When I was growing up, the kitchen table served as a place for a quick
breakfast before everyone engaged in their daily routines. When we all left,
no matter what the weather, Mother opened the window in our little
breakfast room as well as the kitchen door and aired out the smoke from my
father's luxury of the day, a cigarette smoked in quiet comfort after he had
cooked breakfast. Mother kept an immaculate house, so she was dust-
mopping the dining room and kitchen floors while Dad cooked, No one
would catch her with crumbs on her floor. In the late 1940's style, this
linoleum was dark red and, much to my mother's disappointment, it showed
every speck of dust that came in from the yard. Conversations at this table
were hurried and just used to keep the family calendar intact.
The table that was the centerpiece of our home was in the dining room. It
was an oak treasure that my mother had purchased second hand, but it was
new to her, and we were never allowed to rest our feet on any of the four
legs that balanced the lovely oak top. There were usually two boards added
so all seven of us could sit comfortably and there would be plenty of room to
do homework after the evening meal. I was fairly well educated by the time
I started school as this was where assignments were read and discussed, and
math problems were solved. Everyone was involved in getting the right
answers to any question that came up.
Mother cooked a huge meal by noon on Sunday; this was our family
time. Dad, who often worked away during the week, was always home then, and
great discussions would sometimes last until three or four 0' clock in the
afternoon. There was no question about whether our parents knew what was
going on in our lives.
As my older siblings left home, Sunday afternoon family time was the thing
I missed most, as I was home by myself for my high school years. My
brother inherited the table, chairs and buffet when we emptied my parents’
home. My niece bought the set when my brother died, and we still sit
around the table in her kitchen when we visit her home in Denver.
Verley Boulton moved from South Dakota to western Colorado at age 10. She received an accounting degree from Barnes School of Commerce inDenver and worked as a financial analyst for 25 years at Teledyne Water Pik.She revisited the kitchen table in her niece's AirB&B in Tucson in October