Monday, June 6, 2011

Reading at the Dinner Table | Halifax, NS

We sat across from each other at the table in the restaurant.  We had opted for a late lunch at a local all day breakfast restaurant and on the way in he picked up the newspaper.  As we sat in the booth, he pulled the paper out and asked me to give him a minute to glance at the headlines.  The International Money Fund had a new leader.  News.  I didn't want news.  I grabbed The Arts and Travel sections to find something a little lighter and more interesting.  

There we sat til our meals came, both of us with our newspaper sections opened and heads bowed in deep thought.  It was then that I had a flashback.  Mom's father, Grampa Gillis, always read at the table.  Mom had once told me that when she was little, she and both her parents read in silence at the dinner table.  Meals were never like that when I was growing up.  We had big family dinners on Sundays, with our meals in the dining room instead of at the kitchen table, usually with candlelight and soft music and loads of conversation.

Grampa Gillis came to live with us when I was a little older.  I don't have specific memories of him reading when we were all at the table, but he would often have meals alone with the newspaper spread out all over the table while he took it all in.  Although he was ill and wouldn't leave the house, he would tear ads out of the paper.  The next person to sit down to read the paper would open it to peer through the hole where the ad had once been, forever missing the end of the article that had once been on the page before or after the advertisement. 

I smiled at the memories of life so long ago and I glanced up at Jason, still enthralled with the Money Fund.  This is our life now and it seems so comfortable.  So long as reading at the table doesn't become a habit.  :-)

email:  karenk{at}


  1. I was thinking of your Grampa Gillis and his newspaper not long ago....we had come for a visit and there he was with his paper, holes and all. We had a chuckle at the time. I seem to recall something about toothbrushes too... Memories and family, Love Shawnee

  2. I became a reader at the dinner table when my mom & dad both started bringing their books and newspapers and I, as an only child, had no recourse. Reading can be a great pastime, but dinnertime conversations can create so many pleasant memories. Something to keep in mind. Only 3 more to go!

  3. comfortable silences are a rare thing, not to be found with many people - hold on to them! ss