I’ve prized them in our home through life. Our first table, an iron, glass-topped, hexagon gem, was a garage-sale find that fit perfectly in our cozy townhome. Our French dining table and chairs were my heartthrob; in recent years, as I tried to sell them, they became a nonstarter. Paint them, every antique dealer advised, and you might have a hope of selling them. One of my favorites, a large round beauty with an interesting iron base and distressed dark oak top, went like a hotcake at an upscale consignment store. It was unstable. Perhaps its aesthetics will more than make up for the number of drinks spilled over it under its new owner’s enjoyment.
Another favorite, a long antique pine trestle table we found on consignment and restored, held court in the library of our last home for a season for many late and long dinners. Our dark, skinny, English oak table has had many starring roles…library table against a window, stage for intimate holiday times with friends and family in front of a fireplace in the family room, now working space. Best times are spent around a large, low cocktail table or patio table on the terrace.
My best memories sit at tables…transformed and resplendent for wedding showers, baby showers, going-away gatherings… spread with tea cups and cookies for small people and every shape and size of stuffed friend…favored for friends. I vividly remember the years J’s dad photographed crystal and china Christmas tables before we could seat family. My mother’s tables, in any season, hold you under their spell and in your places as stories are told over beautiful meals.
For me, the table has never been something to possess. I have loved rented tables, pure magic in their crisp, linen skirts with tall tapers at their center, and picnic tables. I am drawn to the tables of friends and family and our children. The invitation to come to the table to celebrate communion will never dull for me. The table is life.