circa OCTOBER 28, 2017
ITs just an ordinary table. It’s oak, its solid, and it holds more memories, more words, more pictures that a human brain or even a computer could recall if it needed to.
There are some pretty special people who have gone on to Heaven now, but they once sat at our table. They once took part in some beautiful conversations. Secrets of the heart were shared , along with countless cups of coffee. It was a teachers table as the children were learning the combination of school lessons as well as life lessons. We as a family had hundreds of conversations around it. We made decisions about our farm, about our crops, about our finances, about our children. We talked and planned and talked some more about the future.
Most every Sunday now, our children, and their spouses and all their children, my mom, and father in law, and one who may have spent the night with one of the grandchildren, all come to our home for breakfast. The meal normally consists of southern made biscuit that fill at least four large cast iron skillets, and we fry up about 3 or 4 pounds of whole hog sausage , 3 dozen eggs and multiple kinds of jams and jellies adorn the table. There is usually 24 for breakfast, and that equals all of chaos, a lot of laughter and a whole lot of love.
About the time that the breakfast debris is cleaned up , dishes are washed and put away, then its time to begin thinking about lunch. We figure out an impromptu menu that will be enough to feed the hungry masses, (depending on the days work project) and then we start the cooking process all over again. When lunch is cleared away and dishes done, SOMETIMES…..we will begin trying to figure out what’s for supper .
Through the winter months on Sundays , the men folk gather together to cut, split and stack firewood for the outdoor burner we use to keep this farmhouse warm. The women work on meals and keeping all the children in check. Winters are hard on the kids, not to much outside play and no matter how large the rooms are they never seem large enough when there are 12 grandchildren racing about. If the older kids want to play a board game, the smaller kids steal cards, and checkers and they tend to be a bit of an interference. When the weather permits, they all go out side and build snowmen, snow forts, pull each other around on sleds, or my personal favorite is watching them TRY to ride a bike through the snow. Hilarious to watch, whether I am standing outside or watching from the inside of the kitchen windows. (that are ALWAYS covered in little patty finger prints. )
Once Spring arrives, the farmstead is alive with activity. Each grandchild has a bike here and there are bikes flying up and down the driveway , around the barns, between the other out buildings and any people who may be in their way. We all play baseball, or football, or , badminton, or soccer all of which gets better every year as the children are getting older and understanding the games themselves better. I get way too excited. I hoop and holler and cheer the little one as they are learning to run bases, sometimes I run beside them and cheer them on or pick them up and carry them to the next base. It can be exhausting fun.
In the Spring, there are usually baby sheep, a few calves, some baby pigs, baby chickens, lots of stuff to keep a child occupied and keep them grounded in family values and good wholesome country living.
I am just getting into the fields, to till the ground and plant the crops, but come fall it is generally what I refer to as FHC time. Family Harvesting Crew. Our girls, their hubbies, our son and his wife and all 12 grandchildren are here working in full swing to help with repairs and cleaning out the crib from last years corn crop, so we can pick the corn and get the crib re filled. I pick ear corn, so i pick a wagon, un hook, they take the full wagon and pull it up to elevator, and unload it while i am out filling another wagon. The children ride in the wagons while i pick, and lately (circa 2020) i have shown the children how to drive the combines that i open the fields with, and then i allow them to pick some of the ear corn now and then. Never without me beside them. Too dangerous.
At the end of the days, we all gather around that table again. We laugh about the machinery break downs, about our old way of farming, we talk about jobs, careers, schools, the cost of living, or hopes and dreams for the future. If our table could talk, what a tale it could tell.
Somewhat similar to the front door of our home. Built in 1880. The old door was almost beyond repair, so I replaced the door, but saved the glass . I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, to preserve it and protect for the rest of the homes life. We encased it in oak, turned it sideways and then purchased two smaller pieces of frosted glass to decorate each side of it. Then we built it into the doorway between the kitchen and the front entryway. Its beautiful, its decorative but i walk past it and think….man if it could only talk. Imagine all the winters, all the springs and summers, all the LIFE it has seen as it passed by. It was witness to the horses as the only mode of transportation, then the introduction of the Ford model T’s and on and on. The world has change so much in 141 years. OH IF THAT PIECE OF GLASS COULD TALK. I wish it could whisper into my ear.
I love this farm, I love the dirt, and I think it is important that we all learn how to work and play and eat together and that we learn to do it all well. That we turn the other cheek, that we give forgiveness quickly, that we tolerate others being different from ourselves, and most especially I feel that if we learn how to handle the small things, small problems in life, perhaps the bigger ones won’t seem so big. This is GOOD STUFF in life.
I RECENTLY READ A LITTLE POSTING THAT WENT LIKE THIS……
Make sure you are sitting at a table where you are heard, valued and loved.
It doesnt matter who else is seated there, no exceptions or conditions.
And if they don’t make you feel that way?…SWEET FRIEND–IT AINT YOUR TABLE
Stand tall, give em grace’ and walk away
Because at the RIGHT TABLE, eyes will light up for you, At the RIGHT TABLE a chair will appear.
At the RIGHT TABLE, you will be wanted, and you’ll finally know you are LOVED.