Feb 20, 2014

The Family Table

by Kari Diane Pike

It all started with a picture posted on Facebook by a friend -- our two families gathered around an old oak pedestal table celebrating a birthday -- and a comment posted by another friend:

Kari, your wonderful table; I remember when you received it and you were so thrilled...

And I was thrilled. I first saw that table in a store in Las Vegas about 1983, a year or so previous to moving to Arizona, and I knew we were destined to be together. Solid oak and able to extend to ten feet, that table became a symbol of our family motto, "We always have room for one more." And yes, I did make my  husband drive all the way back to Vegas just to purchase that table.

Your table always felt like "home"...I feel all these "warm fuzzies" looking at you and Doug and everyone sitting around it - Also, my first taste of kimchi was eaten at that table. Not a fan. lol

I had forgotten about introducing my friend to kimchi around that table. I started thinking about how many other "firsts" have happened around that table: first birthdays, first Christmas', first time a child cooked dinner, first homework, first solid foods and first try at dipping chocolates.

I sat at the table and touched the marred surface, remembering how each scratch, dent, ding, burn mark and water ring came to be.The table has been the center of sewing projects, arts and crafts, science fair projects, Skype sessions, wedding receptions, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, Relief Society board meetings and even a couple of political campaign sessions. That table has hosted Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, and Discovery Toys. It's even been used as an infirmary table as I've administered first aid to injured children.

That table has served neighbors, missionaries, and an occasional dignitary. It's surface has been covered by everything from elaborate cheesecakes to simple loaves of brown bread. But none of this has meant more, or been more important than gathering our family for evening meals during which we discussed daily challenges, celebrated successes, mourned losses, and gave thanks to God for our bounteous blessings.

When we moved into our new home a few months ago, after living with our son for over a year, the table was one of the first things taken out of storage. One daughter, upon walking through the front door for the first time exclaimed,

Oh, Mama! Your table - and your kitchen. It's yours. It feels like home again.

I started writing sitting at that table. I still use it for my office. I'm pretty sure it will be mentioned in the dedication of my first book. What memories do have of your kitchen table? 



  1. I love kitchen tables. Did you live in Vegas in 83? Where. We lived in Paradise Valley then.

    1. yes, Christy. We moved to Las Vegas in late 1982 and left in mid-1984. In 83, we lived in Spring Valley. It was the edge of town back then! Now it's right smack in the middle!

  2. Funny how pieces of furniture can trigger happy childhood memories. Great post.

  3. Hi there! Just got done reading up on your blog and had a quick question. I was hoping that you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks!

    Emily : )

  4. A table . . . look at what a great essay this made!


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