Build a new home around the kitchen table

Q: It was a bit of a sad day today.

The men moving our old house off the property wrenched it free from its moorings early this morning and by lunchtime they had tied it into sets of wheels and started, very slowly, to take away what had been my home for years.

I grew up there. When my husband and I bought out my Mom and Dad we kept the home quarter and lived in our old house for our first few years back on the farm.

We recently built a new place and it is really great and wonderful and hugely big, but it is not home.

So I cried when they took away my real home, maybe just a little bit, and I looked around this place, lovely as it is, very modern and very convenient, and the first thought that came to my mind was what can I do to turn this house into a home? How am I going to shroud those empty walls with the love and caring that was built into our family home. And what about all of that family tradition that wove its way through the history of the heart, comforting me through so many of those cold winter nights and unforeseen seasonal blizzards.

How do we turn our beautiful house into a loving and caring home?

A: I have no doubt that you and your husband will magically transform that empty building in which you are now living into the same moment of heart that you found buried in the walls of your since departed old home.

It takes only time, sharing and loving for you and your children to have with each other what you sense you have lost when your first home was taken from you.

After all a house is just a house and it is not the four walls that transform it into a home, but the family history that all of you build together, including in it your memories of your own childhood, built in consort with the times on the clock which all of you will have together.

Fortunately, you can expedite this thing a bit. You can make that new house come alive for you more quickly and it can carry within it your family bonds with greater security. It is not that hard. You just need a kitchen table.

Do you remember your kitchen table? It was central to everything there was about your family. You probably did your homework there, just after you and whomever finished the supper dishes and before you had your 15 minutes to talk on the telephone.

Your mother brought the coffee pot there to share with neighbours, family and friends who stopped in on their way to town. Your mom and dad did most of the family business there, going over their books, adding and subtracting until they found enough loose change to buy you a new dress for graduation.

Then there was the serious stuff, such as the kitchen table budget that kept your parents on track through both seeding and harvest. It warmed their souls in calving and it comforted them when the rains refused to fall. It was all there, on the kitchen table, and that is what made your house the home that it was: the table.

Computers, e-tablets, smartphones and satellite TV have compromised the merits of all that was great about the kitchen table. Just don’t let them. If you want your house to become a home, do a little cardiac messaging with your kitchen table and restore it to its rightful grandeur in the heart of your family.

The more you honour the tradition of your kitchen table, with each other, with your children, with neighbours and friends, the more likely it is that you will celebrate the coming of age in your new home.

About the author


Stories from our other publications