The Split Bowl – by Rachel Jones Martens

rachel.JPGWe sat at a long, unfinished wooden plank table. Dad added leaves as the family grew. Mom and Dad sat enthroned at chairs on both ends. Their offspring sat on long wooden benches on either side. My first memories of the table were after the three oldest were gone from home, and before Bill and Lois were born.

When I was about ten years old and Wes was about 15, we were sitting across from each other. A large beige crockery bowl sat between us, overflowing with fresh garden peas. After the blessing, we both pulled on the big crockery bowl at the same time–neither one turning loose. The bowl had probably long since been cracked, because it split in two. Peas rolled all over the table. Everyone laughed, and Dad laughed so hard that he had to leave the table.

Wes and I had to leave the table also, but not because of laughter. Mom thoroughly thrashed us with a switch on the legs (as only she could do) because of the wasted food.

The good part was that we did get to eat later, and we didn’t have to clean up the mess.

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