Do you remember your grandmothers' kitchens? I well remember both.
Oddly enough, they were both large, square rooms where the kitchen table sat prominently center stage. In my maternal grandmother's kitchen, her dryer, refrigerator, pantry, sink, countertop, electric stove, gas stove, and Hoosier lined the walls.
In my paternal grandmother's, the countertops, sink, refrigerator, stove, sofa, and woodstove lined the walls. Yes, a sofa! I thought that it was the most marvelous thing, even as a child. Sometimes, my grandfather would lie there and snooze as my grandmother puttered about making supper. Sometimes, it was loaded with grandkids as we colored or read books. Sometimes, we were all there together in a happy clump. That kitchen was so warm with its woodstove chugging along. It had a huge reservoir of water on the side that met all the requirements of hot water for doing dishes. There was a big blue kettle that whistled along steadily always ready for a cup of tea or hot chocolate. It was in that kitchen where I first enjoyed marshmallow fluff floating on a sea of warm chocolate.
At the windows were my grandmother's red geraniums that did so beautifully all through the year...such a sunny, bright, warm kitchen it was. But I don't remember the table so well after all these years...I think it was a wooden farm table and large to accomodate all the extended family.
Now my Nan's table I remember very clearly. It was purchased in the first few years of her marriage somewhere in the early '30s. I now recognize it as "Art Deco" though as a child all I recognized were the cold white enamel top and the strong black parallel lines that decorated it, which I often traced with my finger. It has a drawer that my grandmother used for her silverware drawer. For some reason I found it particularly fun to set the table without having to fetch the forks, knives, and spoons.
One day, when I was about ten or so, I discovered that my grandmother had replaced her little table with a new one. Nothing fancy...a wood grain look top and those plastic stuffed chairs...all a neutral brown. The Art Deco table was relegated to the back corner of my grandfather's garage.
Fast forward thirty-five years or so when I was helping to clean out my grandmother's home. There sat the little table still in its corner barely visible for the oil containers, tools, and garden products covering it. It was decided that it would work well for a laundry table in one of the great-grands' homes, but it never made it that far. It sits today in my kitchen...dead center. If anyone had ever told me that I would one day claim that table and love it again, I probably would not have believed them.
It needs something...see the aqua paint. Not a favorite color for me. I think a red, perhaps yellow, might work. The original color is unknown...I do not remember and neither does my mother or grandmother. Anyone else know what it might have been?
All manner of things can be tucked beneath it...my sandals, a pie carrier, a bucket of bottled water. It serves as an island and not a place to sit down. What would I do without it?!