Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Prep

For my birthday in July of 2007, Len promised me a new dining room set because I've always hated the This End Up trestle-table which was part of his bachelor furniture (which is still most of the furniture we have.) It looks like a picnic table, and would be fine out doors. It seats six, but no more comfortably, because it doesn't expand.

So, I've been looking for a table which would accommodate our large Thanksgiving crowds (we've had up to 23 people) but possibly take up a bit less space when at rest. In the past, I've configured lots of folding tables to make a banquet of 60"x 144" or more. It's rather like fitting a square peg into a round hole to make sure it fits in our living room.

I really like round tables, but I don't have room for a round table which seats the 17 people who are coming this year. I saw a spectacular round table that goes from 6 people to 12 people with beautiful wood inlay and a creative twist, but it was $13,000 and it would take over the house. I'm sure King Arthur would wonder where it went.

I found some lovely tables on line with split pedestals that could expand to seat upwards of 22 people (with 12 12" leaves) and close down to a 48" round. They even came in cherry, which is my favorite wood. But they would have to ship from Michigan and god knows how long it would take to be made. The cost for a table alone would be close to $4500, which is not a number Len would have liked.

While I was on-line last week, I found a possibility at a local oak-specialty furniture store I've visited a number of times, Barn Furniture Mart. There was a 10% off coupon which I could print out and take in. So I squeezed in a stop on Saturday morning and I found a 54" round with 6 18" extension leaves. They had it on display with 16 chairs. Even better, they could deliver it the next day. It's a Mission design (very California, right?) and the price was a lot less than the table I saw on-line. I didn't get the chairs shown in the picture. First things first.

I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to break the news to Len, since I had been waiting for 15 months for him to actually make a move toward getting the promised dining room set. I could hardly sleep on Saturday night because my stomach was so upset. On Sunday, I started moving furniture around to make room (under the guise of getting ready for Thursday and bringing in the folding tables.) After we got back from the farmers' market and I heard Len make a remark to a friend about my making changes to the house while he is away, I had the opening to tell him. I said we needed to have a talk and that he might want to sit down. He went a little pale with the news and said "but I thought we'd pick it out together." I told him I'd been waiting 15 months for him to do anything, and I would have waited until next week while he was at the convention, but I thought we should have the table for Thanksgiving. I did say I'd let him help pick out chairs to go with it. No hurry on that. I've actually got 12 really nice, high-back chrome folding chairs which will do nicely for now and furniture is the modern 17th anniversary gift. (We're celebrating that anniversary on December 25.)

We moved the old table out onto the patio. The new table was delivered within the four-hour window as promised. It is heavy, and the delivery guys had to roll it on its side to get it in the front door. It looks really nice and the Sunday Night Supper Squad made appropriate noises.

So tonight, after I make my pie crust, I've got to make a table cloth to cover the entire thing (extended, it is 162" long, and the longest tablecloths I could find were 144".) I couldn't find two 70" x 86" table clothes to sew together (the ideal solution), so I'm taking a 70" round, cutting it in half, and sewing a half to each end of a 70" x 120" oblong. It will work. I'm sure it will work.