Around the Kitchen Table

I was cleaning the kitchen for the third time this evening when I wondered how much of my life have I spent in a kitchen? Cooking, cleaning, organizing, baking, remodeling . . .you name it! My mom and grandma started teaching me how to cook when I was little. Beyond that, though, so many of my memories are around the kitchen table. It was so much more than food, though admittedly, being from an Italian/Bohemian family there was a lot of food as well!

Grandma and Grandpa would come over a lot and they would sit at the kitchen table, the tiny TV on the counter giving the latest news or tuned to "Jeopardy" or "Opry" as Gramps called Oprah. Rain or shine, any season, there they'd be smoke curling up in the air and dust motes dancing in the sunlight. My brother bouncing a quarter off Gram's beehive and Grandpa and his crazy jokes, calling me "Princess."

Then there was the summer kitchen in my great grandmother's basement--three generations around two tables, the older they were the louder they were. Great Aunt Antoinette getting my Aunt Rose and I mixed up, Uncle Angelo pouring the coffee, Aunt Franny passing out the biscotti. Great Grandma forgetting to speak English and demanding that we eat some more--"What? You no like my food? You're too skinny. Eat!" one heavily ringed hand waving to emphasize her words.

Next we have seven cousins, sandy footprints and wet swimsuit bottoms marking the kitchen chairs, playing crazy8's at the summer house. The scent of the July wind blew over the water; a sunset stained the lake beyond the big picture window, Dad's lowering the flag for the night and the sandcastles we'd built that day at the water edge slowly tumbled back into the waves.

There are other memories, nights of homework--tears and triumphs--Mom despairing that I'd ever learn how to balance a chemical equation. Flocks of lamb cakes at Easter, hundreds of dozens of Christmas cookies, taffy apple cookies and hoot owl cookies. I can't count the numbers of pizza gain Gram and I rolled and filled for Easter, or the pounds of lasagna and thousands of meatballs. Like I said, there was food. However, the memories that speak most to me are the other memories--the ones that have nothing to do with food. I think more decisions are made around the average kitchen table than in the board rooms of corporate America.

Just some food for thought . . .

Comments

  1. Oh my gosh this made me tear up! So many memories you are right, and almost every single one of them your wrote about I can picture clear as day! Definitely food for thought, and my heart!

    -Andrea

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  2. Oh, this was perfect! My favourite memories are around our kitchen table! Such sweet, good times! Thank you for this lovely post!
    By the way, I received your book and your lovely surprise gift in the mail, finally! I'm really enjoying Ribbons of Moonlight. The highwayman is my favourite, favourite poem! Sigh. And you have brought it to life. I LOVE a good time travel story!

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