The timing on this is all wrong.
This month, we are getting new wood flooring installed in our dining room, new carpet in the other rooms, a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and finally, a new dining room table.
Actually, as I think about it, the timing is just right. What better time for this couple of empty-nesters (that is, my husband and I) to get a new look on this house? One that will not be marred by grubby hand prints on the walls, dirty, oh-so-dirty, bare feet on the carpet, and plastic swords and sticks banging against the trim. Yes, we are breathing a sigh of relief…we get our house back. And we actually get to keep it that way. Clean, pristine, fresh.
It’s the dining room table that has me fretting. We’ve actually purchased a new one, which really is just so beautiful. But our old Duncan Phyfe table, which we literally found on someone else’s front lawn while driving through St. Louis Park many years ago, has been with us for most of our married lives. And while I have wanted to replace it for years, I just haven’t gotten around to it. So now is the time.
It’s funny how a table keeps a record of our lives. I’m remembering us as excited new home owners just barely squeezing it into the front door. Then a few years later, moving it to another house, our present house.
Our children have sat at this table telling stories, arguing, laughing and crying, for nearly every dinner of their childhoods.
When we first started out, and for many years thereafter, our holiday dinners were small; just the four of us. But in the last few years, I have been proud and pleased to host a large group for holidays. A dozen people! This, at least by any measure of Minnesota family holidays, is a mere tiny gathering, but for me, it was huge. My parents were here, my sister and niece, another sister and nephew, and my friend Mike. We could barely squeeze around the table, but with all three table leaves inserted, and pulling up any chair we could find in the house, we did it. It was really one of the happiest times in my life. Now that would have been the time to get a new table.
Now the kids are gone, my parents are back in Wisconsin, my sisters and their children are busy with their own lives. So, John and I are the only ones dining, and it feels a little sad. It seems we will be sitting at this table like a scene from Masterpiece Theater. I at one end, he at the other. We’ll have to stand up to pass the salt and pepper. No wonder we sat at the kitchen table last night and watched the nightly news as we ate.
Tonight, Jessie and Nate, a young couple from St. Paul, are picking up the table. We sold it to them for a paltry sum. But we were so happy to find buyers! Seems that there are very few people out there who want a treasured Duncan Phyfe table. This newly married couple is so thrilled to get it. And I take comfort knowing that they will build their lives around this table.
I know, I know. This is a joyful time. Honestly, I am so happy to have the task of raising children in the rear-view mirror. I guess it’s just that getting rid of that table is a tangible proof of my younger days going out the door.
I will learn to build my new life around this new table. A life of treasured visits from my children and perhaps their children. It’s time to move on. And I have a gorgeous new table to prove it. Not to mention, new paint, new floors, and new carpet.
Really the timing is just right.