Kitchen table

23 Jul 2007

We have been eating tea in the lounge room lately with our plates balanced on our knees and frequent trips back out to the kitchen for forgotten bits and pieces. Louis is studying for exams and as he doesn't have a desk in his room the only alternative is the kitchen table.

My husband wanted to build a desk in the boys' room but I talked him out of it. My brother had one in his room when we were all at home but he always worked at the kitchen table because he was lonely in his room. Exams only go for a week or so and then things will be back to normal.

We used to have a very long table, it could seat eight to ten people but it belonged to my sister. We table-sat for her when she moved into a house that didn't need her table, then she moved again and we were table-less. For a while we used the outdoor one but it wasn't really suitable, just a stop gap until another one was found.

What we have ended up with is a lovely table, bought at the salvage centre for $15 and extensively renovated to be our perfect family kitchen table.When Stephen brought it home the boards that make up the upper surface were curling up and pulling off the base. It had spent quite some time outside I think. Slowly he worked on the boards with water treatments and weights until they were again flat then the sanding began. Stephen is something of a perfectionist so the surface was meticulously sanded before being waxed and polished. We all held our breath that the boards wouldn't all go ping and curl up again but it has been more than two years now so I think we are safe.

Stephen has never had any formal or informal training with carpentry or joinery but he has single handedly made every built in cupboard in this house as well as chests, book shelves, beautiful kitchen benches,writing boxes, beds and on it goes. He has built fences, moved doors, sanded and finished floors and painted anything that stood still long enough. If there is a problem around the house he will do his best to solve it. All of this while working full time and being a very involved father.

I am so grateful that I have a husband who is willing to give things a try and uses his excellent skills of logic and patience to do the job well and thoroughly. He has saved us so much money and helped to make the house we live in truly our own. He knows every inch of this place. It's a bit like how a quilt feels after it's been hand quilted, there is something in working of the human hand over the inanimate object that gives it life, a warmth that wasn't there before you began. He didn't build this house, that was done long ago, but he has helped to make it our home.

It's after midnight and definitely time I was in bed. I need to check Kate before I go, the cold has struck her now, I need to make sure she is sleeping peacefully. Before I know it the morning will be here. Big day tomorrow, the kittens and Maggie are going off to be "fixed" so there will be no more unexpected little ones in the house.

8 Responses to “Kitchen table”

  1. This was a lovely post and I have to say, your husband and mine might be twins! My husband has built every piece of furniture in our home (except for the upholstered stuff), and throughout our 25 years together, has replaced or re-imagines most of them! I love it as they are such a special part of him and his talent. We have a big dining room table that is actually too big for the space so that is the next piece to be re-imagined! I am so grateful to have found your wonderful little blog!

  2. I still find it wonderful to read about the "other side of the world"...where it is COLD.

    In January here, I always enjoy pictures of flowers and such and find comfort in seeing them online.

    My husband loves wood so much, he went back to school for a Master's Degree in Wood Science in his late 20s. Our guests threw sawdust at our wedding (nearly 33 years ago).

    The older I get, the more I think it is such a "good thing" to bring back life to old furniture.

  3. Your post is always so lovely and interesting. Thank you!!
    My husband likes wood. He has renovate our home and build every furniture of our home.
    I love him and his talent.

  4. Another lovely post, Jenny. Thank you. It is nice to read of another woman who loves and appreciates her husband for the work and time he invests in his family.

  5. I could never study away from my family either, it felt too much like punishment. I was a lying on the floor in front of the heater studier.

    My husband has made some of our furniture too, it's so special. He doesn't seem to find much time lately, although he has jst knocked down our old back porch and rebuilt a large more useful one so I shouldn't complain.

  6. It's so good for people to do something with their hands, it's so good for people to be creative. I'm glad your husband is creative, it benefits you and your family, but I imagine he sees the benefits too, in terms of self-fulfillment. I think hand-work is a good stress buster!

    I also think there are real benefits in having things around you which you have made, I can't quite put my finger on what I mean by that, but I think it's to do with being connected to our environment....okay, I sound like a right old hippy, I'm off now to light a joss stick and listen to whale music...

  7. I enjoyed the story about your table. Our dining table has many dents and dings in it that all tell stories of a little brood of five children sharing their lives around it. It's long outgrown it's smooth surface.


  8. Hi Regina,It's wonderful isn't it to have a handy husband.

    Hi Brenda,How wonderful that your husband was inspired to pursue a degree in such a wonderful thing.

    Hi Bettina, another clever husband. you are a lucky woman.

    Hi Lenny, It sounds like your husband is pretty useful, it's great isn't it. I always studied on the coffee table in front of the fire.

    Hi Rhonda,thanks. I truly do appreciate everything my husband does for our family.

    Hi Natalie, yes I agree, being surrounded by handmade and in fact homemade things adds a new level of energy or spirit to a home. I sound like a hippy too. And you are so right about stress busting, bashing some wood with a hammer is much better for the soul than shouting at someone or keeping it all bottled up inside.

    Hi Jody, it doesn't take that long does it for a table to bear the scars of family living.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.