Old Sweetwater

Old Sweetwater

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Around the Kitchen Table

Many nights an aunt, uncle and my parents would *put on a pot of coffee* and visit around the kitchen table while my cousins and I would be in the living room. As the kids would play, laugh at our newest jokes and catch up on the past year, we could smell the coffee mixed with cigarette smoke. It was the 1960's. Everyone smoked. We didn't have seat belts in our cars either. Neither did we have free long-distance, so we only heard news through an occasional letter or *gossip* from other visiting relatives. 
After we kids were put to bed, it would make me feel that everything was safe and right with the world hearing the pleasant drone of distant adult voices mingled with the clink of cups on saucers and scrapes of chairs on linoleum. Here are examples of the progression of dinette sets. Does anyone else have those type of memories? Chrome set 1950's; Fiberglass Chairs from the 1960's; Swivel dinette 1970's; Wicker popular 1980's; Glass and ornate iron 1990's; Arts & Crafts with bench 1990's; Banquette seating early 2000's and now Counter height dinettes are all the rage. Naw, those people aren't my family, but they are a great representation!
  

35 comments:

Jojo said...

I remember "gathering around the kitchen table" but I'm not sure folks do that much anymore. It brought back so many memories seeing the chrome set - ours was pink!!!

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

You bet, Janean. Loved sitting around my Granny's table and hearing of all the family memories. I miss that so much! Love the vintage photo :)

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I was a kid of the 60's, so I remember those things too. Fun post!

It's me said...

We always sit at our kitchen table...and that is a huge one 3 meter !!!....love you.....Ria......

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Good Morning Janean!
Growing up with my Grandparents was a very quiet life and their old table was made of wood with a side that was hinged and had two flaps that slid out sideways and held up the extension. Now my Step family had a table like your first one..it even had the matching step stool! Life over there wasn't quiet at all with 5 kids plus me... that old table saw lots of action! Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories...
Maura :)

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Our chrome set was yellow - how I'd love to have that today! But I do love my own dinette set! I bought it at an antique market a few years ago for $120 - table (with leaf) and 4 chairs. It's an older, dining set, on the smaller side, with chairs with the 'pressed' backs and has been antiqued in bright red. I just LOVE it!

NanaDiana said...

Janean, I grew up in very similar circumstances. We were so lucky, so blessed. Drugs & sex just passed us by in our area...even though they were around at that time..The worst thing any kid I knew did was got caught smoking behind the school....By one the teachers that was standing out on the SMOKE DECK...lol

Our table was exactly like Number One-excpet that it was grey. In addition to coffee there was always some kind of dessert around...cake or pie - all homemade, of course.

Lovely post-thanks for the memories...Diana

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Such wonderful memories you've stirred up today! There is something so right about gathering around the kitchen table... doesn't seem to happen enough anymore.

Oklahoma Granny said...

That first pictures really takes me back. I so remember the dinette set my folks had. Then when my husband and I first married there wasn't much money and we bought a yellow dinette set. I kind of miss it.

FairfieldHouse said...

Janean,

Right there with you, girl friend! Smoke, adult conversations, laughter, highballs and NO children allowed. We were too busy being kids, playing in the other room or outside.

Your Friend,
Deborah

Karen said...

Awww, lovely thoughts around the table. Yes, oh yes, many memories. Sunday roast beef, red beans and rice for family gatherings.... I even remember a few of those tables. Yikes! :)

Deborah said...

My mom still has an old green and steel coloured table from that time and she uses it in their lower level.
An oldie but goodie!
Thanks for the cute post; it sure is fun for everyone to gather around the kitchen table and chat isnt it?!
Or even pull out a board game and have a hoot!
Love it!!
Have a sweet day friend...

Deborah xoxo

kpaints said...

What a sweet walk back in time! I grew up with the top red dining set and later when I got married the 70's set (larger)was my inlaws kitchen set. Wonderful to see these again! Thanks for the post.

Linda said...

Janean,
I adore this post!! So well written and something I so relate to. Yes, I remember all of this, except for the earlier dinette sets. As I read along and came to the part with the photos, I half expected to see some of our furniture there, because I'm one who can't bear to part with certain items, if they belonged to my Grandparents. :) And in fact, I do have an Iron padded bench that was part of the dining room set we had in the mid 80s at home - it sits in our entry way now and is in bad need of a re-do. You've inspired me; I think I'll get busy with that.

Thanks for the precious memories ♥

Farm Girl said...

You always trigger so many memories for me when you write. Yes, of course my cousins and I would be in one giant bed and we could hear the adults laughing and playing Canasta. The pleasant drone of the their voices would be what put us to sleep. It was good and lots of coffee and cigarettes were smoked. I tell my kids that I can be at a hospital or somewhere I am nervous and I smell cigarette smoke and I can feel myself relax. I think because it always made me feel save.
Thanks Janean,
I love the top photo that was what kind of table my grandparents had.
sorry this is so long.

Blondie's Journal said...

You brought back great memories. Funny how time can be recorded by the type of kitchen table we had!!

Great post, Janean!

XO,
Jane

Sharon said...

What memories that chrome table is.
My folks had one but it was blue.
I also remember those plastic chairs, hubs and I had a set when the boys were small. We had to get a different set of chairs since they tipped over so easy.
Great post.
Hugs

Florence said...

Oh how I remember those chrome tables and chairs, I just bought a chrome table that I keep on my deck to pull out for an extra table. Florence

Kellie Collis said...

Wonderful dining spaces! Have a lovely day, Kellie xx

sissie said...

Thanks for such great memories Janean! When I was a little girl I can remember that everyone gathered in the kitchen around the big metal leg table and the hard plastic covered chairs. Coffee was served in melmac cups and of course, everyone smoked!

Great post.

hugs
Sissie

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I have the same kind of sweet memories Janean. We got together with my aunts and uncles and cousins quite a bit. We had one of those chrome tables too. I saw one just like ours in a vintage store a while back :-)
Blessings,
Marcia

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Oh my, this post evokes sweet memories for me! My aunt, uncle and a grandmother or two--my cousins and my sister and I playing through the haze of cigarette smoke and yes--clink of coffee cups! We had a yellow and white formica table and Franciscan Starburst dishes and barkcloth draperies! That bottom picture reminds me of Saturday nights long
ago!

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Janean,

Oh I remember clearly the old formica table and the chrome chairs.
I also have the same happy memories of my childhood, only my Parents never smoked.
Life did seem so much more relaxed and yes, there was that feeling that all was good and safe.

Hope that all is well with you and enjoy your weekend
Hugs
Carolyn

Technodoll said...

Oh heck yes, YES! Thank you for the memories... I grew up in the 70's so a bit different but not that much.

I miss being a kid sometimes :-)

Nel said...

What a fun post! We had a green chrome set. I would love to have one of the red ones now for my little house in Arkansas. It would go good with the Coca Cola decor. I remember we had the rolling chairs too. Mom thought she had hit the jackpot when dad got that set for her. Our kitchen table was the gathering spot also. I remember when a couple of us cousins would sit in the living room and laugh at our mommas. Because they were talking a mile a minute and laughing so hard, we swore we would never do that. Guess what, we sound just like them. Funny how that happens.
Enjoyed this post, glad I dropped in.
until next time... nel

Bernie said...

I have lived with all the above except the one I love the most, the wicker set....my favorite and has me thinking perhaps it is time to get rid of the Oak Dining Room set and redecorate using all wicker.....how fresh and cozy would that be?......:-)Hugs

From the Kitchen said...

That first photo looks like the formica table and chairs in our kitchen growing up! We have a 1921 arts and crafts bungalow so it wouldn't work for us but I love the memories.

Best,
Bonnie

Pondside said...

I love that last photo - it could have been any family of the time.
My parents went through a couple of formica sets, but the table that we all remember is the little metal-topped, wooden-legged table with a drawer. It was their first table, and the family soon outgrew it, but there was no better place for rolling pastry or drinking tea. Each of we four children had that table at one time or another and now it's back at mum's and dad's.
Sweet memories.

dobco said...

We had a red and white set very much like the first dinnette set that you posted. We enjoyed many meals around that table! Thanks for jogging my memory.

Dolores said...

Ahhhh, such sweet memories... whatever the setting.
Hugs,

Susan B said...

Sounds a lot like my childhood! My parents would also get together with their best friends on Saturday nights to play penny ante poker. It's funny, after all those years of watching them play...I still don't know how to play poker! (My husband always joined them when we were dating.) A very sweet post. :)

Beverly @ My Sew Sweet Studio said...

Great post as ususal Janean. You have brought back memories for me. My parents used to play Pinocle with neighbors at a table just like that only yellow. All the things you mentioned, I remember. Yes even the cigarette smoke.
And that last picture could be some of my family from the 50's too.

Kathleen said...

I'd love that wicker set for my covered porch! I am so NOT liking that new all weather plastic wicker, not charming at all!
I'll keep my old wicker with 10 coats of white paint, LOL

Sue said...

I don't remember the table at all...but I remember lying in bed at grandma's and smelling the coffee percolating away and feeling that all was right in the world. And I remember evenings when my mother entertained the ladies and the clink of the coffee cups, the smell of the cigarettes, and the laughter made me feel so cozy in my bed! Thanks for the memories. Those were happy days. I want my grandchildren to have the memories too...

Deb said...

I love the last photo with the mix matched chairs...reminds me of family gatherings when I was growing up...love listening on in the grown ups talking...