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Metal, Formica, Oak ...

Life perspective forms around kitchen table
Lead Summary
Mavis Fodness, reporter

While removing the leaf from the kitchen table one day, my thoughts landed on how a simple piece of furniture reflects the changes in our empty nest household.
In our 30-plus years of marriage, Bryan and I always had a kitchen table and a dining table in each of the half dozen or so homes we’ve lived in during our time together.
The duo tables are the result of an auctioneer husband who couldn’t resist a bargain, thus always having a kitchen table set the tone for us to gather as a family at least once a day.
Through the years the kitchen table reflected the furniture styles of the decade.
Our first kitchen table was metal and featured a Formica top with matching straight-backed chairs with plastic seats. That kitchen table was replaced with an oval laminate–topped table with wheeled chairs that also swiveled and rocked.
As our family grew, so did the table with up to two leaves added to accommodate the six of us. The swivel chairs proved to be comfortable, and all six were replaced from the original fake leather to cloth.
Our latest kitchen table arrived a few years ago, a round oak dining table with matching wooden chairs with cloth cushions.
The chairs easily travel from the kitchen to the dining room and back again when the adult children and their families visit. Along with the chairs the table leaves come out of their storage areas.
After one of those visits and while removing the table leaves, I thought about all that we learned through the years during the daily connections around the kitchen table.
We talked about our day.
We enjoyed a hot meal together.
We reconnected with one another.
In a way, the coronavirus pandemic has brought us back to our kitchen tables, and I think more of us need to pull a chair up and empty our minds from polarizing events currently taking place in our world.
Sitting down at the table relaxes our bodies, and the meal – even if we are eating alone – brings with it a deep sigh of contentment that we need as we wrestle with the new life that COVID-19 has forced on us.
I believe sitting down at the table changes perspectives and increases our ability to see and understand each other and reflect more objectively on current events.
Pulling a chair up to more than one kitchen table brings diverse perspectives and forces us to listen because we are all at the same table.
The different kitchen tables in my life revealed different viewpoints: as a newly married couple, as a couple with a growing family, and now one of just the two of us. Years from now, because of life progressions, I will more than likely be sitting at the table alone in my later years.
Life is moving by us at a fast pace.
Are we really living if we constantly push ourselves away from the table, stand too proud and too defiant against the changes in our world?
Or is it better to sit down at a kitchen table, relax and let others’ perspectives enter our minds?
I opt for the latter, and the outcome has been rewarding.

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