Friday, August 30, 2013

35:52 the table at mealtime

 project 52
the table at mealtime

I have worried and wondered this post nearly crazy.
I've dug through photos in a box in a trunk because I had an idea.
Then I skipped it and went with just one photo.
It's nearly Friday morning and here I am changing it again ...
because otherwise I will probably never share these with you.
And I want to share them.

This is the table where I grew up enjoying mealtime.
Mealtime was spent with everyone at one table and each of us had our assigned seats.
Quite obviously .... on this occasion we had visitors
which was a common occurrence in our home.
Take a wee walk through this photo with me ... just for fun.

Each person has a glass of tomato juice.
The dinner plates are china rimmed with silver trim.
The drinking glasses without the tomato juice ... Tupperware.
I was rather surprised to see milk in a 1/2 gallon container. 
That was not a typical site in our home for much of my childhood.
Dad is sitting at the wrong end of the table.
That wasn't his spot.
Then there are the guests.
I remember being teased by one in particular.
I remember being instructed on what length song to pick for church services by another.
My daughter is the godmother of another's great grand daughter.
If you can name the dinner guests  .... leave me a comment.

This still isn't a typical picture of our childhood dinner table, but a bit more so than the first photo.
My spot was the middle spot at the table on the left side of the photo.
Our dinner was served at the table.
"Please pass the ....", "please pass the ....", "please pass the ....."
I passed and I passed and I passed.
I'm still claustrophobic sitting in the middle of the bench.
Tupperware glasses. I think those things were indestructible!
No china on this day. At first I thought they were paper plates, but on further inspection ...
I think not.
Mom was a cake decorator and we all had very fun birthday cakes. 
I'm not sure whose birthday was being celebrated here, but quite obviously it was one of the boys.
Extra big bonus points if you can name all these little people!
Okay ... you don't need to name all of them.
How about 5 of them?

I'm not sure my kids know how to say "please pass the ...." because I moved to a different 
style of feeding as soon as I had a counter to do so.
Buffet style is how I feed my guests and my family.
Doesn't matter if it is a birthday party ....

or a holiday. There is one tradition though that I share with my mom.

I don't have Tupperware glasses, but I do have her china.
We don't wait for special occasions to use it but we do use it on special occasions.

Fast forward a few years to our table at mealtime.

Only a few blinks ago, these benches were filled with people ...
on a daily basis.
I was cutting meat, attaching bibs, pouring milk,
wiping up milk, pouring more milk, coaxing someone to eat
just one more spoonful.
There was a high chair being banged with a spoon.
A plate being thrown by a toddler who wanted no more.
Someone invariably trying to pull a 
"yuck, I don't like that!"
Then while I wasn't looking, 
the benches became filled with adult size bodies.
Chairs were placed at both ends of the table 
so that we could all fit at the table.
Now here we are today, where often there are two of us dining.
Jari in his spot and I in mine.
Or days like this where three of us enjoy some very lively conversation.
For some reason, this is not a day I ever imagined
would be a part of my reality.

Check out Marcy's table at mealtime!

I promise only one photo next week.


  1. I loved every single photo! And the story behind them all. :)

    1. And, Keilah, this is why we have photo boxes full of photos that were taken in most interesting ways. Missing half the people etc. Homes that showed full lives in them no matter the condition of the home. That didn't matter. The relationships did. I was very fortunate.

  2. Peter Nordstrom, Dan Rintamaki, your dad, Is that Audrey and Harry?. Recognize the guy next to Peter but can't think of his name. I recognize some Lindula kids at the kids table. I remember visiting at your house when I was a kid. Good memories.

    1. Becca - I remember your visits as well. I don't know if you ever came up in anything other than the truck with the camper, but we thought it was awesome! I even have little snippets somewhere in my brain of your house near Esko/Cloquet. I wonder if there was blue wallpaper somewhere ... I see blue wallpaper when I think of that house. :)

  3. villa Sutari next to Peter? Don Wuollet?

  4. Replies
    1. Do you know what his wife's name? I haven't a clue!

  5. Good job guessing! Some right ... some not. The first photo from left to right going around the table. Risto Kiviahde, Don Wuollet (both of them worked on the Iron Range for a short time if I remember right), my dad at the end of the table, Mrs. & Einari Lepisto (sorry, I don't know her first name), Peter Nordstrom and my mom's back is facing the camera.

    Interesting. I just realized that there are 3 place settings on the left side of the table and I have no clue who was sitting in the middle seat. I'm guessing it wasn't me as I'm hiding halfway behind a wall trying to get a photo and being horribly embarrassed as Einari was teasing me about some boys in Finland. THAT part I remember. :)