If my dining room table could talk, I wonder if it would say:
"I'm not sure who I am anymore. Why do I exist? I've lost my identity...for the most part. I am lonely. You seem to prefer your living-room recliners to my company. You rarely join me like you once did. Once upon a time you use to bow your heads, join hands and pray over the bounty I held for you. You would share stories about your day, and I got to hear about your life.
I appreciate that you and your grandchildren still work jigsaw puzzles on my surface occasionally. It brings back memories. I love it when you place flowers in the center of my heart and let me hold them for you... to give you pleasure until they fade away. I love the vanilla scented candle you sit in its place when they're gone. When you light it, it brings warmth to the area. It casts a lovely glow over everything. However, you rarely come to me and share a cup of tea, or read your paper, or eat your breakfast with me. Do you even need me anymore?
Yes, I know I am the place of preference when you bring home the groceries. I don't mind helping you at all. I like to hold your veggies, and canned goods until you put them away. At least I have company for a little while. It's just that sometimes I feel used and abused rather than appreciated. Sometimes all the papers, the keys, the stuff you toss haphazardly onto my face without once thinking about how messy that makes me feel, is more than I can bear. How would you feel if someone tossed their change in your face, and dropped pens and junkmail on your head and left it for days?
I cannot begin to express the elation I had this past weekend when you and your granddaughters sat around me and constructed that 3D model of a Coal-fired Power Plant for Abby's school project. It was a joy to listen to you share how to make a turbine out of a tomato-paste can and aluminum foil. It was so funny to watch the girls wad up wet, black construction paper to make chunks of coal to slide down the conveyor belt into the make-shift furnace. I did not mind getting wet at all. The paint you used to paint that sky was so pretty... and so easy to wipe off, don't you think? It was like old times. You and the girls creating. Me, assisting. Am I ungrateful to want more times like these?"
If a table could talk, I wonder if it would sound like this. These thoughts ran through my mind this past weekend as I realized how little we sit at our kitchen table anymore. Nothing excites my granddaughters more than sitting and having a tea-party. Yet, I can't remember the last time we did that. Is life that busy? Has life become so centered around the news of the day, the football game, the Nascar race, that sitting at the table for a leisure dinner is loosing its appeal? As Thanksgiving is upon us, I tend to muse such things.
I'm so grateful America celebrates Thanksgiving. I plan to make something on my table every day this week. Pumpkin cookies. A tomato soup cake. Wow, it's been a long time since I made one of those. I think the girls and I will sit and make some turkeys out of pine cones. And place cards. They love to tell everyone where to sit at Sunday dinner, so I think that will be fun for them. Maybe we'll make some napkin rings from toilet paper tubes. Perhaps we'll make a Thanksgiving bouquet where everyone can write down what they are most thankful for this year. I have so much, I'm not sure where to begin. How about you?