Wednesday, October 10, 2007

AROUND THE DINING ROOM TABLE…in the 1940’s


Some of the best conversations I have ever encountered have been during or after an evening meal. The body is fed and the mind follows. This was particularly true of my childhood home.

By the mid 40’s none of us had left home yet so our dining room table was always full. It was very large...room enough to seat 10 comfortably. We needed that space because we were 5 girls, (separated in age by 8 years!), my mother and father, and an assortment of boyfriends and other guests.

Everyone was welcome and it was understood that if you stayed for dinner you would participate in the lively discussions and games that followed. The menu might be scant, due to rationing or lack of funds, but, the enthusiasm was abundant.

One of our favorite games revolved around the Dictionary. One person would hold the opened book on their lap, eyes closed and point to a word. It was then up to all the participants to define the word and the winner was the one who came closest to the actual definition in the dictionary. An example might be: the word PICOT. (Typical answers could be: “a small bed”, “a quaint saying”, “ used to make a fancy fence”…etc.) Of course the actual definition is “ornamental loops in embroidery”. It was not only an amusing game but it helped to increase our vocabulary and to promote an interest in words. I loved it.

Another high-light of those evenings were the discussions. We would relate our day’s events, talk about world or national events or just plain listen. Our guests were an eclectic group so we would often be mesmerized by what they shared. What a lucky little girl I was!

12 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

Indeed, you were lucky! I remember that kids I knew whose family made it a point to eat together and discuss current events always made better grades in school.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Growing up, our dining room table was a place of derision and abuse. But now, when MY family gets together, it is the place of lively discussion, laughter and love.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I guess you were playing an early version of Balderdash. Sounds like a warm and stimulating environment.

6:25 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

The loss of conversation around the dinner table is one of the sad consequences of our over-rushed age.
We too played word games as I was growing up, although I don't know that it was around the dining room table. We played them in the car (lots of travelling with missionary parents).

7:08 AM  
Anonymous John said...

I was just reading that nearly half of today's homes don't have a dining room table or any other table to eat at. Anyway who needs conversation when you can watch the latest 'reality show' on TV and eat the pizza out of the box. :-(

7:12 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I remember discussions like this too! We also played the dictionary game at family gatherings. My mom always won because very often she knew the word and the definition!!

9:48 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

The young of today are poor indeed to not have had these types of family interactions, our's most often came at supper time. There were six siblings in our family and while the food may not have been very fancy, we usually didn't go to bed hungry - physically or emotionally. ec

6:10 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I love it at the dinner table here, it is my favourite time of the day..relaxing, speaking of the days events...my Tomas got student of the week yesterday at assembly, and Nicholas lost a tooth right at the table..what a day!!

11:26 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

Isn't it a shame that people don't do so much of that now?
We always eat our meals together, but many people don't. Their schedules are just too busy.

The kids are usually plopped in front of a TV or computer. I think that's sad.

Cas

12:15 PM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

What a lucky little girl, indeed. Dinner tables are so important, and so many children are being robbed of them these days.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Namenlosen Trinker said...

The game you describe sounds like the Dictionary Game, which I learned to play and loved as a full-grown adult.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

What an amazing table collections!! Check out this one too for Dining Room Table.

1:44 AM  

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