“We would walk in and they’d have us ready to eat in the dining room eventually we’d set the table as kids we’d set the table in the dining room, and it was this big table in it, and I always thought it was kind of square as a little girl cause you’d walk in from the kitchen there was no door on the door frame, it was just that small, and she’d have this big breakfast side table directly opposite you that lined the wall and that held dishes and important stuff and things that to this day I still don’t know directly what went in them I think later I found out they were table decorations and doilies and serving plates and stuff but it was so big and I -I only ever opened one cabinet door and that was to get the paper plates not the fancy serving plates but the paper plates and the napkins and I would set the table and we’d come in to eat and have lunch in there and sometimes we’d come back after church to have lunch and lunch with her after church was always like sandwiches and sandwiches and simple things like that occasionally a bag of chips and we’d come back from lunch and she’d already have plates of cheese and meat and bread arranged on the plates one or two pieces of lettuce and she ate so little that sometimes she’d only put a little bit out which when we became older we were eating more so we would always have to be conscious of that, not to be rude guests.”
It was the stacks of paper doilies still in plastic that always made me pause when I’d fish out the paper plates. I would question their reason for being in her cabinet in what would be considered “prime real estate” of oft-used space when they were only pulled out to line the Christmas tins of Wedding Cookies and spiced oyster crackers. With reflection, that was her storage space. That’s why the paper plates used when we would visit (to give more time to visiting instead of dishes) were kept there. In a child’s mind, there was no time between visits at Gaya’s. Days were organized by happenings, not a structured time-frame. So whenever we were at Gaya’s, it felt like we were always at Gaya’s. It never occurred that our visits were, at times, infrequent enough to host a place in that cabinet.