Sunday, May 1, 2022

The True Meaning of a Kitchen Table


The True Meaning of the Kitchen Table

I'm having a moment.

We're in the process of giving our kitchen a facelift, and our dining room table, which has sometimes doubled as our kitchen table for thirty-six years, may need to be sold.

What's the Big Deal About Selling a Table Anyway?

Thirty years ago or so, I read an eloquently and emotionally written article in Reader's Digest about a family's kitchen table; thinking about it today brings tears to my eyes. I tried to find it for you so I could link to it here, but I have yet to find it.

The author talked about her family's life around her table: gatherings, birthdays, celebrations, games, and tears. I've always remembered that article. Having such a big family, I  easily relate to the memories created around the family table.

She said she didn't want to sell her memory-filled table to anyone. She wanted it to go to a family growing with it and filling it with their memories.

Why Thinking About Selling this Table Has Me in Tears

I'm a wuss. It's official.

My husband and I purchased this table in 1986. We needed a large table for our large family. I have three step-kids (all grown up now) and, at that time, one son of our own. Today, we have four sons, and we've since added six grandchildren. 

We have had almost every birthday for all the kids around this table. We've celebrated baptisms, Christmas, Thanksgiving, weddings, and every other major event families celebrate.

Family memory
A memory from 1987 at this very table
with my Dad, our oldest boy as a baby, making us laugh,
and my youngest brother

Our kids have gone from little to big; we've added spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends to the family mix. In-depth conversations, teasing, and great food have been shared for decades.

I recently sat with my oldest boy, sharing tears at this table about mom's (his grandmother's) passing. Mom and Dad shared many dinners with all of us at this table. Dad passed away in 2013; missing him is now a part of my soul.

This Table Has Lived

It's not just a table; it represents our life.

I'm still determining if I'll sell it.

In fact, after typing this, I think if we can't incorporate it into the new design, I'll keep it in case there's a move to a new home in the future. 

It's solid oak. In my book, it's priceless. 

It's not priceless because it's solid oak but rather because the characteristics of an oak tree represent our family traits: longevity, strength, stability, and endurance. 

Hey, our family isn't perfect; we've had our share of struggles, but as the mom, I see many faces passing through time whenever I glance at the empty seats gathered around.

Here's our table, our life:

A Kitchen Table Filled with Memories

Do you have a table where your family has gathered for generations? 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Oh Barbara, I hear you loud and clear! We have the same problem here. While speaking with our own children about "life changes that will be happening", my youngest piped up that if we ever want to get rid of our dining room table, he wants it! I just was happy that he recognized all the different things that have happened around that table and loves all those memories. It really is a piece of family history and can be seen at many celebrations over the years. I'm a wuss too!

  2. I have to agree with Olivia. Your review resonates in my own heart & mind. I can easily see family members seated around our dining room table when I glance in the room. Of all the pieces of furniture in my home, I think it would probably be the hardest for me to sell. Definitely a piece of family history!

  3. Sounds like you have a wonderful family!

  4. Barbara, what a beautiful table, made even more beautiful by the precious memories it holds and represents! My husband and I inherited my late parents’ house and some of their furniture, and even though some of it is stored in the basement, I can’t bear to part with most of it. We moved in with my parents for the last decade or s of their lives, so every piece (and every room) holds precious memories. I’m glad you will be holding onto your kitchen table, for now, at least. If it’s time to let it go in the future, you’ll know. 💗

  5. It is so easy to relate to this Barbara. Those memories stay with us forever, Fran just mentioned that we need to get a new kitchen table, but we keep putting it off. I have the kitchen table from my parents house. It is a solid maple drop leaf table that I will never part with. I had it restored and we keep it in our basement for our grandchildren to do crafts on.

  6. I would never sell that table and chairs anyway. So beautiful! But the memories make it even more special.

  7. I can relate to your memories of a family table, Barbara. Mine, I believe, would have to be my grandmother's dining room table. It was part of my childhood and adulthood all my life. When she was gone, the table became part of my sister's household and we STILL had large family dinners around it on many occasions for years afterward. Such a continuing set of memories. Lovely.


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