Of course, I think that many people answer the question this way. No matter how large or small your kitchen area, it just seems to be the natural gathering place for most people. It's warm. It's homey. It generally has a lot going on there. And more importantly? There's food.
However, the more that I thought about it, I realized that the heart of our home is not a place. It is a thing. The heart of our home is our glass and wrought iron kitchen table.
We've had our beloved table for almost 14 years. It's dented. It's scratched. It's probably dated. The chair covers are worn and stained and now replaced with tie-on covers. It's heavy, so it's bad on tile and even worse on hardwood floors. Even with all of that, it's still the heart of every home we've lived in.
We first bought the table -- brand new -- right before we were married. It sat in a very large, sunny breakfast room in our dream home. We gathered many days -- our first table in our first home -- eating, playing games and talking around that table.
Soon, we found ourselves leaving our dream home that we built and relocating to another state. The heart of our home accompanied us to a rental house, only to be placed in a very small breakfast nook. We had to scoot past the table sideways when coming in from the garage. No matter, it was still the gathering place.
In our next home, the table quickly again became the heart. It was still part of the kitchen, but now it was part of a kitchen that overlooked the open family room. Now it was a gathering place to watch television, too.
In our current house, the table sits in the breakfast area of a long kitchen. It overlooks the water. The interesting part is that our current house is very open. This means that people can sit in the open dining room next to the kitchen at the long dining room table with plenty of room, still see the water view and still talk to the cook in the kitchen. No matter. The tiny, round glass table is still the main pick. We find ourselves scooting around, making room for others at this table during parties or gatherings. It's the pick. It's the heart.
In each of these houses, we've always had a formal dining room with a much larger table. That never mattered. The heart of our home continued to be this table. It has served not only as the heart of meals, but discussions. I told my parents we were pregnant while sitting as this table. We've had life altering discussions at this table. We've prayed at this table. We've argued at this table. We've made cookies and Easter eggs there. We've had great meals and some not so great meals there. We've played games, had coffee with friends and shed tears at this table for 14 years.
Will this be the final resting spot for the heart of our home? Probably not. We'll move again and we'll take our beloved table. We will undertake the painful process of wrapping the heavy glass top to move, yet again. But it's definitely the heart of our home. And you know the best part about that? The heart of our home accompanies us wherever we live.