Saturday evening after Shabbat, my wife and I picked out a new kitchen table and chairs. With the dizzying array available, I think we made a nice choice for our home and lifestyle. However, to bring in the new I had move out the old.
We purchased our old table when we first moved into our house 21 years ago. It wasn’t the best choice, but it was the best choice we could make at the time. If memory serves, it cost about $300 – not bad for a table, two chairs and two benches – and 21 years of service. The truth is, we never like it, or at least I never like it; but it did the job and survived all the years of life that happened around it.
Still, as I was disassembling the old table this morning (now carefully stored away), I couldn’t help but reflect on the life that was lived at this table: countless family meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks!), school lunches packed, decisions made, coffee/tea with friends, birthdays, Yom Tov (Holidays), school work (for homeschool and college/seminary, etc.), bills paid, crafts done…you get the point. All on our humble kitchen table.
The kitchen table hosts, in the most meaningful of ways, the life of the house.
While I never liked our old table, it did a marvelous final service today. It reminded me of years of family memories made gathered around it. The days of our lives lived, the history of the world we witnessed and discussed, and our growth as a family living a life that was, and is uniquely ours.
Strange how an object of utility can have its own story to tell when we stop and remember.