About a year ago, I was listening to a podcast episode while at work. It was all about finding community and connection in your front yard. The guest, Kristin Schell, told her story about feeling the need to slow down and experience connection.
She was inspired to create community in her front yard by painting a picnic table turquoise and inviting people over for a chat, complete with snacks. Her table was noticed by random people walking by who would stop to talk and it sparked many a new friendship and community feeling with neighbors.
She wrote a book, The Turquoise Table, to share with others her story and strategies for fostering community.
As an extrovert, the concept was intriguing and made my ears perk up. Especially the talk about a picnic table.
When I was a kid, we had a picnic table in our backyard in the suburbs. I remember using it for picnics, birthday parties, friends, doing home school art projects, making forts under it, pushing the toy horse up to it and pretending it was a covered wagon, and all kinds of other fun stuff.
For years I have been wanting one of my own. Now that we own our own house (going on 7 years now) I thought it would happen “one of these days”.
When I heard this podcast, it sparked a fire. When the guest mentioned she bought her picnic table at Lowe’s for $100, I got even more excited and thought, “I can totally do that!”
I looked it up online to make sure Lowe’s still sold them, and the price was still the same. They do, and it is. Then I sat on it for almost a year. I mean, I didn’t feel like I could justify spending $100 on it.
Until recently. I finally bought the table kit, agonized over the right shade of turquoise paint and made it happen. My daughter helped me sand and prep. We primed and painted all the pieces before we assembled it.
Hubby got it assembled and now it’s sitting under a Redbud tree on the side of our house. Bright and cheerful as can be.
We live on a rural country highway, so we won’t be having many neighbors out walking by and stopping for a chat like in the book. But I still plan on having many a chat with friends and family, meals outside, and reading at the table.
So far, my nine-year-old has been sitting at it playing with his toys, and I’ve read for a bit with my legs stretched out on the bench.
When the weather chooses to cooperate again and summer actually comes to stay, we’re going to have so much fun at the table! I look forward to the memories that will be made with my children and our friends through the years to come.
If you want to find out more, or hear Kristen’s story for yourself, check out the links below. You can even register your own turquoise table on her website!
Here’s the link to the picnic table at Lowe’s: https://www.lowes.com/pd/72-in-Brown-Southern-Yellow-Pine-Rectangle-Picnic-Table/3620364
Podcast Episode Link: https://dontmomalone.com/2014/09/01/the-turquoise-table-kristin-schell-ep-37/
Kristen Schell’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Turquoise-Table-Finding-Community-Connection/dp/0718095588
Kristen also has her own podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-turquoise-table-podcast-with-kristin-schell/id1349298774
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