August 25, 2014

The Summer Series - Whit Honea

A copy of Whit Honea's book, The Parents' Phrase Book: Hundreds of Easy, Useful Phrases, Scripts, and Techniques for Every Situation, sits on my bedside table. That way, I have quick access when I need it. Which has happened on more than one occasion. And you know what? His stuff is genius!

Whit describes himself on his personal blog as, "a 40-something, middle-class, balding, white guy." I assure you, he is so much more than that. He is a brilliant writer. A devoted husband and father. A loving son and sibling. A caring, involved citizen of the world. A cherished friend. Whit is courageous. Funny. Eloquent. Generous.

I think it's pretty obvious I love this guy! And I'm so honored to have him here to finish off my Summer Series...

Table Talk

The table was a wedding gift from my father. It was heavy and solid, reliable and deep with wood grains blushed and a face full of beauty. We placed it against the wall of our tiny house and stood in the doorway to watch our lives dance fast and foolish around it.

It was covered in one decor and then another. It was moved across town and across the country. It was carried down stairs by strangers and upstairs by others. It gathered family and friends for meals, games, drinks, and late night conversations—and it gathers them still.

There have been times over the years that we have considered alternatives. Styles have changed, space has ebbed and flowed, and our wants that come and go, but the table has remained, varnished with memories and scuffed by the lives that lean heavy upon it.

Chances are if you pressed your ear upon the surface that you would hear a sea of laughter rolling across the waves of days gone by. You would taste the wonder of countless meals and then grow fat and lazy in its comfort. If it could talk we would all be in trouble.

I have sat upon its benches and entertained ghosts in the small, lonesome darkness. My grandparents have rested their elbows around cups of tea and coffee. My wife’s father pressed his wheelchair right against it. My stepmother, the table was from her, too, made toasts to tomorrow, and my mother raised her glass to meet them all and then some. An old dog spent a decade in its shadow guarding our legs and begging for whatever scraps we could spare. It connected all of us, and it remembers those that are gone.

I have watched my children bask there in the warm glow of soft, yellow mornings, a complete breakfast in their bowl and endless crumbs beneath the eaves and everything. I have reprimanded them for the scratches and stains left by careless art and the gentle give of thinly sliced paper—the same scars that we now consider character and wouldn’t remove for anything.

It is more than a piece of furniture. It is a time machine, a scrapbook from whence we came and a place to plan for where it is we’re going. It is history made and the more making of it.

The table still stands, centered between nook and wall, and we sit around it daily. We dine. We talk. We laugh. We fight. We work. We cry. We sit together to ponder the world, and we try to solve its puzzles.

OK, I am totally going to stop reprimanding my daughter for the scratches and stains on our kitchen table. It wasn't a meaningful gift. But we are building memories around that space every day. And I need to remember how much these things will mean to me years from now. Thanks, Whit!

Check out the other Summer Series contributors:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts with Thumbnails