Gather Round…

Beautiful new home. A Craftsman. The workmanship boasts a certain style. The early 1900’s noted for quality construction. Charm galore. Fresh wall paint offers a contemporary update. Colors thoughtfully selected by my daughter. The details of family living for a growing family. Soon, very soon a baby sister will arrive. Belle prepared to assume her role as the “big sister.” My daughter Emily is impossibly beautiful in her third trimester.

Sitting on a sofa in their beamed living room I gazed into the adjoining dining area. My mother’s desk stands prominently on a far wall. Teacups from another family member occupy the desk shelving. I focus on the warm honey colored rock maple table that sits centered in the room.

Once a kitchen table in my own childhood home. Family meals shared each evening. Homecooked. Breakfast for dinner on Fridays, sometimes. My sister spilling a glass of milk with a humorous regularity. I would sit to her right as she is left-handed, I am not. My brother seated just across the tableclothed surface. My mother at one end and my father infrequently at the other. He worked more hours than existed. A family grocery business he started and was dedicated to. Everything was for his family.

Generations have sat at this table. My aunt on any Sunday evening. Sipping a cup of black coffee, no sugar. Calories would be saved for dessert. Uncles and the many cousins would be seated at our table. A grandfather too. My mother’s dearest friend would stop by on her way home. A nurse. Early morning visits after working the overnight shift at a hospital in Providence. Neighborhood friends and the many invited guests. Not a fancy table but a solid piece much like the foundation of our family. It was the heart and soul of our family. The many hours we often shared chatting long after the meal was consumed. The chairs creaked as we shifted in our seats. Settling in to talk just a little longer…

The ghosts of my childhood home will stay with me and my siblings. New faces will now gather round the rock maple table. Stories by the numbers are yet to be told. Young sisters will soon find their place at the table. I am hoping laughter outweighs sorrow. The giggles, many as the milk spills…


“A family dinner is a reminder of the love and support that surrounds us every day.” – Anonymous




Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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