My Family Table by Nancy Mugele


It’s just an old piece of wood

On top of four legs

It’s got a few coffee stains, and a thousand marks from “god knows when”

Ain’t too many things, that could stand the test of time

But this family table’s held together by love that never dies


So won’t you come on in?

Supper’s almost done

Go ahead and call your friends

‘Cause we got room for everyone

Let’s make some memories, ’round this 9 foot pine

Pull up a chair and stay a while, at the family table


It’s the cornerstone that held us all up

Through the best of times

And made our way when times got tough

We blew the candles out

In our walk through time

This family table’s, bound together by love that never dies.

“Family Table” by Niko Moon / Zac Brown / Ben Simonetti

My favorite holiday has come and gone, as has the passing of another year. (I may have neglected to tell you in my last column that my birthday always falls on Thanksgiving Weekend.) It is so joyful to have a very noisy full house to celebrate both events, and it is always bittersweet at the end of Thanksgiving weekend when, once again, the red roof inn is quiet. Through the years, many loved ones have gathered around my family table for our traditional harvest feast – great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins from near and far, boyfriends, girlfriends, in-laws, and, of course, the out-laws. Some are no longer with us, but often new friends join. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned.

Zac Brown’s song Family Table truly resonates with me, especially at this time of year. I pasted the words below so that you can read the heartfelt tribute to family gatherings around the dining table and the passage of time. He said exactly what I have always felt about the family dinner table – this family table’s held together by love that never dies. He also mentions that the table has a thousand marks from “god knows when,” which always makes me smile. To me, the marks atop our steadfast table represent heartfelt memories, both good and bad, from the pages of our lives. I do wonder, though, where several beer bottle cap markings on my tabletop came from, and when? Does anyone know how they got there?

Zac Brown’s song is so simple, yet so touching and inspiring. Just gather around your table, share a meal, and welcome everyone. Great advice! Oh, and Zac Brown follows me on Twitter now, but that is another story.

I inadvertently left my niece Amanda out of my Thanksgiving column two weeks ago and I heard about it a few times over the past two weeks. Amanda has always had a job at my house on Thanksgiving Day. She is in charge of lighting all of the candles in my dining room just prior to sitting down to dinner. And, trust me, it takes her a long time because I use a multitude of candles to create the perfect dining experience. Thanks, Amanda!

The week leading up to Thanksgiving made me pause on two other occasions to reflect upon the joy of being an aunt. Pronounced like taunt. My side of the family calls me AUNT and my husband’s side of the family calls me ANT. I answer to both but prefer the British pronounciation, as I am not keen on being called a bug. But, seriously, I saw my nephew, David, who plays ice hockey for Villanova, skate at Navy the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was such fun to be with my brother and sister-in-law who spent the weekend with us from Boston and brought Italian cookies from my favorite bakery in the North End, Modern Pastry. And, it was especially fun to pack David a bag of snacks for his bus trip back to school – something I have not done for my own children in many years.

In other happy family news, my nephew Matt and his wife Brittany welcomed a baby girl – Layla – the week before Thanksgiving. They live in Minnesota and were at my family table with their two young sons last year. I am so grateful they have a healthy baby girl and I cannot wait for Layla to join us next Thanksgiving at the family table. I love being an aunt but being a great-aunt is even more fun!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your family table was filled with laughter and love. I am so grateful that my family table will be full once again later this month!


Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown and a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.

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