immigrating furniture: granny’s kitchen table

ripon, yorkshire, 1969 (i am 6), with my cheerful enterprising granny in her chilly kitchen, sitting at the sturdy little work table. warm fresh brown bread thickly sliced waits to be spread with the best combination in the world – rich english butter and marmite.

with a twinkle in her eye, granny shows me how to swirl the marmite, plenty of it, into the cold pot of butter that has appeared from the cool larder’s shelves (no need for a fridge in yorkshire, i recall). we layer the precious gold black concoction onto our slices and enjoy the happy snack together while she chats about her travels and her paintings. the table moved to my father’s kitchen when she died, and now that my father has died, my mother is moving to america.  all sorts of interior design possibilities await her in her american home and she plans to bring little with her, to start fresh.  but the kitchen table is immigrating too, by popular family demand. sometimes you cannot separate furniture, though plain and unnecessary, from memories. the people were precious, so the furniture holds on to part of what they were for you.