Life! Family! Memories!
A family's table is a gathering place for every occasion that happens in the life of a household. Birthdays, holidays, events happy and sad. Our Grandma Cales' old wooden table was the most awesome place!
Our family table was just boards nailed together, but that table bore the weight of some of the most wonderful country food anyone could ever imagine!
Grandma's fresh cow butter and home-made applebutter! Fresh molasses from the Fall run. Grandma's cornbread - made with cornmeal ground at the Cales Grist Mill. ...and at breakfast...the biscuits, fat back bacon, eggs from the henhouse, fresh canteloupe & tomatos from the Lucy Garden!
Grandma and Papa raised twelve kids and many, many grandkids at that table!
The Table may have first belonged to Great Grandma Mary Susan Ward-Cales, but I have no way to find that out for sure.
Papa passed in November of '74, Mom went to stay with Grandma. In '79 Mom and Grandma moved from the farm to Aunt Maxines little house at Soak Creek, near Sophia, WV.
For this move, they left the table in the hollow and Grandma bought Mom the first, brand new, store bought table and chairs she ever had!
When they returned to the hollow in the Spring, the table was moved to the Kennedy Building, a little wooden shed built atop the cellar in the corner of the yard. Mom kept her crafts and flowers there.
Grandma passed in June of '87.
After Grandma passed Mom had it even harder, had to leave the hollow to stay at her old house where my baby brother now lived.
After some time, Mom was able to get a meager retirement and went home to the hollow.
Once again, biscuits and cornbread were baked in the old house, but not served on the old wooden table it sat alone in the little shed atop the cellar, in the corner of the yard.
Years passed. I bought my house in the Fall of 2000.
In the Spring of 2001, I visited Mom in the hollow, she pointed out that the roof on the Kennedy building was caving in. From lack of attention the roof was severely rotted, no chance for repair at this point.
I devised a rope and hook that I used to pull items to the door as it was not safe to walk inside. I took lots of garbage out - but there really was no place to take the old wooden table.
We talked about it and Mom said I should take it to my house. I loaded it onto my little green truck...
In Florida, the old wooden table hosted several more really nice occasions. My Aunt Pat and cousin Paul visited and got to see the old table again. More birthdays and Thanksgivings were celebrated around the old table.
In 2010, Sister Anita, hubby Roger, and Brother Larry visited and were able to have a few meals on the old table.
Nothing lasts forever, finally a leg broke and there was no way to repair it. These legs were old sawmill cuts, nothing fancy. The four legs did not even match - but they did their job for as long as they could.
I moved the old wooden table to my shed and covered it with a plastic cover and stacked other things on top, hoping one day to be able to return it to the hollow in WV from whence it came.
This Spring 2018, I cleaned the shed and discovered that the roof had leaked onto the old wooden table, a large area in the middle had rotted so bad, my heart was broken.
I hauled the old table out to the road for the garbage pickup. I had to take pictures, it was all I could do to make myself leave it there...
I never mentioned the old wooden bench...the bench always sat behind the old wooden table, when Mom went into the nursing home, I brought the old wooden bench to once again sit behind the old wooden table...
The old wooden bench still sits...it now sits behind a different
new table, a kind of sad table, a table without family, without joy, happiness, celebration or love.