The Story of Gather Tables

I have always loved family tables. Even as a child I loved them. There is no way I could have verbalized what it was that meant so much to me, but it didn’t matter. As I have continued to reflect on the joy our family table brought to my childhood I have realized what it is that has always drawn me to them — it’s where life happens.

All of the good and all of the bad happen at the family table. All the best meals and the hardest conversations. The joy of a pregnancy announcement and the sweet pursuit of figuring out your ABCs. The opulence and excess of a Thanksgiving meal and the quiet cup of coffee in the early part of the morning before the children stir. 

For the first five years of my life it was just my mom and me at our table — an incredible five years with the coolest lady on the planet. It wasn’t big and it wasn’t fancy, but it was perfect. It was ours. Our table was so important to me that I insisted it come with my wife and me to our first little apartment after we got married. It was at this table where I learned how to be a human, and also where I learned how to be a husband. 

When I was five, my mom remarried. In a single day I got a dad, a brother and a sister, and a new family table. It was a good day, and the table we got to commemorate our new family with is still sitting in my parents’ home. Actually, it's because of that German farm table that I started Gather Table Company. 

Our new table is now a legacy that will be in our family for the next hundred years. It has spent the last 25 years serving our family faithfully. I have cried hard – and laughed harder – at that table. It has been the headquarters of more birthday celebrations than I could possibly count. It's been the arena for epic Monopoly fights and heroic cribbage comebacks. Term papers and Christmas cookies. Conversations so sad and hard I didn’t know if I would recover. Joyous celebrations so sweet I hoped they would never end. It was a place to connect. A place to belong.

Even now, I am sitting in the quiet of the morning at my family table. I have my coffee, and I'm eagerly awaiting the sun to join me in this marvelous day. But I am even more excited for the sounds of tiny footsteps that will soon be above me, making their way down the stairs to see Papa. My quiet table, with a book and coffee, will soon be bustling with the energy and life that only a family can bring. I think Cheerios and orange juice are next on the docket. Can’t wait.

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