Mama’s Dinner Table

Looking back over these blogs since 2010 when my daughter, Allison, first developed my web site, I am amazed at how few blog posts there were from me for the months of November.

I suppose I was deciding how many chairs to fit around the dining room table, which kids and their families would sleep where, did I have enough sheets, towels, dishes, etc., those little details that can keep moms awake at night.

Our son and his family came usually every Thanksgiving, with daughter from Georgia coming mostly in the summer for visits with her family. As the kids grew older, my husband and I joined son & wife for Thanksgiving at their home about two hours from where we live, as their daughters began college and wanted to visit friends at home over the Thanksgiving break. But those were some of the sweetest memories I have of family times ~ laughter, late pajama mornings, & the Thanksgiving parade.

Now we live in Georgia, moving from Washington State to the Peach capital of the world. Weather is amazing, even on those hot August days, and the garden enjoys the sun and more rain than I ever knew would fall in Georgia. We’ve bought a smaller house with a tiny amount of housework to be done. I am more thankful for that than anything else.

It’s like anything else is life ~ sometimes more is bigger, better, more exciting, but it always comes to us with a cost. Housework as I get older is no longer my friend. I am happy to have hubby vacuum and care for the hard floors, and as for me – me … time to read, knit, garden, jot notes to friends, and maybe finish my novel I’m always writing.

We still enjoy family for Thanksgiving, but I may never put a second leaf in the table again. I’ve  decided dinners need to be easier, more simple. Am working on this.

I think back to the meals my grandmother cooked. Mama Ellis was a southern cook who could whip up pecan pies and coconut cakes without blinking an eye, and none of us has ever duplicated her Chicken & Dumplings, although I’ve tried.

I am thankful for my childhood, the lessons learned, & growing up with family in Pensacola, Florida.  Here’s a poem I wrote about Mama’s Sunday dinners.  If you were not at the table 20 minutes after the church sermon ended, you’d be counted as late to dinner.


Mama Dinner Table

Heavy rose-colored drapes

shield windows, shut us in

every Sunday at noon.

“Dinner’s ready, Ya’ll come.

Hurry now, Papa.

Say the blessing. Let’s eat.”

There’s tender roast beef, gravy.

potatoes and pole beans,

hot biscuits and peach pie.

The old man lumbers to

the table, sits down, folds

his hands and bows his head.

“Heavenly Father,” he begins,

drops his chin and fall silent.

We open our eyes around the table.

A chill races the room.

Oh, no, God. Please not here.

Not now at Sunday dinner. 

Suddenly he stirs, remembers.

He finishes his prayer and we

begin our dance of food.

Silverware rattles around the

table, glasses clink, bowls are passed

and we are once again filled.

After dinner we clear the table,

remove the lace cloth and then deal

with the crumbs beneath the tale.

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About beeconcise

A Southern writer now living in Georgia after many years in the Pacific Northwest.
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