"We pull a chair up every night, eat and talk and joke and fight. Us kids learned wrong from right at mama's Table. It was just some hickory wood and screws. It's where my daddy read the news. You didn't put your dirty shoes on mama's table." The Oak Ridge Boys
With the recent hurricane hitting Georgia this song came to mind because I've stayed with my 86 year old daddy and 81 year old mama the last two nights. My daddy actually sat at the table with my mama and me last night, eating by the lantern light. As I sat there listening to them talk about the day without power I thought how blessed I am to still have them. They crack me up bickering with each other but dang if I had been married to my daddy almost 65 years I would probably be bickering with him too. This is probably only one of a few times I can count on my fingers daddy has actually eaten at the table. Not because he doesn't like us, but we are so loud and all talking at once when we're all at the table, it makes him nervous. Well that and because he doesn't eat enough to keep a bird alive.
Our table isn't hickory but my mama has had it for years. "It has some faded spots and cracks. A couple of burns from candle wax. A memory in each scratch on mama's table." I'm not sure if the marks on mama's table is from candle wax but I do know there are some white spots where someone (probably me) sat hot food on it. There are a few cracks which I'm sure is because it's so old and the chairs are in need of repair but hey they still hold us up on Sunday's so I'm pretty sure she won't get new ones until someone falls. That's just mama. She's old school and doesn't get rid of anything unless it's absolutely necessary.
"It was the center of the best times I remember, sometimes the only thing that brought us all together." We eat at my mama's every Sunday so there is always a story to tell. There are so many of us it's hard for us all to eat at the table at the same time but the ones that get there first get the seats. So guess what? I'm always the first one there. (I'm sure this doesn't surprise ya'll)
Remembering some of these times around this table, I think about making Christmas ornaments, cutting off corn to freeze, hats for the hat derby at my sister's church, Christmas dinners, and New Years Day dinner just to name a few. I like for ya'll to close your eyes and imagine so if you want to close them right now and just imagine yourself sitting around this big ole table with kids making Christmas ornaments laughing and trying to decide who has the best. Of course each one thinks their ornament is the best and believe me my mama makes each one of them believe it too! Imagine us girls cutting off that hundred ears of corn to freeze and see all the corn splatters all over us around that big ole table. Yep, I can promise you we have more corn on us than in the bowl, but we're making memories and it's around mama's table.
One verse in this song says the table is "where my brother and I played games. I just knew he'd gone insane the day he carved his name in mama's table." I don't remember either of my brothers carving their name in mama's table but I can promise you if they had, they would have to stand up for a week (as my daddy says) because she would have "whooped" their butts. LOL However, we have played games around this table, my brothers included. Probably because they made us because to hear the oldest brother tell it we didn't like him. He might be somewhat right because my one sister did cry when they brought him home from the hospital. She wanted another girl. I mean what in the world was she thinking? We already had four!!! We needed a change.
One thing I know for sure about mama's table you always feel the love and one thing mama does NOT allow is arguing at the table. Wait, what am I thinking, she doesn't allow arguing at all if we try it in front of her. Yeah we all may be older and have our own families but let me tell you right now my mama still got the power to calm a room with just a few words. I've heard "ya'll better not be arguing or I can still take the broom to you" as many times as an adult as I heard it growing up. I never got the broom but my brother that claims we didn't like him, well he did. Ya'll don't get all worked up she didn't beat him with it or anything she just whacked him across the butt. She still threatens him with it but it would take a whole lot more than a whack for him to feel it now because he's about three times bigger than his little skinny butt back then.
Lesson today? I think it might for ya'll to go make memories around your mama's table if you can. Don't put it off 'til tomorrow, tomorrow may never come. Your memories may not be the same as mine but they don't have to be. If you can't go to your mama's, just take a minute and remember being around your mama's table. Remember what you enjoyed most around your mam's table and start your own memories at YOUR table. Trust me your kids will appreciate it. Maybe not now if they're young, but when they're my age, they will treasure the good times around mama's table.
Love to all,
Sweet Southern Sass
It was the center of the best times I remember
Sometimes the only thing that brought us all together
Grandma passed it down when I was in a cradle
It’s in my kitchen now, but it’s still my mama’s table