When our family moved up north to Petoskey, Michigan in 1969, the large backyard was perfect for a large family, which at the time had seven of the future twelve children. We moved in with a dining table that was meant for fewer people and my mother desperately wanted a new table. A new table was costly with that many mouths to feed so my parents looked around until they spotted something we could use.
The item happened to be outside in their backyard. The previous owners had left behind two large wooden spools used for I think telephone cable, one spool much larger than the other and it was inspected and measured and taken apart and painted and made into our round table.
I remember the first time we sat down to eat at it. Before prayer on the food that night, Mom talked to us of King Arthur and his Round Table. As a family we each would have equal opportunity to speak and let our opinions be known at this table. We would discuss religion at this table. We would discuss politics at this table. We would discuss our problems at work and school at this table.
This table showed we were all equals and we mattered in the busy world of a large family.
Camelot never lasts and eventually the family grew too large for this table and it was replaced with a long rectangular, expensive table that fit in the room and seated all of us once again, but the idea that we were all equals and our opinions were valued, even if not accepted by all, remained.
Perhaps it would have been quieter in the home, especially at the dinner table, had we not been given the opportunity to talk and discuss things. It might have led to us being quieter in our many different beliefs today. I think our parents had the right idea to help us understand our individual worth and am grateful they had a spool out back to help teach us.