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January 24, 2014

Her old, wooden table

I remember Grandma’s old, wooden table that stretched the length of her kitchen and served up feasts fit for a king.

All of us little grandkids would line up on the benches – not chairs – on either side, eagerly awaiting the meals she cooked during family gatherings.

I didn’t know until much later, though, how much that kitchen table meant to my grandma. It wasn’t even about the table itself or even the food she served there. She cherished that table because of what happened around it.

People napped there and prayed there. Farm problems were discussed and sometimes created there.

As you may remember from a previous column, my Super Grandma is a writer. And she loved her kitchen table enough to write a tribute to it in one of her books.

It was a collection of kitchen table stories. Some made me laugh, and others made me tear up just a little.

I thought I’d share pieces of this tribute with you. Let it be a reminder that there’s nothing more comforting than sitting down to a nice meal with your whole family and maybe some friends and occasionally the farm hands or fire department, too.

In the early years of my grandma’s marriage, before she had a whole litter of kids to cook for, she cooked for my grandpa’s family. His “Pop” sat at the head of the table, and his brothers, Lan, Andy and Leo joined them for lunch every day, too.

The men took up hay and put their crops out together even though they served three different farms. So for the first 10 minutes of every lunch, they hashed out farm problems together. Then, after they ate, they all shoved their plates to the center of the table, almost at the same time. They’d lay their heads down and tell my grandma to wake them up in 15 minutes.

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