I can’t tell you how old this table is, or even where it came from. But it resembles much of the other Dutch furniture that filled their house, hard heavy wood, with leather cushions and details, crafted for comfort during long hours of honest and pleasant conversation.
When the time came for their furniture to be passed on, it was my Dad who most longed for his mother and father in-laws’ table. It didn’t fit with the decoration and design of the rest of our house, but when placed within the middle of our dining room, we each slid and molded into the chairs, as we once did every Sunday morning after church. We recalled those mornings of warm coffee and packet biscuits, or nights of mixing all our vegetables through mashed potato, the way Opa did. And late night card games, and lessons of naughty Dutch words that Mum would never teach us.
Now in my parents’ house, we write new stories at that table. On Sunday afternoon, Dave and I joined Mum and Dad, and I slid into a heavy wooden and leather chair, the same way I always have, hearing the sounds of the leather, as a warm back cushions in, its then that I know I’m home. We ate Mum’s ginger cake with espresso coffee and condensed milk on ice. We spoke about our weekends, our latest ideas, and our recent successes in the kitchen. Coming home is one of my favourite things in the whole word.
Before we left on Monday morning, we sat at the table again, with warm tea to awaken us for the new day, and cool marmalade of freshly made bread. Life truly is sweetest when shared with those you love.