Head of the table: Kristin’s oldest (about 9 years) now 17 ~ we just celebrated 16 years last year. Kristin’s 2nd son and my oldest daughter about 5 years, a plate for Kristin’s baby girl (seen with the pigtail below at about 18 months), on the left my 3rd born (about 2 year here), next to him Kristin’s 3rd born (about 3 years) and then my oldest at about 9 years. (Missing our two children born after we moved apart.)
This is the TABLE. The table from where the heart of this blog began. These are our peeps. This picture was taken about 10 years ago back when both of our families lived in Maryland. This picture brings back the fondness of memories. It’s our kids. At OUR TABLE.
Well, I say OUR table. It was really Kristin’s table. There were actually two of them. They were old doors that Kristin found in the attic of the centuries-old historic building that was home to their coffee shop, Jahva House in historic Ellicott City, MD. There were two. One served as the table all the time and the other alternated between desk and dining table depending on the size of the group they were serving. We moved those tables into all sorts of arrangements, side by side, end to end or T-shaped depending on the mood we were after. (You can watch a vlog that shares a little more of that part of the story at this link.)
We were in love with those tables. They were beautiful to us. They represented a style we believed in. Unique. Original. Special. Relaxed. With the right tablescaping ~ Elegant. They were inviting. Our children were fed a million cubed meals at the table. Adults talked into the evening hours by candlelight, sipping wine after a fine gourmet meal dreaming, around those tables. Mothers busy with toddlers drank mugs of cappuccinos avoiding laundry and waiting for nap time to come. They talked about things they wanted to do like art, travel and explore. They were us. Timed ticked slowly then.
It’s hard right now at 10:36pm and a decade later to really wrap my brain around what I want to say about that TABLE. What I know is that more laughter than tears was shared at that table. That table accommodated us, our families, our friends and the sudden unexpected guest invited to pull up a chair. Someone was always welcomed. Last conversations and last meals mingled until we knew that TABLE would be packed up for moving.
When our families are all together, the men create the FEAST. Oh you didn’t know that? That’s our LoveFeast secret. The men really are in the kitchen the most around here. Devon, Kristin’s husband is a talented and seasoned chef. And, my husband Todd loves to be his Sous-Chef or as we like to kid, Norwegian Lackey, depending on what the mood is. Kristin and I set the table, light the candles and pour the wine. We all have a rhythm. We fell into our roles who knows when, we didn’t have to say who does what or who helps where. We just create. And, this TABLE is where we all learned to stop ~ and savor ~ a beautiful life.
Don’t let the picture fool you. I’m sure the food was tasty even if it’s was being spewed out at that moment. See all the bite sized chunks? We were big into cubing in those days.
Time has made some changes. In the summer of 2003, we all moved. My husband Todd and I moved back to Minnesota where we grew up. Kristin and Devon sold their coffee shop and took their brood around the globe. Most of their belongings they sold or gave away. But some treasures like family Christmas ornaments and the TABLES were put in storage. They came back and settled again after a year. When they went to retrieve those items that had been moved once while they were away, something was missing. The tables were nowhere to be found. I remember imploring to Kristin on the phone, go back and look again, don’t give up. No, they aren’t there she’d reply. Well just call again, I encouraged. You see, I didn’t want to let go. Someone else hadn’t realized that the old, chipped, doors….were special. Maybe they thought they were cast-offs, ordinary pieces of wood. They didn’t know the story. They didn’t know about the conversations. The feasts. The people. The TABLE. They didn’t know that that was our LOVE FEAST TABLE.
I’ll admit for Kristin and I, we didn’t get over it easily. Even years later those tables, crept into our conversation. We’d wonder, we’d get sad. We try to remind ourselves that the they were just a thing.
(OK ~ it’s 10:59 now, and for the sake of some distraction from the sweet tears of memories that roll down my cheeks, I’d just like to interject that we did eat at our house to sometimes! And we had a table too, but for years it was painted a hue, called Purple Marlin. And, well, there you have it. What table would you rather refer to as the LOVEFEAST TABLE?)
Back to the story ~ it turns out we’ve enjoyed many a LoveFeast Table moment, long after the years those door tables were lost. A LoveFeast Table moment can really happen anywhere, in the car, on a picnic blanket, at my table or yours. It’s about savoring the moments when friends gather, enjoy a meal or a morsel, hear one another stories and share each others’ lives. Savoring those kind of moments to us is a never ending inspiration on how to enjoy life.
Life goes by too fast ~ not to enjoy the journey.