From Pipi’s Pasture: The dining room table
Three Saturdays ago we moved cattle home from summer pasture. It was about 1 p.m. when we unloaded the first two trailers at Pipi’s Pasture so we decided to stop for lunch.
There were eight of us in all so we hunted up extra chairs and added them to the others around the dining room table. We set out salads and fixings for sandwiches. Everybody sat down, and we passed plates and silverware around the table. Even before we started to make sandwiches, the conversation had begun.
My husband Lyle has always maintained that when we sit around the table at mealtime, we not only nurture our bodies but our souls as well. Eating meals at the dining room table has always been a big deal with our family, just as it was on the Saturday that we moved cattle.
Some of our family and friend helpers were from out of town — our grandson Kenny (Prather) had flown in from Alaska — so there was a lot of catch up about what had been going on at home. Of course there was a lot more — I don’t even remember it all — like politics and catching up on stories about our great-grandchildren and jobs and weather… to name a few. Everybody got a chance to talk. Mostly there was a lot of joking and laughter, and everyone left lunch with a warm feeling. Eating around the dining room table is a positive experience, indeed.
Over the years the dining room table has always been an important place for our family. We have always eaten together, even if the little kids were in high chairs. When we had big family meals, it was likely that several high chairs were set up at the table. Everyone enjoyed the meal and lively conversation, and adults lingered at the table over coffee. Little kids got tired and were excused, but even after they got down, they often crawled under the table where they could hear adults talk.
During mealtime conversation, everyone shared what they had done during the day, what they were going to do tomorrow, vacation plans, historical stories about family, current events, and other positive talk — no negatives. Kids learned to communicate; they learned important things.
Besides mealtime, the dining room table has been used for other get together activities such as doing homework or craft projects, carrying out science experiments, playing board games, wrapping Christmas gifts, and decorating cookies.
During sleepovers, our grandchildren even piled blankets under the dining room table and slept there for the night, like sleeping in a tent.
Sometimes friends and family drop in for a quick visit, and the dining room table is where we enjoy coffee and conversation. It’s also where I’m writing this week’s column. The dining room table is a nurturing place for people of all ages.