I should remember the kitchen table most for mealtimes because eating was one of our favorite activities. Grandma Emma always had a good appetite and enjoyed good food, a trait which was passed down to my father and to my brother and me. Mom was usually more indifferent to food and ate because it was a necessity.
I remember breakfasts at the table with my family. Mornings usually saw me coming back to life slowly and I wasn’t ready to enter into the conversations around me. I remember building a barricade of cereal boxes around my breakfast bowl as I hunched over my Wheaties eating in solitude.
For lunch and dinner we used the Fiestaware plates. When I set the table, and when Grandma was visiting somewhere else, I used the same colors for the people at the table. I assigned each person a color. I think Ed got green, I got the blue, Dad the yellow and Mom the red. I don’t remember how it was when Grandma was with us for meals.
I didn’t talk to the others about about my color assignments and I don’t know that they ever noticed. At the age of about 10, I felt it was important that I gave each of us our own color. I think I even quietly switched plates around when I hadn’t set the table.
We sat around the kitchen table for our “midnight snack” which actually occurred long before midnight. Many important discussions were held around that table, with a cup of tea or hot cocoa held in both hands in front of us, no doubt to help us keep our balance. Important decisions, hilarious laughter, excited planning, tears of sorrow, all took place around that kitchen table.