dee_burris: (Default)
2013-12-25 09:25 am

Celebrating holy days

Well wishes for the season come to the cottage this morning.

Although the majority of my ancestors through six or seven generations have been Christian, I am not. During this month, the followers of many faith traditions have at least one major holy day, others more than one. My personal celebration is on the winter solstice.

No matter what your faith, I hope your holy day celebration this month finds you warm and safe, surrounded by the joy and laughter of the people you love.
I leave you with a photo of Grandma's table, where this morning I am mindful of my many blessings.

 photo Grandmastable122513.jpg


I don't know what kind of action it saw in her home, but here at the cottage for the past nine years, Grandma's table has hosted countless meals, served a gazillion cups of coffee (and not a few beers), and been a place where the people I love can kick back and feel free to laugh, cry and let their hair down.

This 64 year old table bears the scars of well loved use. I suspect it has borne witness to many secrets.

All my cats have used it for a regal perch. I manage my finances at the table, journal random musings and tarot readings in a succession of leather bound volumes, wrap gifts, complete handcrafted creations, and contemplate this journey called life.

The journey is good.

Joy to you on your holy day.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-12-04 07:30 pm

Sentimental Sunday: Grandma's Table

When my mother died a few years ago, I inherited a multiple leaf dining table from her. It had been my grandma's table and had been in her dining room as long as I could remember.

Grandma and I had a shared love of plants and gardening. When she died, my mother, my sisters and I, and our cousins gathered at her house to divide up the things that had not already been promised to a specific person. I asked for, and was gladly given, her gardening hand tools. Everyone else looked at me like I had lost what was left of my mind - after all, there were Oriental rugs, solid silver flatware, gold rimmed china, and solid wood pieces of furniture, ornately carved, still up for grabs. Why would I pick a bunch of hand trowels, shears and those weird looking wire hands when I could choose my share of that other stuff? (The wire hands are just neater than snuff - they have a crook at the end of each of them for hanging on your clothesline after you've stretched your wet gloves to dry over their wire fingers.)

My mother took the table, and for several years afterward, she dropped both end leaves, stored the two center leaves, and used the table as a sort of telephone desk in a corner of her dining room. She already had a large table with matching chairs in there.

And now I have the table. In Grandma's house, I remember it always being covered with a tablecloth, and candlebra in the middle of it. Around here, that would last as long as it took for me to leave the room. Four cats would make hash of that. So at my house, the table sits nude in the kitchen, with the end leaves dropped and the center leaves in.

At Grandma's house, you knew you had "arrived," and had stepped over the threshold from child to young adult when you were allowed to eat your meal at the table in the dining room, instead of the kids' table in the kitchen.

I was talking the other night with a woman who knew my mother and was friends with her since they both had been in their early teens. I asked her if she remembered the table. She did.

She said one of the first times she recalled eating at the table was at my mother's 14th birthday dinner in 1951. She was pretty sure Grandma had gotten the table for her brand new dining room in her brand new home in 1949.

Over the years, it has acquired some scars. Some are deeper than others, and I can feel them through the soft cloth I use to apply lemon oil to it every couple of weeks. Grandma probably would wince slightly at some of them, but I think overall, she knew that the journey through life brings with it the scars of experience.

Here in my own kitchen, I sit at the table and contemplate the journey as I suspect my grandmother also did on occasion. There is a feeling of groundedness in that old wood that provides a sense of connection, not only with Grandma, but with an ancient life force and spirit that imparts wisdom along the way.