The Gift of the Table

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I have a “thing” for dining room tables. They pull me in when I walk past them at IKEA. They hold me in awe when I look at them in an Amish showroom. I drool when I watch Property Brothers and see a family getting a fourteen-foot dining room table made to seat their entire large, extended family.

So why the fixation?

Yes, I do admire the craftsmanship of a solidly-made piece of furniture.

But on a much deeper level, I love what happens around the dining room table: laughter, conversation, discussion of current events, a feisty game of Bannagrams®, dessert. . . .

In these days of empty nest, I don’t spend as much time at the dining room table as I have in years past. Most nights I make dinner for two, and often John and I just eat in the family room. (And, yes, sometimes we watch “Wheel of Fortune.”) But I keep the table covered with a tablecloth and set with candles as if to say, “At any moment, my dinner guests might arrive. I want to be ready.”

Last night we did have a dinner guest. By noon I had the table completely set and found that I kept sneaking into the dining room to take another look. Silly?! As I stood and gazed, I smiled in anticipation of our time together. Questions, answers, jokes (John’s department), and laughter. Connection.

Oh, the gift of a table.


Most of our dinner came from boxes, but it still smelled good, tasted good, and facilitated good conversation, living up to all I had anticipated.

santafechicken      cornbread

And now I anticipate another gathering around the table as our son and his girlfriend just told us they are coming for Thanksgiving. Yahoo! Can’t wait to set that table and become immeresed in conversation while passing the stuffing.

Oh, the gift of the table.

I recently discovered an organization that promotes family dinner. Love it! They have some great ideas, including recipes and conversation starters: http://thefamilydinnerproject.org

And next week I hope to have my dear friend and college roommate here on the blog. She is my go-to-gal for cooking questions and hospitality. Join me here next week for a taste of Linda’s wisdom in life and food. And discover one of her favorite quick and easy recipes.

Thanks for reading and thanks for joining me on this Storm Sister journey.


4 thoughts on “The Gift of the Table

  1. Sandra Aldrich

    Thank you for your comments–and photo–about the joy and the importance of the dining room table. That was an important part of my earlier family life as well. Not so much now, of course. So bring on the company! Hugs across the miles!

    1. afton Post author

      Challenging to find our way back to the table in the days of empty nest, isn’t it? Love your line: “Bring on the company.”

  2. Linda W

    Great post, Afton! Looking forward to Linda’s post.
    I also love a dining room table. I prefer gathering at the table to talk with people. When I was on retreat, my classmate kept wanting us to gather in the living room area on the couches. But the rest of us preferred to stay at the table to talk.

    In living rooms, the TV is usually on. Conversation takes place during commercials. And in some living rooms, you have to be careful not to spill anything. But a dining table, you don’t have that stipulation. You can drink a cup of coffee with a friend and talk over heart matters.

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