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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

The kitchen table: A story from a guest storyteller

What goes on at your kitchen table? Your meals? Crafts? Homework with math problems and questions to answer? Projects?

The kitchen table (whether at home or wherever you eat your meal) can also be one of the most sacred places. At the kitchen table, we are fed. That table holds the food that is prepared. We are fed laughter. We are fed life stories and life lessons. We are fed love.

At the kitchen table, we are fed with conversation.

We can choose to feed on what is good for us. Sometimes we feed on tough things that’s hard to swallow. Sometimes we feel full and content afterwards. Sometimes we still hunger for more. Sometimes,unfortunately, we become sick to our stomach. Sometimes what we are given is sweet and we want to relish every morsel.

All of those life experiences have happened at a kitchen table. And yours? Over the kitchen table, words surround and memories are made over the plates and crumbs.

Today I want to share a story from a seasoned person I had the privilege to sit with at her kitchen table and hear her stories. So pull up a chair (at the table?) and I’ll share with you a story about the kitchen table in her life.

This story was set in the late 1930’s to the mid 1940s in a small southern community. In a small and meager home with only a few rooms. In it, the kitchen is where this family spent much of their time.

“Our furnishings were very meager. In our kitchen was a table that seated six. There was also a stove and small counter. Back then a loaf bread was not very popular in the area we lived. If we did get a loaf because it cost 11 cents. It was a treat to get a loaf of bread. In that kitchen Mother would make biscuits three times a day every day. She would pour the big bag of flour in that bin and the cabinet had an enamel top. Then mother would pull out the enamel board and make the biscuits. I used to love to go turn that crank to get the flour. That was fun to do as a child to get to do that. I learned a lot from my mother.

The kitchen table was a special place because we ate all of our meals there together as a family – my father, mother, brother, sister and I. That is where we cooked, talked, shared and laughed. That table is where we did our school work. There was a lamp that hung down over that table. The rest of the house was heated, in the early 1940’s when electricity was being put in houses. But during the time we rented that house, people used oil lamps. We had an oil lamp. We all had to sit around that table under that one light bulb. Daddy always made us turn it out at 8:00pm. He couldn’t pay the light bill and it probably was only a few cents when I look back on it now. As we got older, schoolwork became harder and I remember I couldn’t get some of mine done. In grammar school when I was getting older, I sometimes had to go into school the next day without it being finished. We had light from the fireplace and light from the oil lamp.

Most of our gathering time was there around that table. I remember exactly how we sat around the table. We had some good times and bad times around that table. We had times where there was hardly enough food around the table to feed us. I can remember it broke my mother’s heart. I remember one time we had eaten potatoes for days on end. That’s all we had to eat. Daddy didn’t have any work in the latter depression years. At that time mother didn’t have any work either. Daddy did get work later in the hosiery mill downtown during the night. One night Mother cooked potatoes and put them on the kitchen table for us to eat. Just about time we got ready to sit down, Daddy walked in the kitchen and he saw potatoes again and he grabbed up that whole bowl of potatoes and threw them out the back door. Then we had nothing to eat that night, except the biscuits. He was so frustrated that he couldn’t feed his family better. He said, “I can’t swallow another potato!” (who wouldn’t get emotional during a time like that?”) But I thanked God that did not last forever and eventually work became available and we were fed more again. Since then I have been very well fed and I feel blessed.”

Oh, how life was then. Oh how people are still like that today. Oh how I thank God for our blessings. I thank God for the crumbs in life that are little reminders of how blessed we are. I thank Him for our stories. I thank Him for our kitchen tables.

What memories do you have from your kitchen table. What memories are you making now around your kitchen table? Feel free to make a comment and share yours!

(This is an expert from a life story book I created for her. If you’re interested in getting more information about Life and Faithbooks contact me! I’d love to help!)

Thanking God this past week for:

#1209 Quote by C.S. Lewis “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”

#1210 Listening to George Winston while I write

#1211 Daughter receiving two awards at school


#1212 Son receiving award at school

#1213 words of encouragement

#1214 Daughter having her special friend come over to cook together.


#1215 Memorizing Romans 1:5-6 relating to studying Jeremiah 29:1-14

“Through him and for his name’s sake, we receive grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those called to Jesus Christ.”
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