Every time a new piece of furniture comes in the store I quickly take inventory of my own home and wonder if I might find a place for it there instead of putting it for sale in the store. This especially happens with dining tables. I've been thinking through a new table for some time now.
Our current one has been with us since 1989 and I still remember how excited I was to get it. Finally, a place for our whole family to gather together. Oak was the trend then and it is a sturdy oval solid oak with two extensions. Now days you can't give such a piece away. It's not a lovely antique and tables like ours are no longer on the cutting edge of trendy. I see others I really love and have come close to buying until I think through what I will do with the old one. It's just furniture after-all and a quick fix would be to donate it to a good cause. So much of our life has transpired here though and I wonder if I can just cold-heartedly chuck out the old just to bring in something new.
After 29 years I'm struck with a heavy case of sentimentality as I wonder of the tales this table could tell. There was that early, loud-ish rant of Brent's when our Old English Sheepdog puppy was teething on the brand-new table leg. Something about 'the blankety blank table wasn't even paid for yet and here's this blankety blank dog wrecking it!' I tried weakly to convince him that one day those teeth marks would be 'memories.' He was not consoled.
We frosted Christmas cookies, dyed Easter eggs and dumped heaps of fire-works out to examine more closely, on this table. We blew out birthday candles and shared holiday meals with friends and family at this table. On those rare occasions when we were alone, Brent and I talked about our dreams for our family here. I have met with Bible study groups and prayed with and for the people in my life here. Tears of sorrow, anguish, and joy have collected right here at this table. As the decades flew by and kids grew up we met our future sons and daughter-in-law here. Wedding invitations were addressed on this table-top and forts were built for grandkids beneath it. I have sat across this table facing three engaged couples in the weeks before each couple's wedding, planning ceremonies I was so honored to officiate.
Twenty-nine years ago, I had no idea how significant this piece of furniture would be to me, to our whole family. Can it be replaced with something new? The Queen of Justify says of course it can! Those memories could have happened around a fold-up camp table. It isn't the table that gave those times significance but just the opposite. There will be a new table in our future and the memories will continue to rack up. I don't know what it will look like yet, but I know just where I will find it.