Monday, November 21, 2016

The Family Table

Dreams, hopes, secrets, memories, celebrations, laughter, tears, these all happen around our family/kitchen/dining room table.  It doesn't matter whether it is an old pine table or a fancy dining room table.  The important thing is the time spent with people you love.

When I say the name Jim, it usually has an adjective beside it.  My husband Jim, my dad Jim, my brother Jim.  When Jim and I joined our families together I became the new Lynne Carlson (yes husband Jim has a sister Lynne), there were 3 Jims, 2 Johns, a Joe, a Maureen, a Denise and an Eileen and 2 Lynnes.  Our families produced a fair number of grandchildren for our parents and somehow both sides produced nieces for us named Jacqueline born in the same year, tall girls with RED hair (thankfully they don't have the red hair temper LOL)

My first table holds a special place in my heart as it was built for Jim and I by my brother Jim as a wedding present.  (btw he was known as wee Jim even though he was taller than my dad by about 6 inches :).   This table was in our first apartment and became the resting spot for many an elbow as we raised a glass of wine or two and discussed - politics, religion, wars, the Maple Leafs.  And yes we all remained friends.

The table started to get a little wobbly in our next house where it actually graced our dining room with our fancy Ikea chairs.  Many a Christmas was spent around this table.  And then came our first Christening.  The 2 families - Carlsons and Wrights reunited and more deviled eggs than you could imagine were eaten.  The table was always laden with more food than it could hold, but we all managed to eat everything.  It's hard to believe we took about a 15 year hiatus from deviled eggs, but they have reappeared recently as we have come back into the wedding and baby shower circle.  How did I survive.  Thankfully meatballs have been going strong ever since M&M opened their 1st store.

Pictures back in 1984 were hard copies and expensive to print, looking back trying to find a picture of my table proved a lot more difficult than I thought.  Pictures were of people not things.  This was Andrew's christening, you can just see the table in the background.  This table also served as my "walk Andrew to sleep route".  I paced around this table for hours while Lionel Ritchie played in the background.

Many a night the conversations went into the wee hours of the morning, relatives were getting up as others were heading to bed.  The ones who liked listening to their own voices stayed up to continue the discussions.  I am sure if you had taped us it would be like being on "rewind" over and over again.  None of us liked to concede a point.

None of us had instruments so the table became our drums as we sang old songs from the war to Frank Sinatra to the beatles with our parents.

My lovely pine table was packed up once more for its move to our current house where once again it resided in the dining room, until finally the legs just wouldn't hold it anymore and we couldn't fit the whole family around it.  It would make the odd appearance for our Christmas celebrations, as there were times when there were 30 people so every table top helped.

A new dining room table was bought and the celebrations continued.  Celebrations I felt were miles away when we bought this table are now here, ie 60th birthdays.  Our table was decorated up for Rachel and Jay's meet and greet wedding party celebration.  There are now family members missing from our table and new ones being added.  It truly is a circle of life.

For the last 15 years, the table top which was still in fantastic condition resided in the rafters in our garage.  Well a couple of Thursdays ago as I lay awake at 5 am, my mind started working.  I was going to sell my Aunt's old Singer sewing machine.  Can't let a good idea get lost, so the next day I was on Kijiji.  Seriously, this thing must be 100 years old and the best I would get for it would be $200.  And then Pinterest appears, WOW, look at all the old things you can do with old sewing machines.  I have been looking for a desk for my kitchen for 10 years (yes, it had to be just the right desk, special things can take a while).  Next I started to research barnwood, etc.  I got a quote from an artisan in the city for a tabletop from Jilly's strip club for $1200.  HA HA HA HA HA.  I am also cheap.  And then like a bolt of lightning I remembered my pine tabletop in the garage.  Down it came and the next day Andrew took put it together for me.  I found one of the wobbly legs, the other is the singer sewing machine legs, and it is feeling quite strong right now as my desk and my cat sit on it.  Yes Cleo has a corner so she can look out the window and enjoy the cardinals and blue jays in the backyard.

This tabletop celebrated 38 years this season and it still looks brand new.  In 2 weeks lots of food and lots of love will once again surround this table as we host the "Meet and Greet" for David and Stephanie's wedding party.  Every year new memories will be made on this tabletop.  People will continue to come and go.  New foods, new celebrations.  I am picturing my Christmas baking day with an extra kitchenaid on it.  Now if I could just get Cleo to clean her feet before she joins me.

Paris at Night

As wonderful as Paris is during the day it is magical at night time.  All the beautiful buildings and streets now have lovely twinkly lights highlighting their architecture and giving the buildings and streets so much character as people are scurrying about.

When the sun just starts to set, it sets off the tops of building as if they are on fire.  

Below are just a few of my favourite night time shots.  Needless to say after a day of walking the camera didn't come out quite as often as the glass of wine was lifted :).  Enjoy

Beautiful Notre Dame, so spectacular.  

Every corner in Paris is another surprise and a memory of a book or movie from my very impressionable teen years.  Here is another one crossed off my bucket list.  Oh to be able to have a month to really enjoy these amazing landmarks.  Thank goodness for pictures and the internet for allowing me to keep enjoying these amazing places and making memories of my own.