We got a new dining room table a couple weeks ago. Ours had been a used one that that we had gotten in a garage sale several years ago. For a long time we have said that we would refinish it and try to rescue its potential. It was pretty stained and not very attractive. We weren’t making a great deal of progress on that, and I found a good deal on a table that we both liked. Now that new table is ours. What I like about it is that it had two big leaves that can make it into a really big table. Without the leaves it is a nice square table for four – or two, as it usually is these days.
Rather than try to sell our old table, we offered it up on Craigslist. We listed it as free to someone who would be able to pick it up and move it – the day we wanted it picked up and moved. We have used this method before, and it has been nice to see our things go to people who express a real need for what we are offering.
As happens when you offer free stuff, we got lots of requests. We ended up giving it to a single mom of a little daughter. At the original posting she wrote: “My daughter and I are using a card table and it is ripping. We would love this!” Dan contacted her to tell her that it was hers if she could pick it up. He also gave her an accounting of the table’s faults. To this, she wrote back that she definitely wanted it and she had someone who could get it for her. She also said, “wish I could be there to meet the family who left us so many memories to dine over. I think the table is perfect just as it is. Thank you deeply from the ladies that will enjoy eating at your table making our own memories.” Attached to the email was a photo of a very cute little girl. The table was picked up as promised. I hope that mom and daughter are already sharing some great meals at that table.
There really is something wonderful about sitting down for a meal – especially dinner – together. Before we went to Italy, Dan and I had gotten into a habit of too often eatingdinner in front of the television. We would get home late. We pulled together something quickly, and just collapsed in our stations.
After our Italian experience, we wanted to continue that celebration that Italians seem to bring to every meal. We committed to set the table, pick the ingredients and meal, pour cold water, select a wine. The meal didn’t have to be fancy – usually, it was not. The importance is the experience of sharing the table with someone you care about.
We have done a really good job with this. It usually works out that Dan shops and cooks on his way home from work, but I try to do at least one meal. My favorite is to take the time to set the table – colorful plates, cloth napkins, pretty wine glasses, and the great Italian water glasses that a friend got us this year for the holidays. Just like in Italy, we save an empty wine bottle and fill it with water to chill in the fridge between meals.
This new table is just a couple weeks old. We have already sat at it a number of times and enjoyed food, drink and conversation. We have yet to fill its seats with our children and friends. We have yet to bring out the games and have fierce competitions of Apples to Apples, Rummicube, or cards. There is much to come for this new addition to our table, and like the new owners of our old table, we will be making memories.