Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Tale of Two Tables

I'd always wanted a b-i-i-i-g kitchen table.  One that I could spread a project out on one end and still have room for the two of us to sit down at the other end for a meal.  One that would comfortably seat six people when necessary.  One that would have room in the middle for serving dishes.  One that was big enough for mounds of vegetables spread out on after harvest.  One that would hold six different kinds of Christmas cookies.

Several years ago, we saw a table advertised by some folks who were leaving the area and selling much of their furniture.  We went to see it, I liked the style and best of all it had a leaf to be inserted in the middle to make it the b-i-i-i-g size I wanted.

The good news was that it was reasonably priced.  The bad news was that the top was not in very good condition showing several dings and scratches.  Papa Pea said if I wanted it, he would refinish the top for me.

In short order, I soon had the large kitchen table I had always wanted.  I've loved it, we've used the heck out of it and certainly gotten our money's worth.  You can't see it very well in the above picture, but my dear old table has become sway-backed.  There's an inch (or two) dip in the middle of it where the leaf is.  I don't think it's about to collapse or anything, but it needs some reinforcement if we continue using it.

Recently we went to a huge estate sale that had some wonderful pieces of furniture including . . . a kitchen table.  The measurements of it were smaller than our current table, but we thought maybe, just maybe, it would be big enough to suit our purposes.  We bid on it and got it for $17.00!

Hauled it home (well-built and HEAVY), took the old table down, and put the new table in its place.

It's a much nicer (much!) quality than our old table, looks better with our chairs and the wainscoting in the kitchen.  It's beautiful.

It's too small.

Pardon me now while I have a spoiled brat, wailing fit that it's just not big enough.  We've been using it for over a week, even had extra bodies sitting around it, and it's just not big enough.

Papa Pea is going to use it up in his office where the beautiful top will be buried under stacks of books, files, papers, machinery manuals and other "important" stuff.  Our seventeen dollars will not have been spent in vain.  Sigh.  And sniffle.

Back in will come our old faithful, sagging-in-the-middle, slightly beat-up table which has served us so well.  Maybe old things, proven things, loved-but-not-beautiful things are the best ones after all.  (Hey, I think I may have just described myself!)


Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Nothing worse than a kitchen table that isn't big enough! Much prefer your old one.

Sparkless said...

I like both the tables. Can't you just get a couple of legs cut and affix them under the middle where it sags? We can't fit anything "big" in our tiny house and are lucky to even fit our small round kitchen table in our kitchen. I'd love to have a big kitchen with a table as big as your big one. I hope you can find the right table or fix the old one up.

Lisa B said...

I use an oak table that my Dad gave me and we used when I was a child. I definently could use a larger table but have "suffered" for nostalgia sake. I dream of a giant table for my sewing room though that is large enough for cutting out giant projects.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That's a pretty great $17 table! But if it isn't big enough, it isn't big enough. I like our "harvest" table and it now shows the normal dings and scratches that a family who sits down to dinner (you do know that a lot of people don't that anymore)almost every night inevitably creates. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Gill - My old table thanks you for your support. Yep, it's coming back in!

Sparkless - I think we'll eventually figure out how to fix the sag. Your idea is worth thinking about but I wonder if support legs would interfere with legs (human) under the table.

Lisa - Funny how we will put up with what others would consider a real inconvenience when it's for personal, sentimental reasons, isn't it? I totally agree you NEED that huge table in your sewing room though. You really do!

Jenn - I think I love our old table because it is used and I don't give a thought to it being marred by regular use. Kinda comforting. Treasure the fact your family (even with the grown/almost grown kids) still sits down together at your table every night. That's the glue that binds!

SmartAlex said...

Those are both really nice substantial tables! My dining room table is over 100 years old. Built of American Chestnut. It also has a lifetime of beauty marks on it from subtle burns to gouges, which certainly does take the pressure off using it. I never feel bad about leaving my mark on it's history. In fact, when we eat something messy we fold up the placemats to protect them. The table can take it!
Ours has a center leg, and I think about 7 leaves ranging from 4 inches to 9 ish inches, Quite a hodge podge. But I'm quite attached to it.

Susan said...

That's a shame, because that tiny little table (heehee) is a beauty! $17? Be still my heart! You can tell you don't live in the state of NY, where everyone thinks their stuff is treasure. I am with you one hundred percent on a big kitchen table. To me, a table has to serve multiple purposes - food, projects, sorting, you-name-it. I hope Papa Pea can provide your trusty old table with a boost in the middle. He's such a handy, talented guy!

Susan said...

PS In no way are you not beautiful. Inside and out, my dear. Inside and out. xo

Kristina said...

That was one heck of a deal. Too bad it wasn't large enough. Our table has been through everything, and has scars to show for it. Including nail holes from Hubby and Son making a race car for Boy Scouts years ago.

The Wykeham Observer said...

I think you can shore it up with a little hidden work underneath, and, if not, a little sag is kind of charming.

wisps of words said...

Sagging in the middle...

Yeah, there's a lot of that, going around.


wisps of words said...

Now that I got the "wise-arse-ness" out of my system, on to reality.

Bet my wood working, can fix _anything_ husband, will have a suggestion or 2, for Papa Pea. On how to un-sway-back your favorite table, in no time. :-)

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Oh I laughed out loud when I read - its too small - oh dear! But I am the same. We have our dining room table that is our everyday table and it has TWO leaves for it which makes it massive. Its like a dining hall table when we put both in. But its useful for Christmas, extra people and just like you end has a laptop, papers, etc there!

Lynne said...

Love the first table. It looks like the old work tables they use to use in the kitchen. Big enough for the whole family to sit around. The families use to be big years ago , as I'm sure you remember. Such as mine. There were nine of us. I like the second one too, but does look a little small for all you harvesting. You made a good move to bring the old one back. A little sway in the middle adds character to the table.

Mama Pea said...

SmartAlex - Methinks you have a bit of history right there in your beautiful kitchen table. Keep on enjoying it!

Susan - Even though it's not destined to be the kitchen table, I can't believe we got it for just $17. It was a total steal!

Now, where do you want me to send the money?? (Many hugs to you, my friend!)

Kristina - Lovely memories your table holds for you. Treasure it!

Phil - I think that's probably the way we'll go on encouraging the sag to bend back up. Aren't you sweet to say the sag is okay!

wisps of words - Not only is there sag in the middle, but it's my bottom and top, too!! Any and all suggestions from your crafty husband are welcomed!

MrsDM - Your table sounds perfect! Enjoy, enjoy!

Lynne - Nine in your family! What a collection of people that must have been around the table on a regular basis. (And all the food to feed that many! Oooof.)

Many thanks to all of you for such encouraging words about my good ol' table with the sag in the middle. You've made me realize how much I really like it.

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Goatldi said...

One more time or third time is a charm!

I have started to post a comment twice now and got distracted twice. Once yesterday and once today. I am not going to bed until I get this done!!

We have two tables one my BIL made out of hemlock in a traditional butcher block style. It was fashioned for us when the two kidlets were wee ones so setting four at a smallerish table wasn't a problem. In fact one can still seat four if there are no serving dishes involved. I also use it as a prep table for baking and cooking.

Table number we bought when we moved to Ash Creek as part of the log house deal. It is a parsons table with two matching benches and could seat at capacity 8 comfortably and 10 a bit close. So you had best like your neighbor lol. It also has two chairs to go at each end of it when you want to seat more or just spread out those assembled.

There I did it now I can read your new post and then go to bed ;-)