The Joy Of A Dining Table

When Gramps and I were searching for a home to purchase about nine years ago, I was determined to have a home with a dining room. A house without a designated place for a family to sit down for a meal just would not do for me.

So, of course, we have a separate dining area. We may not use it every day and we may not always use it for dining, but when the occasion calls for it, we have the room. And it gets used!

The thing I love most about my dining room is the table. It can seat anywhere from six to twelve people comfortably in upholstered chairs. It can look formal or informal, as the event demands. It can handle a large centerpiece with candles on a colorful cloth or stand stark naked with its glorious buffed glow.

Most of my memories of being in my dining room are of me sitting at one end of the table while being surrounded by people I know and love. Whether the occasion was a big holiday event or a small family gathering, there was always that moment when I sat back, listened quietly and became aware of my surroundings. I call it “listening to the room”. It’s a magical moment, filled with joy, gratitude, contentment and love.

There’s nothing better in the entire world than a special occasion (Whatever it is! Even if it’s just a special Thursday evening!) with special people in a special environment (Like a big table in a dining room) after some special effort to make it . . . . well, special.

And there’s nothing more satisfying than looking around at a full table of smiling and laughing faces enjoying your special day. It’s one of the great joys of my life!

You just can’t get the same feeling with people eating while standing or seated at TV trays or in their laps. The warmth and togetherness is lost somewhere. Truly, how does one hold hands for a prayer or share little bites of food with a neighbor or pass the salt while standing? And the wonderful conversations across the table just don’t happen with food in your lap.

Everyone needs a table with room for everyone to sit. The table is the hub of all the action. It is where the relationships take place while dining. It is the center of the magical hurricane where memories are made. It’s just that simple and just that complex. And it doesn’t have to be expensive or grand either.

George and Martha Washington entertained dignitaries and commoners alike their entire married life on a table made from a board held up with sawhorses. I wonder how often Martha had joyful moments “listening to the room” at her full table.

Who could say “no” to something that brings such unity, joy and contentment into their home?

Not me! I definitely say YES!!!!!