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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Table Stories

We all have tales to share every day. Simple little anecdotes concerning events of the day. Complicated chronicles. Juicy gossip. Lighthearted lexicons.

I've always found the best discourse develops around the table. There is something about the comfort of good food and in being surrounded by familiar people which make fertile ground for the development of interesting conversation. Some of the best times I've had in recent years have been at large dinner gatherings at the Lake Winnipeg cottage of my aunt and uncle.

They are collectors of people, Joan and Lionel. These events are always 'family' events but are never comprised entirely of relatives proper. Rather, there is about an equal measure of acquired 'family' - people who have come into our lives through Joan and Lionel and who have remained constant, some for so long that I can't be entirely sure they are not 'real' relatives. And that's nice, as motley and unlikely a crew we might all be at first glance.

At each gathering, especially during the big holidays, tables are added to tables until they take up the entire length of the cottage. Chairs are squeezed as tightly together as possible which makes for some interesting and creative movement coming and going from the table. When I was young all children were required to sit at the "kids" table, away from the adults, at the insistence of our parents. Today, all children are welcome at the main table - at the insistence of our parents. Something about becoming a grandparent mellows a person, I suppose.

Somebody always brings something, though Joan does most of the cooking (and is as terrific a culinarian as she is a hostess). The food is always good. The desserts, well... red velvet cake worthy of fighting with your favourite cousin for, pumpkin cheesecake like you've never imagined. But it is the company, above all, which make these events memorable.

And it is in these settings where the best stories unfold.

In honor of Joan and Lionel's 50th anniversary this summer, I can't think of a better gift than our newest edition to the store; glassware and a decorative plate from Tord Boontje's Table Stories collection.

Stunning, whimsically etched glassware, short and tall.                   Deco plate in subtle grey on white.

Don't you deserve something this special on your table?

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