My grandmother's kitchen. A town called Cherryville.
In memory, that room is filled with yellows and creams: the floor linoleum, the cabinets, the wind-chime slowly turning at the window. These bright colors didn't create a room of light. The kitchen window, looking out onto a covered patio, was shielded from the sun's glare. What rays filtered in were diluted, creating a dim glow. Perhaps that glow is just the veneer of memory, which is faulty at its best. When you're little, you never remember the "important" details--what size the room really was, what type of cabinets she had, what type of flooring was laid, or what color the walls were--instead, strange things root in your mind, lingering forever: a certain fridge magnet, the color of the china you were't allowed to touch, the honey-pot on the windowsill.
So, it may be the glow of memory, creating a mood that was not. But I know its right to say that the room held the glow of warmth, smiles, hugs, and honey.
Little girl mornings found me--loose PJ's and crooked ponytail--crawling onto a kitchen chair, asking for breakfast:
Glass of milk, cold and creamy.
Crispy toast, amber-brown at its edges and spread with a thin layer of blackberry jam. The seeds would click against my teeth as I ate, my belly warm with bread and love.
My grandmother--we all called her our Mawmaw, a word which suits her better--would usually pause and sit across from me, offering a smile. Somehow, even in the kitchen as she cooked, her hands smelled clean and soft with the thick, flower-scent of lotion. A crumpled tissue always in her hand or in her pocket. Not dirty, rather a new one, tightly clutched, somehow always there. She'd leave it behind on the table when she stood., never pausing for too long. She'd bustle in the laundry or amble down the narrow hall, distracted by some other task needed doing.
I ate small bites quickly, rising on tiptoe to place the tiny plate back on the counter. All that was left would be bread-crust and crumbs. I had eaten all the goodness at the heart.
|Mawmaw and I in the kitchen|
I think there's something blessed about family memories. Something that renders them tender and good, from the low, little-girl perspective. At least for me.
That table surely has soaked up years of memories. It's borne the weight, ideas, and decisions of us all.
What better thing to have at the center of our new home?
|The table waiting to be cleaned--hence the random rag.|
|The chairs before re-painting.|
melted right away. (Yes, I know that "into" is a dangling preposition...I don't want to fix it right now. Guilty English-major conscience....)
My sister Heidi saved the day when she found this geometric flower print. It had every color I wanted: reds, oranges, turquoise, purple, even the brown of the wood. Dad helped me cover the cushions, poor thing! My hand wasn't strong enough to use the nailer! Ha! The misfortune of being petite and having small hands.
Here's the finished product:
Once the chairs were done, I could assemble all the parts.
The table doesn't look quite like it did in Mawmaw's kitchen, but it holds the same sweet memories and good energies.
I can't wait to put it in our new condo (which I still need to upload pictures of!! <--egad! another dangling prep!!) and have our probably burnt, newly-wed meals around it. Haha!
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed the little story of the table.