The Table

This post doesn’t have anything to do with autism. There’s not even any sarcasm in it. That’s the truth, too. I wasn’t even being sarcastic when I said that. Seriously, this post is about a sentimental piece of furniture. I’m having a hard time believing myself, but that’s the honest truth.

I was given my mom’s hand carved table recently. My mom bought this table when we lived in Panama almost 40 years ago. I remember when my brother started school, my mom and I would sit at this table and eat lunch together. Sometimes it was rice and fish, or sushi, other times it was peanut butter sandwiches. I also remember having to dust this table when I was a kid, and boy was that like the.worst.punishment.ever. And I mean like EVER!

The table has been neglected for many years, almost forgotten, even though it remained in plain sight. The lifetime of this table has seen several moves…from Panama, to various locations in Texas, to a couple of locations in Virginia, and now it resides with me.

The table is stunning and beautiful. It has carvings all over the surface and sides of the table, as well as on the 6 little chairs that fit underneath the table. All of the table and chair feet are carved claws that match. There is a glass overlay to protect the surface and make the table usable. The table was purchased in Panama. The people have a distinctive African-look to them. But the buildings, clothing, rituals, etc., are all noticeably Asian. I have no idea what the origins of this table are, or if the table was purchased new or used.  I don’t even know what kind of wood it is. All I know is that it is beautiful.

When my brother and sister and I started discussing the fate of this table, we all agreed that one of us should keep it, however, none of us really had a place for it even though all of us have storage space for it. I was fortunate enough to be the one to get it.

And, oh how I love this table.

But it was dir-tay. Like 3 nights of vacuuming, dusting, wiping, and brushing through the details kind of dirty.

Here are a few pictures to show you how thick the dust had piled up inside of the details.

The cleaning tools were pretty basic…the brush attachment on my vacuum, a toothbrush, some coconut oil, some orange oil, and a rag. Oh, and lots of elbow grease and time.

Here is a before and after of the same section.

Also, the coconut and orange oils are so natural. No nasty fumes in the air. There’s a lovely, sweet citrus aroma in the air. Bonus, apparently it tastes good, too. Just ask the cats.

And finally, here are some pictures showing the table after the thorough cleaning.

When my sister brought the table to me, my first thought was to store it in the basement. I hesitantly decided to bring it into my living room. I thought it was too big for the space, certainly does not fit with our contemporary-style-forced-into-our-cedar-sided-cabin home. I wanted the table, but just didn’t really want it in my space. But I am so happy with it here! I love reminiscing on happier times with my mom when I look at the table.

Incidentally, cleaning the table this time around was not a punishment. I felt like I was honoring my mother while taking care of this beloved heirloom piece. I cannot wait for my mother to see this table again. I’m hoping it brings to her happy memories as it does for me. I’m not sure if she will remember that she and I used to sit on the little chairs and eat lunch together at this table. I wonder if seeing this table will make her think of my dad who has been gone for 4 years now. Will it make her sad to see it again? Or will this table bring back memories of her youth, Panama, or possibly even the history of this table?

Oh, how I love this table.

Thanks for joining me on this little trip down memory lane.

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