We are hosting Christmas dinner this year for both of our families and for friends who can’t make it home to see theirs. Our dining room table, scratched and worn from moves across the eastern seaboard, only seats four. The guest list keeps growing, last I checked, we were expecting around 10. This is a problem that will need to work itself out– with a loaves and fishes type solution.
My first thought, before invoking a miracle of biblical proportions, was to grab the piano bench.
Growing up, we used the bench much more than we used the piano. It was filled with music ranging from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Shrimer’s book of scales. I remember trying to pick out the melodies from The Sound of Music, and other scores that were much more advanced than my training. I don’t remember much else about my fingers on the yellow-stained keys, but I remember dragging the piano bench into our kitchen.
Like on Thanksgiving, when my friends crammed into my parents’ house to eat cinnamon rolls and drink coffee with a larger creamer to java ratio. Like on holidays when my aunts and uncles and extended family members came to visit for dinner. Like when my girlfriends and I would sit at the computer and message cute boys on AOL Instant Messenger.
I’m not sure what happened to it. I am sure it landed in someone else’s home after my parents moved a few years ago. Whoever has it, I hope they are putting it to good use. Whether it’s to play the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein correctly (or not), to serve as a coffee table in a first apartment, or to provide some extra seating for guests.
That piano bench is a symbol of community and family. And that there’s always room for a few more at your table.