Friday, April 13, 2018

Around the dining room table ... in the 1940s

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 the 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 !



6 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Your dictionary game reminds me somewhat of Balderdash, but there you try to make up definitions to fool people.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

You sure were lucky. Five girls within eight years! How fortunate to have four sisters too, Ginnie!

4:18 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

How neat. Reminds of my recent reading of a biography of Joseph Kennedy. The patriarch encouraged his many children in a similar manner...

7:58 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

We use to play word games also. Your dictionary one we would have enjoyed. Family conversation seems to be a lost art.

11:10 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Lucky, lucky, lucky you!
I wonder how many families today sit together at the table for meals - and actually TALK to each other. I am always surprised at the homes with TV sets in the kitchen or dining area. The set is on during meals, so often the kids are not made to sit at the table.
What a loss.
Did I say how lucky you were?

4:34 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What fun at yiur dinner table, Ginnie. The dictionary game was quite original and how wonderful that it produced such a fun, entertaining, and informative game.

6:03 PM  

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