William Carlos Willians said that so much depended upon a red wheelbarrow, and he was (of course) correct. But it wasn’t simply the wheelbarrow. So much depended upon a red kitchen table. A red, 1960’s style, kitchen table.
I think it had a leaf that could fold up or down, and that side of the table faced the interior of the room. The table was the color of a sliced tomato’s guts. It had slightly lighter shades of red in patterns that weren’t actually swirls but were what swirls hoped to be.
The table sounds ugly. But it wasn’t! It was red! Today, hipsters would likely pay $70.00 or more and congratulate themselves for pulling off retro chic kitchen decor.
My parents’ kitchen was remodeled when I was a “tween”, and I have no idea what happened to that table.
And I should probably ask.
The table currently residing in their kitchen was designed and built by my dad in their garage. It’s wooden and it’s heavy. It was made with the kind of care and focus that only artisans have.
My dad has it.
I don’t remember much about the kitchen before my dad remodeled. But I do remember the red table.
I remember it. And Kool-Aid cups! And bouquets of freshly plucked dandelions!
I remember being little and getting ready for school, dance class, and heading out of the door with my mom.
And it makes me think of the stuff, the things, that we have, that we worry over, lose, sell, and give away.
I remember the table as a catalyst for adventure. Because it was in our kitchen.
The kitchen is really the heart of a home. As much as I hate to say that because of how much I detest cooking and doing dishes.
But I love eating and I love family stories.
My earliest memories don’t involve things.
I had a happy childhood full of silly songs snd making up the words. I remember siting with my mom and helping her with any task I could.
It was in the kitchen where some of my most vivid childhood memories live.
Williams had the wheelbarrow. Dorothy had the slippers. I had the table. All were red. And all had so much depending on them.
And all of it before E-bay. Before retro chic was a thing.
So much depends on a red table.
Including happy children.
And Kool-Aid cups.