Monday, April 23, 2018

A to Z April Challenge: T is for Table


When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.


is for the table built by my husband Barry’s paternal grandfather John Mathias. It was made from scraps of oak left over from the construction of Barry’s childhood home. His dad and grandfather built that too in 1948.

Mathias table 1948 https://jollettetc.blogspot.com 



John and Essie Mathias late 1940s https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
John and Essie Mathias
Barry's grandparents


















The table was never intended as “fine furniture.” They never lived that way. The table was sanded, stained, and varnished, but still it has a roughness to it. The wood of the table top is not perfect; in fact the back left corner is pocked with dips and holes that suggest the wood may have come from a diseased tree.

Mathias table 1948 https://jollettetc.blogspot.com

As for construction, there are no fancy cuts - all straight. Nails attaching the frame to the legs are clearly visible, no attempt to disguise them with wood putty.

Barry remembers the table always under the double windows in the upstairs hall. That is where his mother grew her African violets and other flowers because the light was so good there.

Mathias table 1948 https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Now we use it as a side table in the family room. On it sits an old chicken feed scoop from the family farm. It makes a good gathering spot for extra glasses and remote controls.

Wendy
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

20 comments:

  1. That table is beautiful and a real family treasure.

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    1. Thanks. I like this table. It's a good size.

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  2. I have similar things I cherish and that I have lugged from home to home over the years. The Heirloom book is a good idea and I will add that to my list of projects. Thanks.
    http://shirleyjdietz.com/2018/04/23/a-to-z-selling-our-house-letter-t

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    1. Doesn't everyone need another project? HA! Thanks for visiting.

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  3. It looks like a beautiful table and built from scraps from a home they also built - doesn't get much better.

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    1. I know - I think it's such a nice thing to then build a new table for the new house.

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  4. I think it is neat with the history behind the table and how it was constructed. Looks pretty good too in the picture!

    betty

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    1. Thanks. Being aware of the history behind the table makes me wonder about furniture in antiques shops and thrift stores. What are their stories?

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  5. I LOVE that table and the chicken feed scoop! I love a home that is full of meaningful treasures like those. Can I say it again....you are SO lucky!

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    1. Yes, you may say it. I know I am lucky.

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  6. I still remember the furniture my grandfather had made for their house after the war. When they came to Australia they were not able to bring much and had little money. Grandpa made a desk and chair and also some outdoor furniture. My aunt and her daughters inherited these but I don’t think they have survived various house moves :(
    Regards
    Anne
    Fellow A to Z-er
    https://ayfamilyhistory.com/2018/04/23/t-is-for-theresa/


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    1. Starting over must have been so difficult. I hope photos of the furniture have survived even if the desk and chair didn't.

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  7. That table it a perfect size. I like things that are not perfect. My Dad made furniture for our house, I wonder what happened to it all? I think they got rid of it when they went in to the antique business.

    My A to Z Genealogy Challenges

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    1. That is where monetary value and sentimental value clash. There are things I hold onto for sentimental reasons and others that become a nuisance and are tossed. I wonder if my girls feel sentimental about anything in this house.

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  8. Awesome that is was made from scrap wood from their house! I’d love that scoop also!

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    1. At one time I hung the scoop on the wall like a little shelf, but I much prefer it on the table.

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  9. What a special table in that it was handmade and has family memories. Love thinking of it as a perfect place for violets. Nice that you have a special place for it with other memorabilia and that it is being used...maybe a pot of silk violets are in order.

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    1. You have inspired me - yes, I need some silk violets because I would definitely kill a real one.

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  10. Beautiful! As a mother to chickens, I'd love the chicken scoop. LOL!

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    1. I should have taken a better picture of that scoop. Barry's dad made it. The handle is the end of an old broom.

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