet, the one he stored all of his refinishing tools in, the one i can still see him going in and out of, even tho he's been gone 5 1/2 years. no one understands it but me...not even my husband. it is like a warm cloak when i look at it...the memories are like a home-movie that plays in my head...it is cherished and it is love.

i so hope that there is some way you can have that table in your house, near you, where you can see it every day and hold those memories around you like a cloak whenever you need them. perhaps in your "office" where you can sit at it every day! oh, i hope so, for your sake. :)

Judy Vars said...

Is there is room enough for both tables?

Walk in the Woods said...

As it is, so shall it be.

Of this, sweet annie, I have no doubt.

:)

livewater said...

my beloved piece of furniture is my bedroom set that belonged to my grandmother. My daughter uses the bed as it is only full size and my dear hubby would not fit in it but the dressers are in our room and I smile each time I pass them as they bring fond memories of my grandma. I hope your Beloved comes to see that what you look at it far more than just a table but a part of you worth more than your dowry.

Spirit said...

What about using your Grandmothers tanle in your writing area or something? Having a piece like that you love might help the creative flow