Sunday, 20 May 2012

An occasional table

The small round table sits between us, just in front of the sofa. Once upon a time it might have lived in an elegant Georgian house holding a potted plant, or a graceful vase of flowers. Today it sits incongruously in our small home, loved but uncared for, with a crack across the surface veneer, the polish has long since lost its shine and there are white marks where one of us put down a hot cup without thinking.

An almost empty bottle of wine and two small glasses sit on the blue and yellow sunflower mats you bought home a long time ago, between and around them are the signs of our weekend. My sunglasses lie folded, waiting for me to find a screwdriver small enough to tighten the loose screws, waiting hopefully for the day when the sun finally decides to shine. Beside them is the necklace I discarded yesterday evening when its stones had started to irritate.

There's a small jar of handcream - it's called 'The Weary Gardener's Restoring Hand Cream' which seems about right, I know we both needed it when we got home from the allotment today, with our hands all scratched and dirt under our finger-nails. Just beside it there's a corner of the wrapper from a Fry's Peppermint Cream, my treat from the village shop where we went to buy some wine for tonight's risotto. Lastly, there are two pens, left there on our occasional table for occasional use. One I pulled out from the side of the sofa where it had fallen, the other I've been using to mark the rows on a knitting pattern, as I slowly create the purple socks I've been promising you for months.

When I first knew you, when we worked together in an office in Waterloo, you managed a second-hand furniture service that recovered and repaired unwanted cast-offs and found new homes for them.  Somehow, this table went unclaimed, so you rescued it and bought it home and we've had it almost as long as we've been together.

I sometimes think the table's not the only thing you rescued.


17 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

How nice to have a lovely old table that's travelled with you on lifes journey and shows the nicks and scratches to prove it.

Nessa Roo said...

I'm very curious about the purple socks.

Shea Goff said...

Ah. Philip. Beautiful. Love the whole piece but especially that last line. I am almost sure it would have made him smile.

Mrs Smith said...

Lovely

Marsha said...

How nice to live with someone who sees the beauty and worth of things others pass by...

Dicky Carter said...

There's a table just like that at my mums house. It has a chip in the side from when I bashed a guitar against it many years ago. Mums never said anything, so neither have I. Lovely piece of writing Sharon - as always.

The Idiot Gardener said...

When we were kids the Mother had what she referred to as an occasional table. I always used to wonder what it was on the occasions when it wasn't a table. It was always being a table whenever I saw it. As the years rolled by, it became increasingly obvious that it was always going to be a table.

It robbed me of a little of life's magic!

Starlight said...

Sharon, this is an excellent post and the table is lovely... and the last line is heartbreaking and perfect. I loved it.

Mary-Colleen said...

Love, love, love it.

joeh said...

I love old stuff, there is a story behind every crack and water mark.

Cranky Old Man

Hillary said...

Short, sweet and evocative. Another lovely glimpse into your life.

Bill Dameron said...

I sometimes wonder if all of the things that Paul and I have accumulated will one day be too full of the life we have experienced together, when one of us is gone. Reading this post, I'm afraid that will be the case. But better to have those memories than not, right?

Lovely story.

Technogran said...

Lovely post Sharon, with a wonderful last sentence. Your table has obviously brought you both lot's of love.

Cle Reveries said...

Lovely and tender post!
That's incredible how many things can say a table, and more incredible is that it may become the symbol of our family life

Susan Cooper said...

It's funny, we had a table just like that in our familyroom while growing up. It has been passed down to my brother who had a fondness for it, for many various reasons. The truth is, if he had not taken the table one of would have. That table hold so many memories that go back many years, more than I can count. :-), I just wrote about one of those. If you look closely at one the illustrations you will see the table.

http://findingourwaynow.com/2012/05/a-spider-a-minister.html

Thanks for bring that fond memory tp mind, :-), Susan Cooper

Young at Heart said...

and what stories could that table tell we wonder...??

Jennifer said...

That's really a lovely story. :)