I am writing this piece at the kitchen table in my house. It’s where I write most of my blogs. It’s the one place where I can concentrate most easily, despite various newspapers, salt and pepper shakers, and reading glasses laying askew.
The table usually is covered with a tablecloth that has been washed a hundred times. I like colorful tablecloths on my formica covered table to add interest while I eat or write or just look out the window.
For a house or apartment to be a real home you need a place, like my kitchen table, where you can instantly unfold a tired, stressed and obstinate body when you stumble in from work.
When I’m on a trip, or unfortunately languishing in a hospital room, I long to sit down at my kitchen table with my wife, Risa, toast an English muffin, sip some coffee, and breathe. Our window overlooks the backyard, a currently moribund vegetable garden, flowering trees soon to bloom and a basketball court where I used to shoot free throws and layups by the thousands.
I always sit at the table with our unfettered 4’ x 8’ bay window on my left and the toaster and refrigerator on my right. There is pleasure in routine and habit. It frees my mind to not have to make choices about trivial stuff, like where am I going to sit and what shoulder I need to look over to take in God’s colors. I have enough decisions each day. Some things should be simple.
On my right, magnetized on the big GE refrigerator-freezer is a mélange of photos. We change them from time to time, but some stay frozen for a decade. They are all family. Several pictures are of my three granddaughters. The most prominent one shows them in Cubs tee-shirts. There is a shot of my Dad in a long tan tailor-made wool overcoat donated by several husky sheep, a 20-year-old photo of Risa with her three brothers and one photo of her in a Taekwondo uniform kicking her leg in the air at a totally absurd angle. The refrigerator is always our visible album of a lifetime lived quite happily. Displaying pictures of the people who have contributed so much to our joy just six feet away from the kitchen table warms the room. Refrigerator magnets are one of the great inventions of our time. The magnetic picture frame is a brilliant refinement of the original genius.
Looking straight ahead, about the distance of a high school 3-point basketball shot, is my 60” flat screen Samsung TV. The remote control, which I often leave on the kitchen table, can ignite the Korean beauty without me lifting my ample behind off the chair—another of the gifts of modern technology that I am grateful for. It is my vital link to baseball, basketball, golf and all those wonderful sports that a creaky body and lousy eyesight have deprived me of playing. Some folks decry the time wasted in front of screens, but I am not one of them. My enormous television is a companion. I believe my time at the kitchen table imbibing sports is a perfect respite from a life of work and stress.
I hope each of you has a place like my kitchen table, where you feel safe and nourished. I think it is why we have houses. It is why the DIY Network is so popular. Everybody wants that welcoming nest or den that turns a residence into a home.
I hope you will share your welcoming comfortable spots with us and tell us why they are so special to you.
Question: What is your favorite spot in your house?