Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Old Table and the Wild Hair

Yesterday morning, I had my husband pull my grandparents’ old dining room table from the back of the garage, where it has been sitting for some time.  I always intended to refinish it, but the fact that I don’t know the first thing about the process kept me in procrastination mode.  I thought perhaps I could clean it up and put it into service again, but seeing its condition made me angry and very sad at the same time.  Grandma took good care of it while she was alive, but after that it was slowly destroyed. Splatters of dried paint, and a thin coat of glue and glitter covered both the top and the beautiful ornate pedestal base.  I realized that no amount of “cleaning it up” was going to make any difference.  At that point, I got the Wild Hair…

Grandma originally got this table around 1957-1958, after their home on the farm burned down and they moved to town.  She very rarely bought anything new, so I assume the table was second-hand when she bought it.  It was the center of every important (and unimportant) event in our family for the next ~40 years.

1 Wally_Betty_Wedding4
It held my parents’ wedding cake…

2 JuneWed1
It held my Aunt’s wedding cake…

3 KarenBirthday_March1960_2
It held a squirming 1 year old and all her presents…

4 BillLill25th
It held my Grandparents’ 25th anniversary cake…

5 444_May1960_Lill
It was the centerpiece of my Grandmother’s Card Club meetings…

6 43_Karen
And more birthday cakes…

7 GeoSylviaFam
And company from far away…

8 1962_NewYears_GmaKnutz_AuntMabel
New Years’ celebrations…

9 NovDinner

And so many delicious Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners were served from it. 
And it holds so many other memories for which pictures only exist in my memory and in my heart… Memories which served to fuel that Wild Hair to which I referred earlier.  The next thing I knew, it had been stripped and sanded -

and today, I hesitantly made a decision on the stain, and got busy -
I am hoping by this time next week, it’s sitting in my dining room ready for Generation #6 to begin making memories.


  1. Oh, Karin, I'm so glad you decided to rescue your grandmother's table. Oak pedestal tables similar to this one used to be easy to come by but I'm not so sure that's the case. Even if they were and you could buy one, it wouldn't have all the sentimental value that having the real one does. Good job! It looks beautiful.

  2. Oh how wonderful that you preserved your grandparents' table. From all of the great pictures you've shared, it looks like an important family heirloom that holds lots of lovely memories for you and your family.

  3. You are such a wonder, I am so glad you decided to go ahead and fix it. I have silverware that was my Mother's...consider that she will have been gone 69 years on August 26th. I want to know that even though it is not usable that my daughter will keep it and pass it down to her daughter. After we are dead and gone it is a toss up as to what they do with our stuff.

  4. So happy to see you refinished the table. It looks so much like my moms table that her father refinished for her. I just wish I had the pictures you had. And your table looks almost identical to yours but I have a round post under table.