Do you value time spent around the dining table with your family? I wonder whether during the corona virus pandemic if, as well as a return to home cooking, that families have also been spending more time enjoying each others company around the dining table again, rather than a quick tv dinner. I hope so, and that brings me to my thoughts on my ‘dining table’.
When I was a young married mum with 4 little ones creating chaos around me, I can remember telling my husband how much I wanted a particular Item, and how I was sure it would make me happy. I expect I told him rather often! We didnt have a lot of money or material things, and our lives were not built around possessions, but I had a real desire for this piece of furniture and eventually we managed to get it.
The 5ft Pine Farmhouse table and chairs sat proudly in our dining area. Did it make me happy? well once the novelty had worn off I expect there were other wants and desires as is so often the case when we are younger, but the strange thing is that even now 30 years or so later I cant bare to part with it. It has become an item that holds a special place not just in my heart, but in the hearts of my children too. I often think that if I did have to part with it that I would remove the thick pine top, cut it into equal pieces, shape them into hearts, and give one to each member of my family, whilst keeping one for myself. You see its not the table that holds so much value (although I still like the look of it and will keep it going for as long as I can) but its the memories created around the table that make it so irreplaceable.
Family meal times for us were always around that table. It provided a strong solid place to eat our meals and connect with each other. A place where family came together at the beginning and end of each day. It provided a routine, a place where bonds were made, and relationships were strengthened. It gave us a sense of belonging as we came together to eat and share the experiences of, or worries of the day ahead.
Im quite sure that many disagreements were also had around that table, and there are maybe some not so good memories, some shared and some held alone, of family meal times that left a bit of a bad aftertaste, but even through difficulties (too many to mention) divorce and loss, we still had to eat, and that Pine Farmhouse table provided that place for us all to come together even through the most painful of years.
That table wasn’t just a place where mum placed the meals (some good, some not so good!) but it has been a place where four young minds were able to create and play. Salt dough, Playdough, painting, colouring, arts and crafts of all shapes and sizes, so many creative projects were born on that table. Games were played, lego was constructed and as the years went by homework was done and essays were written.
It was a place where milk could be spilt and tears could be shed with no worry of harm to the table. It just took it all and although after 30 years of taking such a battering it might look a little less perfect than the day we brought it home, to me it looks all the more beautiful for all the stories that it holds.
One of my favourite times was the coming together of family to wrap presents for Christmas as in the picture above. “Mum have you got some tape? Oh and do you have any wrapping paper?” I could generally find both and loved these moments when they all began to think of each other and the table was at the centre.
I miss those times now that they are all grown up enough to have their own homes and tables, and of course their own wrapping paper, but thats why I so love my table and why it now makes me so very happy. When I look at it it just seems to say “I lived through it all with you and each memory is ingrained in me just as it is in you, we did it together”. Its the memories held deep within the pine that make me smile.
I think for now the table will stay, it may need a face lift with maybe a new colour on the legs and some Danish oil or wax for the top and maybe I will paint the chairs too,, but you see if I had to part with that table it would feel like I was parting with my heart….
Love Alison x
‘pine is a strong, shock-resistant material suitable for furniture, particularly if you like the rustic or country styles. Over time, pine gains a patina that gives it an antique-like quality, which is an appealing look to some people. The dents and dings that are bound to show up in the wood just add to that aged look’.