Five years ago I began the slow emptying of my childhood home. While picking through the heaps of memories, I found myself in a far flung corner of the furnace room. There, underneath piles of old newspapers and magazines, lay a small chess table, legs loose, but otherwise exactly as I remembered it.
My table! Growing up, there was a period of time when we rarely ate together as a family. As a result (or perhaps as a response?) the kitchen table was forever covered in clutter, and I usually brought my food out into the family room to eat.
It was during this time that the small, old chess table adopted me. I don’t know where it came from, but all of a sudden, there it was, exactly where I needed a place to rest stuff. Barely one foot in diameter, I never actually played chess on it, but many a game of gin rummy and crazy eights were won and lost on its surface. And, in addition to eating meals, I also cut fabric, glued endless projects, and balanced open watercolor paints on that table. It cleaned up easily and was light and portable…the perfect piece of furniture for a young child on the go!
Gleefully, I brought it out to show everyone, quickly learning that I was the only one with fond recollections of this forgotten furniture piece. It didn’t matter; I was very pleased with my treasure find!
Now my table sits in my family room, happily part of whatever goes on in our home. The picture above shows it covered with today’s activity bounty.
Melissa Mark is a family practice doctor, writer, and jewelry designer. You can find her creative endeavors at www.peanutmark.com and www.melissacmark.com. Melissa lives in Minneapolis with her lovely husband and daughter, two guinea pigs, and one very sassy goldfish.